Test Coverage : How not to miss anything during testing?

Test Coverage : How not to miss anything during testing?
March 22 06:00 2011 Print This Article

One of my friends asked me a question on Test Coverage and I replied to the best of my knowledge. Please feel
free to comment,
Question: How not to miss anything during testing?

Test Coverage : How not to miss anything during testing?
My Answer: Let me try to give a brief answer with lots of assumptions about the context. It is a good question
which will reveal a lot about the project. Different stakeholders might have different answers.

At the same time, be-aware that not every issue can be found! Not every bug can be found.
Why? Here are some of the reasons:
Difference in Test Environment & Customer Environment
The environment used by the customer might be different from the environment used by the test team.
Are you sure you have the same hardware & software combination on your machine as the customer
machine?
Lack of Information
We have no information on how the customer uses this product! We have information on how the customer
must use the product but no information on how he uses the product. Note the subtle difference.
Do we collect logs or frequent recordings or any other information which lets us know how the customer
is using the product? Customer bugs reveal information to only a small extent.
Complete Testing
We do not test every combination. Complete Testing is impossible.
We do not have time to run every test. Our mission might
not be to run all tests.
We do not have resources (machines, testers, money, programmers
and tools) to test each & every possibility.
Method of Usage
I do not see any customer referring to a document other
than help guide (sometimes) to carry out his tasks. He
doesn’t use a excel sheet to know what he has to do next.
He does not skip from one component to another.
Most of the times, he uses the whole system (Software +
Internet + Hardware – Printers/Controllers) Agree?
So, if we do not test/use the software like the customer,
how can we expect to find the bugs customer finds?
Tough question? :)
If we cannot find all the bugs, how can we improve the product?
How can we find more bugs (assuming finding bugs is one of the
important missions of the project)?
www.TestingCircus.com March 2011 – 7 –
Test Coverage : How not to miss anything during testing?
Here are some of the ways which can help us.
Broaden the Test Coverage
Ask yourself – are you focusing on only a part of the product?
Can you expand the coverage by expanding the right tests?
Expanding! = Writing more test cases [Expanding is
NOT equal to writing more cases]
Is your testing model good enough? Why not try the Heuristic
Strategy Test Model (HSTM) by James Bach. We both can learn
to use it to the current project.
Understand the Big Picture
Try to understand where the software fits in the big picture.
Ask the right questions to get more information about the project.
How do you know which is the right question? Any question
you ask at this stage of the career is a right question!
As experts say, if you are aware that you can be fooled, it is
easy to be not fooled then! I learnt it in one of the Rapid Software
Testing workshops.
Be aware that you can also make mistakes.
Optimise the Testing Effort
Are you & your team members working as a single group? Is
everyone aware of each others’ tasks & goals for the project?
Are you aware of the final goal? Can you see where this project
is leading to?
Are you sure the tasks are not overlapping? Are you spending
most of the time on tasks which contribute to the final goal of
the project?
If you answered No to most of the questions, it is high time you
optimize the testing effort. I can help you provide project/product
specific help (if needed)
Improve Skills
We need to constantly improve our skills as a tester to catch
those bugs which evade us again & again.
Observation, Questioning, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking,
Note Taking, Bug Hunting, Bug Investigation, Bug Advocacy
are some of the skills important to a tester.

Source: http://www.vietnamesetestingboard.org

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Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

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