QW2001 Tutorial G1

Mr. Thomas Drake
(Integrated Computer Concepts, Inc ICCI)

The Quality Challenge For Network Based Software Systems

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

This tutorial will introduce a biologically inspired model-based conceptual framework for network-centric testing and systems level quality assurance. It involves an approach that can deal with computers and software viewed as a set of interactive and dynamic behavioral objects that are themselves part of a larger system rather than strictly for data processing and number crunching.

This conceptual framework for testing and quality assurance allows for examining and dealing with a range of application behaviors and outcomes and the possible interactions for these application objects without the necessity for fully understanding them in advance! This can permit testing the fundamental structure of a program and the application environment with the executable functional mechanisms and interfaces underneath and across the network.

It permits an “inside out” and end-to-end approach such that testing and quality engineering activities are based on the “genetic” makeup of the expected and anticipated dynamic “state” attributes and characteristics of the system using its own behavioral specifications as the test instruments for locating and stimulating the “weak” links.

In addition, this tutorial will provide an overview for what I have coined the Rapid Application Network Testing approach or RANT and examine the significant challenges posed by network-based software systems for testing and quality assurance. Tutorial will also consider the context and the background for understanding the daunting task faced by quality specialists and information technology management in dealing with the future, today!

This tutorial is meant to engage the participants and have you think “out of the box” when it comes to the testing and quality assurance choices and challenges we face every day in our increasingly networked environment.

About the Author

Mr. Drake is a software systems quality specialist and management and information technology consultant for Integrated Computer Concepts, Inc. (ICCI) in the United States. He also consults to industry and government on quality management and software quality engineering and code development issues.

As part of an industry and government outreach/partnership program, he holds frequent seminars and tutorials covering code analysis, software metrics, OO analysis for C++ and Java, coding practice, testing, best current practices in software development, the business case for software engineering, software quality engineering practices and principles, quality and test architecture development and deployment, project management, organizational dynamics and change management, and the people side of information technology.

He is the principal author of a chapter on “Metrics Used for Object-Oriented Software Quality” for a CRC Press Object Technology Handbook published in December of 1998. In addition, Mr. Drake is the author of a theme article entitled: “Measuring Software Quality: A Case Study” published in the November 1996 issue of IEEE Computer. He also had the lead, front page article published in late 1999 for Software Tech News by the US Department of Defense Data & Analysis Center for Software (DACS) entitled: “Testing Software Based Systems: The Final Frontier.” He is also one of the featured leading computer scientists interviewed in the textbook entitled: Problem Solving, Abstraction, & Design Using C++, Third Edition, 2000 by Friedman and Koffman from Addison Wesley Longman. Mr. Drake is a member of IEEE and an affiliate member of the IEEE Computer Society. He is also a Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE) from the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI).