By Nick Jenkins

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Since there are four input fields this means the total number of possible combinations is 1040. 17x1029 years to complete testing. That's about ten billion, billion times the life of the universe. An alternative would be to seek 100% confidence through 100% coverage of the code. This would mean making sure we execute each branch or line of code during testing. While this gives a much higher confidence for much less investment, it does not and will never provide a 100% confidence. Exercising a single pass of all the lines of code is inadequate since the code will often fail only for certain values of input or output.

Classification Requirements Count 12 % 21% In this table, 32% of defects are attributable to mistakes by the test team, a huge proportion. Design Error 5 9% Code Error 9 16% Test Error 18 32% Configuration 9 16% While there are obviously issues with requirements, coding and configuration, the large number of test errors means there are major issues with the accuracy of testing. Existing bug 3 5% 56 100% TOTAL Figure 14: Sample root cause analysis While most of these defects will be rejected and closed, a substantial amount of time will be spent diagnosing and debating them.

Verification The process of checking that software does what it was intended to do as per its design. See “Validation”. ” Validation Checking that the design of a software system or product matches the expectations of users. See “Verification”. ” White Box Testing Testing the program with knowledge and understanding of the source code. Usually performed by programmers, see Black Box Testing for contrast.

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A Software Testing Primer by Nick Jenkins


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