QWE2002 Paper 5M

Mr. Geert Pinxten & Mr. Jens Pas

Variable Test Strategy: Learn To Only Do What You Need To Do

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

There is a lot of information available on how to do proper and professional software testing. Yet, professional structured software testing is hardly adopted by software engineers, and certainly not institutionalised. We all know that we start of with a high ambition and motivation and end after one year with nothing more than a defect tracker and a set of unstructured automated tests. Why?

The answer lies in the pitfall of pragmatism. When people address testing issues they tend to call the available information ‘too theoretically’ or to much of a challenge. Next they pick the ‘easy’ parts and start implementing them. Examples are the selection of a tool, the automation of the defect tracking process or test execution. We all know that 1) these parts are not easy and 2) they don’t work if you don’t set your test strategy foundations first. Pragmatism is in many cases an acceptable euphemism for ‘not doing what was proposed or even asked’.

When it comes to implementing a test strategy we need to implement those elements that will contribute most fast to software quality with the least effort. In other words, we need to determine the value adding drivers and make sure we steer upon them. For this purpose we developed a framework, called VTS (Variable Test Strategy) that identifies the value added drivers and their underlying parameters.

About the Author

Geert Pinxten is Managing Partner of I2B and responsible for the practice Software Testing and Quality Assurance. Geert Pinxten is a speaker and track chairman on many Software Engineering and Quality Conferences (ICSTEST, EUROSTAR, Quality week, …) He performed several test audits for large scale organisations active in the world of business software development and embedded systems. During these audits he refined the applied audit method. Geert acts as a test manager for different large testing projects. Geert Pinxten was as Development Co-ordinator for a Belgian consultancy company specialised in testing responsible for all internal development activities. These development activities ranged from developing new training packages to the development of new products. Geert Pinxten is an engineer specialised in electronics and information technology.