QA Testing questions
Q: How can software QA processes be implemented without stifling productivity?
A: Implement QA processes slowly over time. Use consensus to reach agreement on processes and adjust and experiment as an organization grows and matures. Productivity will be improved instead of stifled. Problem prevention will lessen the need for problem detection. Panics and burnout will decrease and there will be improved focus and less wasted effort.
At the same time, attempts should be made to keep processes simple and efficient, minimize paperwork, promote computer-based processes and automated tracking and reporting, minimize time required in meetings and promote training as part of the QA process.
However, no one, especially talented technical types, like bureaucracy and in the short run things may slow down a bit. A typical scenario would be that more days of planning and development will be needed, but less time will be required for late-night bug fixing and calming of irate customers.
Q: What if the organization is growing so fast that fixed QA processes are impossible?
A: This is a common problem in the software industry, especially in new technology areas. There is no easy solution in this situation, other than...
• Hire good people (i.e. hire Rob Davis)
• Ruthlessly prioritize quality issues and maintain focus on the customer;
• Everyone in the organization should be clear on what quality means to the customer.
Q: Why do you recommend that we test during the design phase?
A: Because testing during the design phase can prevent defects later on. We recommend verifying three things...
1. Verify the design is good, efficient, compact, testable and maintainable.
2. Verify the design meets the requirements and is complete (specifies all relationships between modules, how to pass data, what happens in exceptional circumstances, starting state of each module and how to guarantee the state of each module).
3. Verify the design incorporates enough memory, I/O devices and quick enough runtime for the final product.
Q: How is testing affected by object-oriented designs?
A: A well-engineered object-oriented design can make it easier to trace from code to internal design to functional design to requirements. While there will be little affect on black box testing (where an understanding of the internal design of the application is unnecessary), white-box testing can be oriented to the application's objects. If the application was well designed this can simplify test design.
Q: What is quality assurance?
A: Quality Assurance ensures all parties concerned with the project adhere to the process and procedures, standards and templates and test readiness reviews.
Q: What is black box testing?
A: Black box testing is functional testing, not based on any knowledge of internal software design or code. Black box testing are based on requirements and functionality.
Q: What is white box testing?
A: White box testing is based on knowledge of the internal logic of an application's code. Tests are based on coverage of code statements, branches, paths and conditions.
Q: What is unit testing?
A: Unit testing is the first level of dynamic testing and is first the responsibility of developers and then that of the test engineers.
Unit testing is performed after the expected test results are met or differences are explainable/acceptable.
Q: What is functional testing?
A: Functional testing is black-box type of testing geared to functional requirements of an application. Test engineers *should* perform functional testing.
Q: What is usability testing?
A: Usability testing is testing for 'user-friendliness'. Clearly this is subjective and depends on the targeted end-user or customer. User interviews, surveys, video recording of user sessions and other techniques can be used. Programmers and developers are usually not appropriate as usability testers.
Q: What is incremental integration testing?
A: Incremental integration testing is continuous testing of an application as new functionality is recommended. This may require that various aspects of an application's functionality are independent enough to work separately, before all parts of the program are completed, or that test drivers are developed as needed.
Incremental testing may be performed by programmers, software engineers, or test engineers.
Q: What is parallel/audit testing?
A: Parallel/audit testing is testing where the user reconciles the output of the new system to the output of the current system to verify the new system performs the operations correctly.
Q: What is integration testing?
A: Upon completion of unit testing, integration testing begins. Integration testing is black box testing. The purpose of integration testing is to ensure distinct components of the application still work in accordance to customer requirements.
Test cases are developed with the express purpose of exercising the interfaces between the components. This activity is carried out by the test team.
Integration testing is considered complete, when actual results and expected results are either in line or differences are explainable/acceptable based on client input.
Q: What is system testing?
A: System testing is black box testing, performed by the Test Team, and at the start of the system testing the complete system is configured in a controlled environment.
The purpose of system testing is to validate an application's accuracy and completeness in performing the functions as designed.
System testing simulates real life scenarios that occur in a "simulated real life" test environment and test all functions of the system that are required in real life.
System testing is deemed complete when actual results and expected results are either in line or differences are explainable or acceptable, based on client input.
Upon completion of integration testing, system testing is started. Before system testing, all unit and integration test results are reviewed by Software QA to ensure all problems have been resolved. For a higher level of testing it is important to understand unresolved problems that originate at unit and integration test levels.
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Q: What is end-to-end testing?
A: Similar to system testing, the *macro* end of the test scale is testing a complete application in a situation that mimics real world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communication, or interacting with other hardware, application, or system.
Q: What is regression testing?
A: The objective of regression testing is to ensure the software remains intact. A baseline set of data and scripts is maintained and executed to verify changes introduced during the release have not "undone" any previous code. Expected results from the baseline are compared to results of the software under test. All discrepancies are highlighted and accounted for, before testing proceeds to the next level.
Q: What is sanity testing?
A: Sanity testing is performed whenever cursory testing is sufficient to prove the application is functioning according to specifications. This level of testing is a subset of regression testing.
It normally includes a set of core tests of basic GUI functionality to demonstrate connectivity to the database, application servers, printers, etc.
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