Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design

Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design

By: James A. Whittaker (author)Paperback

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How to Find and Fix the Killer Software Bugs that Evade Conventional Testing In Exploratory Software Testing, renowned software testing expert James Whittaker reveals the real causes of today's most serious, well-hidden software bugs--and introduces powerful new "exploratory" techniques for finding and correcting them. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience working at the cutting edge of testing with Google, Microsoft, and other top software organizations, Whittaker introduces innovative new processes for manual testing that are repeatable, prescriptive, teachable, and extremely effective. Whittaker defines both in-the-small techniques for individual testers and in-the-large techniques to supercharge test teams. He also introduces a hybrid strategy for injecting exploratory concepts into traditional scripted testing. You'll learn when to use each, and how to use them all successfully. Concise, entertaining, and actionable, this book introduces robust techniques that have been used extensively by real testers on shipping software, illuminating their actual experiences with these techniques, and the results they've achieved. Writing for testers, QA specialists, developers, program managers, and architects alike, Whittaker answers crucial questions such as: * Why do some bugs remain invisible to automated testing--and how can I uncover them? * What techniques will help me consistently discover and eliminate "show stopper" bugs? * How do I make manual testing more effective--and less boring and unpleasant? * What's the most effective high-level test strategy for each project? * Which inputs should I test when I can't test them all? * Which test cases will provide the best feature coverage? * How can I get better results by combining exploratory testing with traditional script or scenario-based testing? * How do I reflect feedback from the development process, such as code changes?

About Author

James Whittaker has spent his career in software testing and has left his mark on many aspects of the discipline. He was a pioneer in the field of model-based testing, where his Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Tennessee stands as a standard reference on the subject. His work in fault injection produced the highly acclaimed runtime fault injection tool Holodeck, and he was an early thought leader in security and penetration testing. He is also well regarded as a teacher and presenter, and has won numerous best paper and best presentation awards at international conferences. While a professor at Florida Tech, his teaching of software testing attracted dozens of sponsors from both industry and world governments, and his students were highly sought after for their depth of technical knowledge in testing. Dr. Whittaker is the author of How to Break Software and its series follow- ups How to Break Software Security (with Hugh Thompson) and How to Break Web Software (with Mike Andrews). After ten years as a professor, he joined Microsoft in 2006 and left in 2009 to join Google as the Director of Test Engineering for the Kirkland and Seattle offices. He lives in Woodinville, Washington, and is working toward a day when software just works.


Foreword by Alan Page xv Preface xvii Chapter 1 The Case for Software Quality 1 The Magic of Software 1 The Failure of Software 4 Conclusion 9 Exercises 9 Chapter 2 The Case for Manual Testing 11 The Origin of Software Bugs 11 Preventing and Detecting Bugs 12 Manual Testing 14 Conclusion 19 Exercises 20 Chapter 3 Exploratory Testing in the Small 21 So You Want to Test Software? 21 Testing Is About Varying Things 23 User Input 23 What You Need to Know About User Input 24 How to Test User Input 25 State 32 What You Need to Know About Software State 32 How to Test Software State 33 Code Paths 35 User Data 36 Environment 36 Conclusion 37 Exercises 38 Chapter 4 Exploratory Testing in the Large 39 Exploring Software 39 The Tourist Metaphor 41 "Touring" Tests 43 Tours of the Business District 45 Tours Through the Historical District 51 Tours Through the Entertainment District 52 Tours Through the Tourist District 55 Tours Through the Hotel District 58 Tours Through the Seedy District 60 Putting the Tours to Use 62 Conclusion 63 Exercises 64 Chapter 5 Hybrid Exploratory Testing Techniques 65 Scenarios and Exploration 65 Applying Scenario-Based Exploratory Testing 67 Introducing Variation Through Scenario Operators 68 Inserting Steps 68 Removing Steps 69 Replacing Steps 70 Repeating Steps 70 Data Substitution 70 Environment Substitution 71 Introducing Variation Through Tours 72 The Money Tour 73 The Landmark Tour 73 The Intellectual Tour 73 The Back Alley Tour 73 The Obsessive-Compulsive Tour 73 The All-Nighter Tour 74 The Saboteur 74 The Collector's Tour 74 The Supermodel Tour 74 The Supporting Actor Tour 74 The Rained-Out Tour 75 The Tour-Crasher Tour 75 Conclusion 75 Exercises 76 Chapter 6 Exploratory Testing in Practice 77 The Touring Test 77 Touring the Dynamics AX Client 78 Useful Tours for Exploration 79 The Collector's Tour and Bugs as Souvenirs 81 Tour Tips 84 Using Tours to Find Bugs 86 Testing a Test Case Management Solution 86 The Rained-Out Tour 87 The Saboteur 88 The FedEx Tour 89 The TOGOF Tour 90 The Practice of Tours in Windows Mobile Devices 90 My Approach/Philosophy to Testing 91 Interesting Bugs Found Using Tours 92 Example of the Saboteur 94 Example of the Supermodel Tour 94 The Practice of Tours in Windows Media Player 97 Windows Media Player 97 The Garbage Collector's Tour 97 The Supermodel Tour 100 The Intellectual Tour 100 The Intellectual Tour: Boundary Subtour 102 The Parking Lot Tour and the Practice of Tours in Visual Studio Team System Test Edition 103 Tours in Sprints 103 Parking Lot Tour 105 Test Planning and Managing with Tours 106 Defining the Landscape 106 Planning with Tours 107 Letting the Tours Run 109 Analysis of Tour Results 109 Making the Call: Milestone/Release 110 In Practice 110 Conclusion 111 Exercises 111 Chapter 7 Touring and Testing's Primary Pain Points 113 The Five Pain Points of Software Testing 113 Aimlessness 114 Define What Needs to Be Tested 115 Determine When to Test 115 Determine How to Test 116 Repetitiveness 116 Know What Testing Has Already Occurred 117 Understand When to Inject Variation 117 Transiency 118 Monotony 119 Memorylessness 120 Conclusion 121 Exercises 122 Chapter 8 The Future of Software Testing 123 Welcome to the Future 123 The Heads-Up Display for Testers 124 "Testipedia" 126 Test Case Reuse 127 Test Atoms and Test Molecules 128 Virtualization of Test Assets 129 Visualization 129 Testing in the Future 132 Post-Release Testing 134 Conclusion 134 Exercises 135 Appendix A Building a Successful Career in Testing 137 How Did You Get into Testing? 137 Back to the Future 138 The Ascent 139 The Summit 140 The Descent 142 Appendix B A Selection of JW's Professorial "Blog" 143 Teach Me Something 143 Software's Ten Commandments 143 1. Thou Shalt Pummel Thine App with Multitudes of Input 145 2. Thou Shalt Covet Thy Neighbor's Apps 145 3. Thou Shalt Seek Thee Out the Wise Oracle 146 4. Thou Shalt Not Worship Irreproducible Failures 146 5. Thou Shalt Honor Thy Model and Automation 146 6. Thou Shalt Hold Thy Developers Sins Against Them 147 7. Thou Shalt Revel in App Murder (Celebrate the BSOD) 147 8. Thou Shalt Keep Holy the Sabbath (Release) 148 9. Thou Shalt Covet Thy Developer's Source Code 148 Testing Error Code 149 Will the Real Professional Testers Please Step Forward 151 The Common Denominators I Found Are (In No Particular Order) 152 My Advice Can Be Summarized as Follows 53 Strike Three, Time for a New Batter 154 Formal Methods 154 Tools 155 Process Improvement 156 The Fourth Proposal 156 Software Testing as an Art, a Craft and a Discipline 157 Restoring Respect to the Software Industry 160 The Well-Intentioned but Off-Target Past 160 Moving On to Better Ideas 161 A Process for Analyzing Security Holes and Quality Problems 161 Appendix C An Annotated Transcript of JW's Microsoft Blog 165 Into the Blogoshere 165 July 2008 166 Before We Begin 166 PEST (Pub Exploration and Software Testing) 167 Measuring Testers 168 Prevention Versus Cure (Part 1) 169 Users and Johns 170 Ode to the Manual Tester 171 Prevention Versus Cure (Part 2) 173 Hail Europe! 174 The Poetry of Testing 175 Prevention Versus Cure (Part 3) 176 Back to Testing 177 August 2008 178 Prevention Versus Cure (Part 4) 179 If Microsoft Is So Good at Testing, Why Does Your Software Still Suck? 180 Prevention Versus Cure (Part 5) 183 Freestyle Exploratory Testing 183 Scenario-Based Exploratory Testing 183 Strategy-Based Exploratory Testing 184 Feedback-Based Exploratory Testing 184 The Future of Testing (Part 1) 184 The Future of Testing (Part 2) 186 September 2008 188 On Certification 188 The Future of Testing (Part 3) 189 The Future of Testing (Part 4) 191 The Future of Testing (Part 5) 192 October 2008 193 The Future of Testing (Part 6) 194 The Future of Testing (Part 7) 195 The Future of Testing (Part 8) 196 Speaking of Google 198 Manual Versus Automated Testing Again 198 November 2008 199 Software Tester Wanted 200 Keeping Testers in Test 200 December 2008 201 Google Versus Microsoft and the Dev:Test Ratio Debate 201 January 2009 202 The Zune Issue 203 Exploratory Testing Explained 204 Test Case Reuse 205 More About Test Case Reuse 206 I'm Back 207 Of Moles and Tainted Peanuts 208 Index 211

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780321636416
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780321636416
  • weight: 428
  • ISBN10: 0321636414

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