A Software Testing Primer by Nick Jenkins

By Nick Jenkins

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Touse the application the user simply fills in three of four of the possible fields and clicks “Calculate”. The program then works out the fourth variable. If we look at the input space alone we can work out its size and hence the number of tests required to achieve “complete” coverage or confidence it works. Each field can accept a ten digit number. This means that for each field there are 1010 possible combinations of integer (without considering negative numbers). Since there are four input fields this means the total number of possible combinations is 1040.

So the time taken to find a defect is a direct measure of the effectiveness of testing. Measuring this for individual defects can be difficult. The total time involved in finding a defect may not be readily apparent unless individuals keep very close track of the time they spend on testing particular functions. In script-heavy environments you also have to factor in the time taken scripting for a particular defect, which is another complication. But to measure this for a particular test effort is easy – simply divide the total number of hours spent in testing by the total number of defects logged (remember to include preparation time).

38 Other stuff Release Control When you release a product ‘into the wild’ you will need to know what you released, to whom and when. This may seem trivial but in a large development environment it can be quite tricky. Take for example a system where ten developers are working in parallel on a piece of code. When you go to build and release a version of the system how do you know what changes have been checked in ? When you release multiple versions of the same system to multiple customers and they start reporting bugs six months later, how do you know which version the error occurs in ?

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