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INNOVATION FOR SOFTWARE QUALITY VOLUME 6: ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2014 THE EUROPEAN SOFTWARE TESTER

www.testmagazine.co.uk

CONNECTED CARS: RACE TO THE FUTURE AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS KEEP CHALLENGING SOFTWARE TESTING

INSIDE: NEWS: TRENDS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD THE NEW EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD INTERVIEW: THE CROSS-POLLINATION OF TESTING PRACTICES


CONTENTS

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

NEWS 8 Trends for the year ahead

22. A MAJOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM IS ON THE WAY – ARE YOU READY?

10 Bank of England publishes report into cyber-resilience exercise

VIEWPOINTS 14  The changing business of test management As the testing environment becomes more complex, the role of test management has never been more crucial…

TEST ADVISORY BOARD

15

Introducing TEST Magazine’s new Editorial Advisory Board TEST Magazine has spent the past six months recruiting senior professionals for a brand new Editorial Advisory Board, and we are delighted to finally announce our members. Take a look!...

 NATIONAL SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE

18

Announcing the first ever National Software Testing Conference

24. HYPER-CONNECTED VEHICLES – A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Discover who will be speaking at the first ever National Software Testing Conference, taking place May 20th-21st, and what you can gain by attending…

TESTA 20 TESTA winners catch-up

TEST Magazine catches up with some of The European Software Testing Award winners to find out how their award has so far affected their business, and why they encourage fellow software testing professionals to enter this year…

TEST DATA 22  A major legislative reform is on the way – are you ready?

15. INTRODUCING TEST MAGAZINE’S NEW EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

There are six numbers that will revolutionise how organisations use test data, and it’s important that you pay close attention, says Sopra Group…

COVER STORY 24  Hyper-connected vehicles – A vision for the future Sophie-Marie Odum investigates what a new partnership between Renault and Orange means for vehicles of the future…

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

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Assurance is the art of perfection. And certainty. In today's technology-driven world, testing and QA functions must ensure that systems and services are fit for purpose, work seamlessly across all devices, and support the organisation’s strategic objectives. There exists a way of certainty: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). With TCS' independent enterprise testing arm, Assurance Services Unit (ASU), you can assure your business with market-proven, world-class experience, expertise and guidance. Visit tcs.com/assurance and you're certain to learn more. Or write to us at: global.assurance@tcs.com

Experience certainty. IT Services Business Solutions Consulting Scan the code to know more about TCS’ Assurance Services.

Experience certainty.


CONTENTS

AUTOMATED TESTING

26

 The future of testing is automated Andreas Kuehlmann discusses the rise of automated software testing, and how organisations need to adopt more thorough and efficient testing processes to ensure product launches go off without a hitch…

INTERVIEW 32

The cross-pollination of testing practices

Sophie-Marie Odum talks to SEGA’s director of development services, about the testing processes required for the gaming industry and how the company relocated to its QA facilities to London…

TEST CASE MANAGEMENT  Applying psychology to the

36. TEST-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT: AN ANALOGY WITH THE ‘NATURAL’ WORLD?

34

40.

estimation of quality assurance

HOW LEADERS SOLVE PROBLEMS

P  aula Heenan uses psychology to explain decision-making and the implications this has on risk-based testing…

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

36

 Test-Driven Development: An analogy with the ‘natural’ world? Rui Monica takes test-driven development and makes an analogy with the natural world…

34. APPLYING PSYCHOLOGY TO THE ESTIMATION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE

FOCUS ON: PROBLEM SOLVING 40 How leaders solve problems

William Montgomery discusses the best way to solve problems in the workplace…

45  Why (I think) test preparation is a waste of time Hamish Tedeschi explains why he thinks test preparation is a waste of time…

LAST WORD 46  You wash my back... Dave Whalen explains why testers need the help of coders…

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

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LEADER

2014: A YEAR FOR MOBILE TESTING Hello and welcome to the February issue of TEST – the first issue of the year:

2

014 is set to be the year for mobile testing. As noted in the last issue, The World Quality Report 2013-14 revealed an increase in mobile testing activity. In addition, the report expects mobile security to occupy the top position among the QA focus areas within the next two years, as 56% of respondents recognised the importance of security in the mobile testing process, up from 18% in 2012. But on the contrary, recent research* has revealed that 100% of the “Top 100 paid Android apps” and 56% of the “Top 100 paid Apple iOS apps” were hacked in 2013, demonstrating that mobile app security still remains a critical issue. This also highlights the potential for massive revenue loss, unauthorised access to critical data, intellectual property (IP) theft, fraud, altered user experience and brand erosion as even more companies move toward app-centric innovation and more employees leverage mobile technology. The report also found that hackers continue to target free apps as 73% of free Android apps, and 53% of free iOS apps, were found to be hacked in 2013. In 2012, 80% of Android apps and 40% of iOS apps had been compromised. Furthermore, 53% of the Android

financial apps reviewed had been “cracked”, while 23% of the iOS financial apps were hacked variants. Mobile banking and payment apps were included as part of the research. Such research illustrates Do you want that the challenge for to write for greater mobile application TEST magazine? security remains significant. Please email sophie. Mobile devices have odum@31media. evolved beyond a means co.uk of just communication, and it only serves to the benefit of organisations that customers feel reassured that their personal information is safe at all times. Let’s hope that mobile security remains high on the agenda for organisations throughout 2014 and beyond!

Until next time,

Still haven’t booked your place for the first ever National Software Testing conference? It’s not too late, visit www.softwaretestingconference.com

Sophie-Marie Odum Editor *Research conducted by Arxan Technologies

© 2014 31 Media Limited. All rights reserved. TEST Magazine is edited, designed, and published by 31 Media Limited. No part of TEST Magazine may be reproduced, transmitted, stored electronically, distributed, or copied, in whole or part without the prior written consent of the publisher. A reprint service is available. Opinions expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or TEST Magazine or its publisher, 31 Media Limited. ISSN 2040-01-60 T H I R T YO N E

EDITOR Sophie-Marie Odum sophie.odum@31media.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)203 056 4599 TO ADVERTISE CONTACT: Sarah Walsh sarah.walsh@31media.co.uk Tel: +44(0)203 668 6945 PRODUCTION & DESIGN Tina Harris tina.harris@31media.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

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NEWS TRENDS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD A strong theme that developed from 2013 testing summits and conferences, and will receive a lot more focus this year, is the continuous demand for increased effectiveness and efficiency in testing, says Aldo Rall, principal consultant at IndigoCube. Closely tied to this will be the need for testers to justify the costs they incur, and monetise the value of the disasters they prevent through testing. Testing Centres of Excellence (TCOEs) offer a solution to this need for more effective and efficient testing, and we expect to see more organisations implement these this year. With more content and experience being generated around DevOps, disciplined agile delivery, scaled agile framework and the likes (all attempts to bring business and IT closer together), it is clear that testing will need to adapt to the changing business landscape. An important aspect will be context, and how it impacts testing – a ‘one-

POLL RESULTS Last month we asked, "IS THE AGILE APPROACH TO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT BETTER THAN THE TRADITIONAL WATERFALL METHOD?" at www.testingmagazine.com THE RESULTS WERE:

Organisations will increasingly question the practical value of the training their testers undertake, as well as seek expert mentors or coaches to guide testers as they develop new skill sets (or contexts). Context-driven testing requires a very broad set of skills. The most successful testers in the future will be the ones that can bring the most skills to the table for any given context. The true value (and skill) they bring will be to interpret differing contexts and, like any specialist, draw upon a combination of their broad skills and combine them uniquely to suit a given situation (or context). The testers that can do this most effectively

will be the ones that survive the changing landscape of testing most comfortably (and even more so in the longer term). Something IndigoCube believes that will increasingly start emerging this year is continuous testing. It will become common to see testers conducting testing in production systems and even grilling business (the actual client) on the business value that a function will or will not provide. Along with that, outsourcing testing to expert companies, while touted as a growing industry by some commentators, other commentators argue that it will actually decrease in the medium term as companies in-source testing in order to remain agile and to retain the IP they develop, training testers on their specific contexts. What remains to be seen is which way the industry develops from this fundamental difference.

UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING IS MAKING WAVES ACROSS BUSINESSES Ubiquitous computing – the spread of computing into almost any device in any location – is set to become the next wave of computing, according to a recent whitepaper published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The paper, entitled Riding the next wave: Ubiquitous computing, focuses on the technologies that will be influencing how we do business in the near future and what CIOs need to be considering now to ensure their organisations aren’t left behind.

23% YES

77%

size-fits-all’ approach is often not the most effective, and this will emerge strongly in the years to come. This will impact skills development (as experience dealing with different contexts is a learned skill) both from a formal training and a mentorship or coaching perspective.

NO

To answer this month's poll, please visit: www.testingmagazine.com

Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said, “This whitepaper reflects how CIOs, digital leaders and boardlevel colleagues have to be ahead of the technology curve to ensure that their organisation is future-proof. This requires careful planning for what the team of the future will look like and what skills and capabilities will be needed to ensure creative disruption and

innovation happens in-house. “Ubiquitous computing means devices will be totally integrated which will result in the growth of large amounts of data being produced. The IT team of the future will need to be able to work with vast amounts of often ‘unstructured data’ and analyse effectively through a constant process of evaluation. This goes beyond mathematical knowledge and considers the value of pieces of data and how this relates to the business. “As The Chartered Institute for IT, we have often reiterated the importance for IT professionals to combine their technical skills with the ability to interpret the value for the business and develop their softer skills to ensure they are influential in the path an organisation takes. With the next wave of computing, this becomes even more crucial for those working in IT."

For the latest news, visit softwaretestingnews.co.uk and follow us @testmagazine PAGE 8

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


NEWS CIOS BELIEVE GREEN SCREEN SYSTEMS HAMPER RETENTION AND RECRUITMENT While 93% of organisations today still use green screen applications, 54% of CIOs say working with them is having a negative impact on end-user retention and recruitment. That’s according to an independent global research study undertaken by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Micro Focus.

•  Technical difficulties: More than half

Of the 590 CIOs and IT directors polled from nine countries around the globe, 89% have had complaints from end-users about aspects of their green screen applications, with nearly two thirds (65%) claiming end-users feel bored, frustrated, ambivalent or restricted when using these applications. IT leaders themselves appear to agree, with 55% believing green screen applications do not do a good job.

think it is too expensive to upgrade, while over a third (34%) say it is too risky to contemplate.

Research respondents cited a number of barriers that prevent them from tackling the green screen challenge to modernise their applications: •  Skills deficit: Despite the negative impact on end-user

retention, 24% of respondents said they do not have the requisite skills in-house to change these applications. 45% reported difficulty hiring new employees who either have prior knowledge of green screen applications or are able to learn them quickly.

•  The role of IT: 72% of respondents said that non-IT people

within their organisation do not base their opinion of IT innovation on updating legacy applications. They believe 42% of non-IT people judge innovation on unusual or gimmicky applications and widgets, opting for novelty over legacy. Despite 61% of CIOs believing their IT organisation’s innovation role is integral to the business, 50% said their non-IT people do not see the IT department in an innovative light. Instead, respondents claim more than a third (36%) see it as a support for the organisation and 13% view it as merely a maintenance function.

(56%) of CIOs believe it would be technically difficult to update the user interface and experience of green screen applications.

•  Cost and risk: 43% of IT leaders

RESPONDENTS CITED A NUMBER OF BARRIERS THAT PREVENT THEM FROM TACKLING THE GREEN SCREEN CHALLENGE TO MODERNISE THEIR APPLICATIONS.

Almost all survey respondents (98%) believe there would be a positive impact on productivity by adding new capabilities to green screen applications. Access to internal or external websites, including an intranet, Google Maps or YellowPages, was indicated as the most impactful (55%), while mobile access to green screen applications is believed to increase productivity by 41% of CIOs.  In addition, around half of respondents (51%) feel that too much time and budget is spent on end-user training for green screen applications. Commenting on the research results, Derek Britton, director of product marketing at Micro Focus, said, “Today’s end-user expects mobility, efficiency and simplicity from their business applications, and the same experience on any device, whenever, wherever. The accepted wisdom is that you cannot provide this from green screen systems – but that isn’t true. “It is possible to both quickly and cheaply modernise green screen systems, delivering new features that take advantage of Windows, the Internet and mobile devices, without any application code change or disruption to the end-user community. This means the intellectual property inherent in green screen applications remains intact to deliver even greater competitive advantage.”

NAG LIBRARY FOR JAVA UPDATED NAG Library for Java, from the Numerical Algorithms Group, has been updated with over 100 routines further increasing its numerical capabilities for Java application developers. At this, its second release the NAG Library for Java enables the calling of precisely 1,784 mathematical and statistical routines to aid complex computation and now features

enhanced error reporting enabling increased precision from computation results. Release 2 of the NAG Library for Java also provides additional abstract classes for callback functions alongside a host of new numerical functionality. The NAG Library for Java saves crucial development time by providing worldclass quality, robust, stringently tested and fully documented numerical code

in one cost effective numerical library. It offers detailed documentation, giving background information and function specification. In addition it guides users to the right function for their problem via decision trees. It also offers expert support services direct from NAG’s algorithm development team; and hands-on product training.

SUPPORTING GHANA’S DIGITAL SWITCHOVER Digital TV Labs, the digital media and device testing company that specialises in testing tools and services for validating digital media and device conformance, has been appointed as an accredited test centre for DTT receiver conformance in Ghana, supporting the country’s digital switchover. To help facilitate Ghana’s migration from analogue to "Free to Air" digital broadcast, Digital TV Labs is providing conformance testing services for receiver manufacturers at its ISO IEC 17025 certified facilities. By passing specified tests, products will conform to the country’s new DVB-T2 specification and gain an official logo guaranteeing quality to consumers. FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

Compliance testing of digital terrestrial television (DTT) receivers will be carried out in accordance with the Ghana DTT Conformance Regime. As an accredited test lab Digital TV Labs’ tests will include RF and SI/PSI tests. Keith Potter, CEO of Digital TV Labs, said, “To gain appointment as an accredited DTT receiver conformance test centre for Ghana is a fantastic opportunity for Digital TV Labs. “Our skills, experience and previous work in Africa has demonstrated that we have the credentials to provide an efficient test lab for Ghana’s digital roll-out. This project also acts as an opportunity for us to expand across SubSaharan Africa and beyond for the continuing digital switchover of the whole continent.” PAGE 9


NEWS BIG DATA SURVEY SHOWS RISE IN COMMITMENT AND DECLINE IN CONFUSION Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, has shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to the survey on enterprise use of Big Data in corporate decisionmaking – 60% of respondents were application developers. The follow-up to Jaspersoft’s August 2012 survey, revealed a greater commitment to Big Data projects. While 42% reported still being in the process of experimenting or performing general research, 36% have a funded Big Data initiative compared to only 15% 14 months ago. Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft, said, “What we’re seeing from our community is a better understanding of Big Data

and more willingness to commit to projects. The survey suggests that experimental Big Data projects are on the rise while funded initiatives continue to increase as the tools and understanding of Big Data mature.” Of the 56% of respondents with Big Data projects, 32% are in production or in development while 23% are in the planning stage. Of known deployments, 66% were on-premises and 34% were in the cloud. The survey also reveals that confusion and lack of business justification have decreased as reasons for not pursuing Big Data projects.

SHAPE SHIFTING SOFTWARE CHANGES WEBSITE CODE Following recent reports from the BBC, regarding shape shifting software that changes the code in a website to avoid becoming part of a botnet, Sean Power, security operations manager of DOSarrest, urges website owners not to rely on this tactic alone to protect themselves and takes a more balanced view.

“By constantly renaming the inputs for a website, you break the automated tool’s way of interacting with the site without changing the look and feel. This makes further vulnerability testing a much slower manual process.  The hope is that the attacker will move on to easier targets.

He said, “The concept behind this security appliance is to accept that any code may at some time be vulnerable to an exploit. Furthermore, there is an army of automated vulnerability scanners constantly crawling websites testing for these vulnerabilities. 

“However, while many attackers will move on without re-calibrating their tools specifically for the site (it is possible to scan for the nonmorphing code to determine what input to attempt an exploit on), this ‘security through obscurity’ approach will not offer any additional protection against a dedicated attacker who is determined to take a particular site down.”

BANK OF ENGLAND PUBLISHES REPORT INTO CYBER-RESILIENCE EXERCISE

HOT JOBS FOR 2014-2017

The Bank of England has published the findings of the Waking Shark II exercise, which tested the wholesale banking sector’s response to a sustained and intensive cyber-attack. The exercise supports the recommendation by the Financial Policy Committee to improve and test resilience against cyber-attacks. The report shows that considerable progress has been made since the previous exercises in 2011 and highlights areas which could be further improved. Waking Shark II was organised by the Securities Industry Business Continuity Management Group which drew on extensive cyber expertise to design a scenario in which a cyber-attack caused disruption to wholesale markets and the financial infrastructure supporting those markets. It involved participants from investment banks, financial market infrastructure, the financial authorities and the relevant government agencies. The exercise tested the communication between firms, between firms and the authorities, and aimed to improve understanding of the impact of a cyber-attack on the participants and wider financial sector. The Bank of England and other financial authorities will continue to work with the sector to test collective resilience to cyber-attacks as part of its ongoing programme of work.

PAGE 10

With news of the improving economy, are you now considering finding a new job? Are you planning to do it in the next 12-24 months? CareerBuilder UK and Economic Modeling Specialists compiled the 10 hot jobs that are expected to grow over the next few years, which includes those for software professionals. The projected employment in 2014 for software professionals is 325,631 jobs, which is an increase of 3.1% (2014-17) with median hourly earnings of £19.31. Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA, said, “After years of struggling, Britain is trending toward a better job market in the New Year, a feeling expressed by the majority of CareerBuilder clients that we talk to regularly. “According to CareerBuilder research, 68% of employers say their business is in better financial shape than 12 months ago and a third plan to hire full-time employees in 2014. The growth in employment over the next three years will be in a variety of industries with varying educational levels, which bodes well for putting larger numbers of people back to work and ultimately reducing the unemployment rate.”

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


2014

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Breaking today’s boundries to shape tomorrow

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20-2 1 May 2014 at The British Museum, L ondon

Speakers include:

Chris Livesey Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Borland

Rod Armstrong Senior Director QA, Expedia

Joanne Hopkins Systems Manager, Waitrose

Paul Gerrard TESTA 2013 Lifetime Achievement recipient

Karen Thomas Senior Practice Manager, Barclaycard

Bethan Lindly Test Lead, Microsoft

Chris Ambler Director of Quality Assurance, TCSJohnHuxley

Shane Kelly Head of QA and Test for one of the largest bookmakers in the UK

Lisa Donovan Programme and QA Manager, Proxama

Brindusa Axon Agile and Lean Transformation Consultant

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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP SIVA GANESAN VICE PRESIDENT AND GLOBAL HEAD, ASSURANCE SERVICES, TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES (TCS)

IN PRAISE OF ASSURANCE Siva Ganesan, Vice President and Global Head, Assurance Services, Tata Consultancy Services, talks about how the world of testing and assurance has moved from a bug-fixing microcosm to an ecosystem that shapes the digital world we live in, raising pertinent questions on what needs to be done next… Digital: We live in a digital world. Gadgets and devices, apps and smartphones dominate our lives. Interactions of a personal and professional nature are increasingly transacted digitally. The e-commerce models of the 2000s have morphed into digitally online 24/7 models with humans, corporations and machines jostling for each other’s attention and bandwidth. Amongst other things, we’ve seen the rapid convergence of networks, devices and content, a fine mesh of collaborative content that weaves its way into the home and the workplace. Consumers rule: Consumers now have a plethora of choices. Should systems and processes not cater to their demands and asks, they exercise their right to move away from a brand, thus eroding wallet share for an enterprise. Consumer loyalty and stickiness have never been as fickle as in today’s age and the onus is on systems to deliver superior experience to consumers if they are to sustain their brand reputations and consumer loyalties. In essence, businesses are routinely impacted should all things digital fall apart! Utility: As computing morphs into a utility, failure points are aplenty and consequences of such failure are catastrophic. Utility implies a need for round-the-clock availability of systems, with such availability being compliant with all norms all the time. IoT: The Internet of Things. Books read us, televisions watch us and indeed our browsers track us. In this new paradigm, a global ecosystem stands connected unto itself like history has never known before. Connectedness demands correctness: Once there are no islands of analog activity anymore, engineering, precision and rigour step in. Nothing can be left to chance. Failure is not an option. Continuous: Everything new, every risk must be released or fixed all the time. There’s simply no option to wait and release into the field. Users and enterprises want everything new, right here, right now. It’s a release treadmill – it keeps trundling, there’s no switch on, switch off. Everything that must be done, must be done all the time, every time! Enter testing and assurance: In the frenzy of transactional volumes and diverse processes how does one cater to stability, reliability, performance and security? It’s a tall order; it calls for a very systematic approach to everything one deploys into production. It calls for a shift in mindset (shift left if you please!) agile, nimble, continuous releases are now in vogue.

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

TESTING HAS MOVED FROM BEING A POST-FACTO COMPLIANCE NEED TO A PRE-EMPTIVE MANDATORY NEED

Testing has moved from being a post-facto compliance need to a preemptive mandatory need. While the classic definition, “Testing as a means to detect bugs and bring them to the attention of developers to fix them”, remains, there’s a gentle, yet distinct swing to the theme of testers co-working along all aspects of the software lifecycle. Testers ensure that there is very little residue to eke out as code bases move to production. Assurance assumes great significance because it has to address several questions such as: •  How do we design assurance architectures in a way

that they can ensure zero-risk systems?

•  What quantum of instrumentation and automation do

we define to enable assembly-line-assurance?

•  Why is it important to get business and engineering

requirements upfront?

•  Why is it so critical in today’s world to practise

continuous assurance and not post-facto testing?

•  How does assurance independently abet Dev,

Ops and DevOps to engineer for success?

Indeed, many more questions of the same ilk abound. This is an era of engineering testing and precision assurance. It’s a new world. It calls for business and technology knowledge, engineering mindsets and numeric data-oriented thinking. It calls for testers to straddle the full spectrum of architecture, engineering, integration, process, metrics and of course testing too! In this article, I have not attempted to answer these questions. I leave you with food for thought and will address these aspects in my subsequent articles.

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VIEWPOINTS VIJAY BALASUBRAMANIAM GLOBAL HEAD OF TESTING PRACTICE ITC INFOTECH

THE CHANGING BUSINESS OF TEST MANAGEMENT As the testing environment becomes more complex, the role of test management has never been more crucial. Vijay Balasubramaniam, Global Head of Testing Practice at ITC Infotech, reports on the ever-changing world of test management…

I

n an even more complex software testing world, good test management is absolutely essential. The test management function enables a centralised view across all elements of testing, including both manual and automated testing from the development stage through to QA, the functional phase and performance, ensuring full collaboration and control at every stage of the process.

•  Flexible architecture has offered the ability to integrate

with third party, open source and commercial test automation and test management tools for end-to-end test management.

•  There is now the ability to support continuous

integration using tools like ALM, Testopia with Jenkins, Hudson and Sauce Labs.

•  Customisable dashboards and reporting features for

If done properly, good test management should deliver a range of benefits including a reduced time-to-market, higher speed of delivery, improved productivity by reducing rework, better analytic results through increased visibility, and control using dashboards. Embracing change rather than resisting it will also add to the businesses flexibility.

INCREASING COMPLEXITY As applications have become more complex and ambitious, the testing requirements have reflected this and become more complex themselves. Software development companies are looking outside their own organisations for solutions to help them test their products whilst maintaining a high return on investment. Outsourcing the testing or parts of the process to contractors, consultants, Testing Centres of Excellence (TCoEs) or external organisations, which specialise in specific areas of testing, are some of the more successful options used by these organisations. In such cases, the parent organisation (which hires the contractor) is still responsible for the overall quality of the products which it needs to validate. The outsourced testers must have access to the right equipment, the right tools and the right infrastructure to get the job done properly, on budget and within the timescales specified. To achieve these aims there has to be a test management system in place to provide a common platform for contractors, contracting organisations and other external specialists. In addition, a well-planned and thought out test management strategy is an approach that allows for higher levels of organisation and control of the end-to-end testing activities and processes.

PARADIGM SHIFT Over the last 10 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the usage of test management tools in a number of areas: •  Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) has provided

a “one environment one tool” solution where testers can develop, execute and report their progress in a single integrated tool.

•  With efficiency and continuous improvement,

complete tracking of test artefacts is enabled and full traceability is maintained.

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status reporting and decision-making are making the front end-user interface more appealing and useable for dynamic information updates.

•  Reduced cost: The availability of open source tools for

test case management and defect tracking, as well as the ability to integrate with an ever-growing list of other free tools has made test management accessible to a wider group of testers.

•  Virtualisation and global access: As with so many other

areas of the IT world, virtualised, web-based tools and services have provided benefits in terms of access and mobility as well as cost.

A WIDER ROLE Test management should be an integrated, accepted part of any development process. As there is continuous change in the software development world with respect to approach, technology and technique, test management solutions have to keep up with the trends in this most dynamic sector. One of the latest trends in testing is crowd-sourcing and in these cases, it is more vital than ever to have a test management system that provides a common platform, bringing together the test process, artefacts used and work items from groups of testers working in different geographical locations and time zones. Social media is also causing seismic shifts in the testing world. Business solutions are being tested using multiple apps and high-end mobile platforms from the cloud with real-world data. The test management framework needs to move towards an integrated solution that comprises device, security and business solution testing deployed from the cloud, with a judicious mix of functional, automated, performance, security as well as other ‘ility’ testing disciplines. The trend we expect to see in test management frameworks will be aligned closer to that of an architect view, looking to create alignment, quantification and explicit value adds at every stage of the software development lifecycle. Test management will no longer remain focused on simply the developed code, but will have expanded to be a joined up, full lifecycle exercise.

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


TEST EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

TEST Magazine has spent the past six months recruiting senior professionals for a brand new Editorial Advisory Board, and we are delighted to finally announce our members...

T

he Board is made up of like-minded individuals who have a shared passion to advance the testing community by sharing ideas and processes for the benefit of fellow testing professionals. As part of the Editorial Advisory Board, members will play a key role in the future direction of TEST as the editor will regularly draw on their expertise to contribute ideas and features for the magazine and website, as well as review products and books.

JIM WOODS, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AT SEGA WEST Jim Woods entered the games industry in 1989 with PC Wise, a company that specialised in bulk disc duplication for magazine cover-mounts. He went on to join Cross Products in 1991, supplying the first real-time editing tools to the worldwide game development community. The combination of software and hardware, known as the SNASM development system quickly became established as the industry standard across formats ranging from Atari ST and Amiga through to SEGA Dreamcast and Playstation 1.

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

Jim was appointed MD (CEO) of the company in 1993 and left in late 1995 after the business was sold to SEGA. After a short spell in the growing multi-media sector, Jim joined DMA Design In 1997, where he stayed for four years as development director, overseeing the development of games, including Grand Theft Auto, GTA2 and GTA3 as well as Space Station Silicon Valley, Tanktics and Body Harvest. Jim again joined SEGA in 2008 as Head of External Development at SEGA Europe. Having held roles as project director for the launch of Football Manager Live and interim studio director at The Creative Assembly in Brisbane, (SEGA Studios Australia) where he managed the development of London 2012, Jim returned to the SEGA Europe offices in 2011 as director, Development Services SEGA West.

PAGE 15


TEST EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD His responsibilities cover product development, quality assurance and localisation, and since his return Jim has overseen the consolidation of SEGA West’s QA in London, and the relocation of the entire QA team to new premises alongside the publishing business in Brentford. At its peak, Jim is responsible for a team in excess of 350 who work on SEGA's latest games on console, PC and mobile platforms.

ROD ARMSTRONG, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF QA AT EXPEDIA Rod Armstrong joined Hotels.com in 2010 as senior director of QA. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of quality for the brand’s more than 85 global points of sale, accessed via desktop, mobile web, iOS and android apps. Rod works in a distributed scaled agile environment with multiple development centres. His team consists of the full range of QA expertise, including manual, functional, automation and performance engineers, who deliver highest quality solutions in a fast-paced B2C environment. Rod’s experience spans more than 15 years, from early days working in application development for Microsoft and Lotus into browser technologies with Netscape. He then moved into consultancy with Conchango, who were instrumental in the introduction of SCRUM to the UK. He worked for several years in the telco sector where he was Head of QA for AOL’s Access line of business. This was then purchased by the TalkTalk Group, where Rod stayed to ensure the successful migration of the AOL customer base onto the target CRM, provisioning and billing platform.

JAMES MURPHY, HEAD OF QA AT GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA

account management.

James’ experience in software development spans 10 years and has covered a wide range of domains and technologies in roles from test engineering manager through to project and

After graduating in Computer Science at Durham University, James developed his expertise in testing and has been successful in implementing test processes and strategies for complex low latency Foreign Exchange (FX) and Fixed Income (FI) trading platforms, through to high volume scalable platforms as used by The Guardian. He is currently Head of QA at Guardian News and Media, one of the world’s most read and respected newspaper websites, where he is responsible for the team management, testing processes and automation strategies.

SHANE KELLY, HEAD OF QA AND TEST FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST BOOKMAKERS IN THE UK Shane is Head of QA and test for one of the largest bookmakers in the UK, and has a wide range of experience across the software development lifecycle and in IT application delivery. He currently heads up a team of more than 100 test analysts and ensures that all products and applications are tested to an agreed level, and that quality considerations are taken into account early in the software delivery lifecycle. Shane develops and maintains a test framework to improve the overall delivery of the company’s systems and applications. He says he drives automation as an everyday part of the test solution, rather than something considered as best endeavours but never actually achieved. He works with senior stakeholders to ensure the company's priorities are still met, through robust delivery methodologies, which aid the speedy delivery of quality products.

PETER HYAMS, TECHNICAL ASSURANCE, GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION, DEUTSCHE BANK AG Peter Hyams currently works at Deutsche Bank in the Global Technology organisation as part of a small, relatively senior team called Technical Assurance. The team’s role is to provide assurance to senior management that the right process and technology decisions are being made to best ensure integrity of live production and the quality and efficiency of delivery into it. The team has an active interest in pretty much everything from emerging technologies to application release management. Peter’s areas of expertise and interest are chiefly release delivery assurance; quality assurance and business acceptance; and optimisation of software development and testing. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Peter held a range of positions including: QA director for global rates and currencies IT at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; client-facing senior manager within Ernst & Young’s strategic testing services group; QA lead for credit derivatives IT at Barclays Capital; Delivery Assurance lead for systems development at euronext.liffe; but he says ‘grew up’ as a consultant within Accenture. Peter was also on The European Software Testing Awards' 2013 judging panel.

Do you have a question for our Editorial Advisory Board members? Please email the editor, Sophie-Marie Odum at: sophie.odum@31media.co.uk

PAGE 16

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


NATIONAL SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE

Headline Sponsor

ANNOUNCING THE FIRST EVER NATIONAL SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE May 2014 welcomes the launch of the first ever National Software Testing Conference...

"BORLAND, A MICRO FOCUS COMPANY, IS DELIGHTED TO BE HEADLINE SPONSOR OF THE FIRST EVER NATIONAL SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE. THIS CONFERENCE FITS PERFECTLY WITH OUR ETHOS TO HELP ORGANISATIONS OPTIMISE THEIR SOFTWARE DELIVERY." SIMON TEAGER, GENERAL MANAGER, BORLAND, UK/IRELAND/SOUTH AFRICA

T

he National Software Testing Conference is a UK-based conference that provides the software testing community, at home and abroad, with invaluable content from revered industry speakers; practical presentations from the winners of The European Software Testing Awards; Executive Debates facilitated and lead by key figures; as well as a market leading exhibition, which will enable you to view the latest products and services available to them. Over two packed days, the National Software Testing Conference is a vehicle for any professional aligned with software testing to network, learn, swap and share advice and keep up-to- date with the latest industry trends. Sponsored by Microfocus and Sogeti, some of the big names confirmed so far include: • Rod Armstrong, senior director of QA at Expedia. •  SEGA, one of the leading interactive entertainment

companies.

• Systems manager for Waitrose, Joanne Hopkins. •  Senior practice manager for Barclaycard, Karen Thomas. •  TESTA Lifetime Achievement award winner, Paul Gerrard.

PAGE 18

• Chris Ambler, quality assurance director at

TCSJOHNHUXLEY, a leading global innovator of live gaming solutions and services.

• Test analysts, Chris Gollop and Beyza Sazir, from LMAX,

TESTA winners of the Best Overall Testing Project in the Finance Sector category.

• Test leads for Microsoft, Bethan Lindly and Paul Twidell.

Commenting on his appointment, Rod said, “When Sophie approached me to speak at National Software Testing Conference, I jumped at the opportunity to both spend time with my fellow test/QA professionals and to share, as best I can, my experiences gained over 15 plus years in this industry. “It’s not often so many like-minded people are brought together to share insights and learn from each other. I’m looking forward to spending time with as many of you as possible, together we can drive our competency forward to ensure it gets the recognition it deserves in the wider software development community. See you in May.” Sophie-Marie Odum, editor of the industry-leading journal, TEST Magazine, added, “We are really excited about our line-up so far. They each respectively have a wealth of experience that I’m sure many delegates can gain from, allowing them to head back to the office and implement

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


NATIONAL SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

change with immediate effect. “We are selecting speakers based on their exceptional levels of knowledge, which includes finalists and winners from The European Software Testing Awards, who have and fought their way through literally dozens and dozens of like-minded professionals and come out on top.”

Event Partner

Exhibitors

"SOGETI IS DELIGHTED TO BUILD WHY SHOULD I ATTEND? ON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH All our speakers have been carefully TEST MAGAZINE AND BE A PART appointed based on recent OF THEIR INAUGURAL NATIONAL successes and projects. They have SOFTWARE TESTING CONFERENCE. all have demonstrated beyond WE BELIEVE THAT THE CONFERENCE doubt that they possess the WILL PROVIDE A GREAT FORUM FOR knowledge and experience to assist others. LEARNING FOR TESTERS AT ALL LEVELS AND WE REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO The majority of our speakers TAKING PART IN 2014." have delivered or implemented

WHEN AND WHERE?

The National Software Testing Conferences will take place in May each year, with the inaugural event taking place on May 20th – 21st 2014 at The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG.

Allowing you to plan your trip in advance and remove any feelings of unrest caused by consistent location change, The National Software Testing Conference will serve the software testing community from the UK every year.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? The National Software Testing Conference is open to any business or professional that operates within – or takes an interest, or would like to be aligned with – software testing and quality assurance. The programme has been designed to cover core areas of software testing, including strategy, management, process and tools, and therefore The National Software Testing Conference would specifically suit: CIO’s CTO’s Directors of IT Heads of testing Directors of QA Testing managers Testing team leaders Directors of testing Chief architects Project managers Testing managers QA managers Chief engineers Practice heads of test

projects, strategies, methodologies,

management styles, innovations, LARA IRWIN, HEAD OF UK ground-breaking uses of technologies, MARKETING & ALLIANCES, or best practice approaches in the last SOGETI 12 months, and have won a prestigious European Software Testing Award (TESTA) as a result.

Speakers at the National Software Testing Conference are not just testing heads, managers, directors, or individuals that have been hand-picked due to their exceptional levels of knowledge. The speakers are active testing professionals that have and fought their way through literally dozens and dozens of like-minded professionals and come out on top. You can rest assured that our conference programme will deliver up-to-date and cutting-edge content. You will receive pragmatic advice to current issues that will allow you to head back to the office and implement change with immediate effect.

Key information • Taking place May 20th – 21st 2014 • Speakers include the winners from The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) • Two-day event • Executive Debate sessions • An exhibition showcasing the latest products and services • Supported by the industry leading journal, TEST magazine • Multiple streams covering an array of testing subjects • All refreshments included • Attendance for one day is £399.00 Attendance for two days is £449.00

To view the full programme, or to book your place, please visit www.softwaretestingconference.com

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

PAGE 19


TESTA

THE EUROPEAN SOFTWARE TESTING AWARDS

Headline Sponsor

WINNERS CATCH-UP

CELEBRATING TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE

TEST Magazine catches up with some of The European Software Testing Award (TESTA) winners to find out how their award has so far affected their business, and why they encourage fellow software testing professionals to enter this year… Headline Sponsor

Category: The eggPlant Best Mobile Project & The Thinksoft Testing Team of the Year Winners: Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Cognizant Technology Solutions “Winning the testing team of the year award has THE EUROPEAN TESTING been a realSOFTWARE boost for the AWARDS testing teams who work CELEBRATING TECHNICAL very hard, day in andEXCELLENCE day out, to assure quality in the software development lifecycle, and this certainly helps acknowledge the critical role that testing plays. “We were thrilled to win both awards but the team award in particular brought huge satisfaction as it is recognition for our delivery successes as a team, and all the efforts we put into continuous improvement of our testing/quality assurance services. In other words – it’s an award for everyone. “We would absolutely encourage others to enter this year – we should always have a Testing ‘Oscars’ like any other profession as it re-enforces the importance of what we do and is a great motivator – particularly when you win of course! “To those entering this year, our advice is to consider which categories play to your particular strengths

and achievements that year; also assume nothing in describing what’s been achieved and give detailed examples to support your award submissions. “The evening was highly enjoyable – it was a classy venue, the whole event ran very smoothly which I felt was a credit to the profession. I personally enjoyed the excellent post-awards networking opportunity with partner companies, sponsors and fellow competitors – and of course the judges!”

Tony Spilsbury, Director of Quality Assurance/Testing, Lloyds Banking

Category: Best Overall Use of Technology Winners: Jaspersoft

“It is always great to be recognised for such an accolade in this industry, we hope that it will help put Jaspersoft on the map and help people recognise the Jaspersoft brand. “We believe that it was a hugely important for our engineering team, they work so hard on new releases it was imperative that they were given the credit for this. “We would encourage others to enter this year because not only is it great to win an award, but it was a great night out and fantastic to be shortlisted even if you don’t win. Keep your entry interesting and think what it is that you do that is really different. “In regards to the night itself, it was a great night out and a lot of fun!”

The Jaspersoft team

PAGE 20

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


TESTA

Category: Best Overall Testing Project – Finance Sector Winners: LMAX Exchange

“Our award recognises the dedication and effectiveness of our test team, as well as the pivotal role that testing plays in every aspect of our continuous software delivery process. It is great to see testing being recognised for the role it plays in the successful delivery of software and specifically for the testing we do at LMAX Exchange to be selected by our peers to win the award. “In regards to encouraging others to enter this year, the simple act of putting together a submission, whether we won or not, gave us an opportunity to recognise the wideranging influence the testing team has and to reflect on the many things we already do and have achieved. “We started collaboratively with what turned out to be a very large mind-map of the various sections of submission and what we wanted to say about each. Each section was then written by a team member and put together as a submission before being edited down – this meant it was a team effort and everyone was engaged in its success; as with everything we do.

“The award has brought further recognition of the excellence of the testing team and innovative testing approach used by LMAX Exchange. Currently it is helping us in recruiting a new tester to the team, but it also helps client confidence in LMAX Exchange.

“The evening was a great chance to dress-up, something not normally associated with the tech team, and mix with not only your colleagues but also other passionate and knowledgeable testers.”

Chris Gollop, Test Analyst, LMAX Exchange

Category: Best Overall Testing Project – Public Sector Winner: Knowit “Winning has given us a great marketing boost. It also has energised our co-operation with our customer (Finnish Centre for Pensions), with whom we made our winning project. And last but not least, it also has improved our internal drive in our company. We have proven for ourselves that we can achieve major achievements if we continue doing our work well. “It is always nice to have appreciation from others about your work. So in that sense it has improved my feelings about my work significantly. It was only sad, that we could not celebrate this achievement together with our customer and with the whole team at the awards gala. But we have continued the celebration here in Finland and will continue doing so. “We would certainly encourage others to enter this year because in the hectic world of software development and testing, projects come and go after another. TESTA gives you a good possibility to summarise your project; to list what you have done well and maybe what you would have done differently. And learn from the things that you have done. And when you write it down on paper, it gives you a feeling that you have accomplished something

concrete. And that will give you a great pleasure, even if you don’t win. “Our advice is to do the retrospective with your project team after each project and if it looks promising fill in the application. And don’t be modest. We do miracles every day! “The evening was more than I expected. It was very classy, something that we are not used to in the Finnish software testing society. It was very well organised and the atmosphere and the feeling of the evening was very welcoming. I also had the good luck to have good company in my table, so it was very nice.”

Henri Grönblom, Knowit

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

PAGE 21


TEST DATA

A MAJOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM IS ON THE WAY – ARE YOU READY? 30, 41, 48, 51, 54 and 79: What do these numbers mean to you? If you aren’t already aware that these numbers will revolutionise how organisations use test data – then you should pay close attention, says Sopra Group…

THE RESULT OF THESE CHANGES TO DATA PROTECTION LEGISLATION WILL BE HUGE. UNLESS ORGANISATIONS WANT TO RISK HEAVY FINES, UNWANTED NEGATIVE PUBLICITY AND DAMAGE TO CORPORATE IMAGE OR REPUTATION (AND THE ASSOCIATED POTENTIAL STOCK MARKET CONSEQUENCES), THEY NEED TO SIT UP AND LISTEN

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FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


TEST DATA

O

n 21st October 2013, European Parliament voted to pass new data protection legislation aiming to “put people in control of their personal data, build trust in social media and online shopping and upgrade the protection of data processed by police and judicial authorities.” This will have a major impact on most organisations serving customers within the EU. The aim is to reach an agreement on this major legislative reform before the May 2014 European elections, with the changes being fully enforced by 2016 (in the UK, this will be governed by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)). One of the key areas this legislation is expected to affect is the practise of using unobfuscated copies of “live” data for testing purposes; a practise that many organisations are currently following. The Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) was produced by the LIBE Commission (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) and sets out the new rules. The document is fairly lengthy but the numbers mentioned earlier correspond to the key paragraphs that will impact test data practises for all IT departments, and they cover six main points:

THE TRUTH IS The result of these changes to Data THERE ARE SOLUTIONS Protection legislation AVAILABLE TO will be huge. Unless ORGANISATIONS TO AVOID organisations RAW, LIVE DATA BEING USED want to risk heavy FOR TESTING – AND YES, THEY fines, unwanted negative publicity WILL LIKELY BE DIFFICULT and damage to TO GET RIGHT, THEY WILL corporate image or COST MONEY, AND THEY reputation (and the WILL TAKE TIME TO associated potential IMPLEMENT stock market consequences), they need to sit up and listen. Then they need to address a decades-old bad habit: using “live” personal data for testing purposes.

HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS PREPARE FOR THESE CHANGES? It is very simple. All they have to do is use something other than raw, live data for testing. It has become a convenient myth that this is just too big and ugly a problem to resolve. We’ve heard many excuses: • It costs too much. • It can’t be done across heavily integrated systems. • The IT architecture is too complex. • Masking techniques are too slow or cumbersome.

•  Personal data should only be processed if the

Also, it takes some effort to select, buy and implement a test data management solution, and then you have to maintain the data to be aligned with production changes too. If you can get away with not doing anything, why would you incur the extra cost of doing something different?

•  Explicit consent will be required from customers

The truth is there are solutions available to organisations to avoid raw, live data being used for testing – and yes, they will likely be difficult to get right, they will cost money, and they will take time to implement.

purpose of the processing cannot be fulfilled by other means. Test data can always be sourced from “other means” so this in itself will be a driver for a change in test data provision and management practices. [para 30] in order for their personal data to be used for any data processing by an organisation. This means that if an organisation wants to use real customer data for testing, every single customer whose data is requested needs to explicitly confirm this is acceptable to them. [para 41]

•  All organisations dealing with personal data will be

forced to have data privacy procedures in place. Again this will include procedures to handle the provision of data for testing purposes. [para 30,48]

•  Any EU customer can ask their service provider to

articulate exactly where their personal data is being used and for what purpose. [para 48, 51]

•  Any EU customer who stops using a service provider

will have the “Right to be Forgotten”, meaning that organisations and their partners would need to proactively remove all current and historic test data relating to that customer. [para 54]

•  Non-compliance with any of the new restrictions

could result in very significant financial penalties being incurred (currently being proposed up to 2% of an organisation’s Global Turnover). [article 79]

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

One approach could be to use a copy of live data that has been stripped of all real personal information, and fully masked to prevent it being linked to an individual, before any processing is done in testing. Another option could be to synthesize data that looks just like live data, but which has been built completely from scratch. Or we could use a hybrid of the two approaches, where a masked copy of live is used, plugging the testing gaps with new, realistic, synthetic data. Sopra Group has highlighted this as a potential time bomb for many organisations, but there has been no real incentive to make changes, until now. More and more organisations are beginning to wake up to the fact that there will be serious consequences of using live data for testing. The UK ICO is already advising organisations on changes they should be making ahead of the EU legislation coming in to force. Remember the key numbers (30, 41, 48, 51, 54 and 79)? Make sure you are prepared!

PAGE 23


COVER STORY

HYPER-CONNECTED VEHICLES – A VISION FOR THE FUTURE As Renault and Orange collaborate on a research project to test the automotive uses of very-high-speed, 4G/LTE (Long Term Evolution) connectivity, Sophie-Marie Odum investigates what this means for future vehicles...

U

nder the partnership, Orange rolled out 4G in advance at Renault’s research and testing facilities. The aim is for both teams to test new uses made possible by very high-speed mobile technology in real-life situations, ranging from virtual office and cloud gaming to video conferencing. An initial test is underway on the NEXT TWO prototype based on Renault ZOE. Rémi Bastien, Head of Engineering Innovation at Renault, said, “This partnership is an example of an effective working relationship between two very different worlds. We were able to benefit ahead of time from a highspeed LTE network and from Orange’s expertise, with an opportunity to take advantage of the network for our prototype of the connected vehicle of the future.”

Nathalie Leboucher, Head of the Smart Cities Program at Orange, added, “We are delighted to provide Renault with the unrivalled performance of our 4G network and thereby contribute to the development of new webmobility uses and services for vehicles of the future. Connected cars with communications services make travelling more efficient, and this is a major development priority in Orange’s strategy.” Connected vehicles are already a reality. With Renault R-Link, Renault provides its customers with an integrated and connected multimedia touch tablet and it already features nearly 100 apps. Renault relies on the connectivity and know-how of Orange Business Services, which supplies the SIM M2M cards used in R-Linkequipped cars.

THE EVER INCREASING SOFTWARE SIZE AND COMPLEXITY OF AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS KEEP CHALLENGING SOFTWARE TESTING TO GO TOGETHER WITH TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS

PAGE 24

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


COVER STORY VitAL Magazine spoke with both companies to understand more about this partnership and what it means for motorists: How did this partnership arise? In the continuity of Renault and Orange’s partnership for R-Link solutions, our two companies wanted to strengthen their relationship on research projects by going forward with high broadband mobile connectivity and related applications for the driver and the passengers. Orange being the leader for the 4G roll-out in Europe, and Renault having a long history in the field of navigation systems (1986 with Carminat), this research project was evidence. Under the partnership, Orange has rolled out 4G in advance at Renault’s research and testing facilities, but what does this partnership mean for the future of 4G on vehicles? The goal of our partnership is to explore together the capabilities of 4G technologies embedded in the vehicle to provide value added services, video applications and broadband applications for our customers. What does the “real-life testing framework to explore connectivity applications on vehicles using high-speed technologies” involve? 4G enables real-time information in the vehicle and could enable new services such as video conference, VOD during automatic driving, but to also share 4G with the passengers using local wireless connection. The aim is for both teams to test new uses made possible by very-high-speed mobile technology in real-life situations, ranging from virtual office and cloud gaming to video conferencing – Please explain more about the mobile testing procedures involved? Orange made sure that its 4G coverage and characteristics where adapted to Renault’s technical environment during the tests and during the whole journey of the car. Orange also ensured the possibility to integrate its videoconferencing

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

application in the embedded environment of the car. Hence, Orange provided support for end-to-end testing of the applications. Please explain the initial test of the NEXT TWO prototype based on Renault ZOE NEXT TWO is a prototype of autonomous vehicle providing connected services developed for automatic driving moments (videoconference, online nearby information), more information will be presented soon. What does 4G/LTE connectivity in vehicles mean for motorists? This project is a way to enable the motorists to have a similar experience with their smartphone and in their car. Each universe is bringing its own advantages and specificities. With stories of cars now being targets for cyber criminals, has the issue of people’s privacy arisen? If so, how is this being combated? 4G, as its previous technologies, 3G, H+ bears a good level of security mechanisms, which are already at stake for banking and health applications. We provide all the safety requirements and NEXT TWO is a prototype so work is always in progress. Renault, what are your views of the current software testing industry With highest focus on product performance and quality, the software testing strategies continue to play the critical role in realising right verification and validation levels across complete product development cycle. The ever increasing software size and complexity of automotive applications keep challenging software testing to go together with technological advancements. The latest trends in test automation and formal verification methods are going to lead evolution in software testing processes and methods. Further, compliance to software safety standards and software security would be the key requirements for automotive application testing in the near future.

PAGE 25


AUTOMATED TESTING

THE FUTURE OF TESTING IS AUTOMATED Andreas Kuehlmann, responsible for global research and development activity at Coverity, discusses the rise of automated software testing, and how organisations need to adopt more thorough and efficient testing processes to ensure product launches go off without a hitch…

S

oftware defects took to the front page around the world in 2013 when the US national health insurance website, HealthCare.gov was plagued by problems that hampered its rollout. The site was intended to provide access to affordable health insurance, but instead became notorious for the problems that prevented it from working effectively. The controversy received a high level of attention not only within the US but globally, and eventually President Obama had to come out and provide a statement on the problems: “There’s no excuse for the problems. Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should.” That a website problem, which was the result of an inappropriate level of testing, could create widespread attention and a comment from the President, highlights how disruptive a software flaw can potentially be. The days when a software bug was simply an annoyance that could be tolerated are long in the past. Developers in every industry are now held to account like never before for the quality and security of the software they develop. From corporate software to video games, the quality of code has never been more visible to consumers and subsequently never been so important. Organisations of all types need to be more aware of the importance of software testing processes in order to ensure product launches or new website rollouts go smoothly, without impacting that organisation’s finances or reputation.

ADAPT TO SURVIVE Historically, development teams have been dependent on the use of manual testing, as it initially appears to be a faster and less expensive option. Manually carrying out a test takes a fraction of the time it does to automate it, as well as having the potential to be outsourced to save on up-front costs. These advantages of speed and cost effectiveness result in many organisations opting for manual testing so that they can get a product out the door quickly. However, this option doesn’t scale and, once adopted, the cost of switching to automated testing becomes very high. Consider that for every newly developed feature, the corresponding new test has to be performed – as well as tests from all the previously developed features in order to avoid regressions. Imagine how costly this would be to do for the HealthCare.gov site, which includes more than 500 million lines of code. In contrast, while the initial cost to develop automated tests is high, the cost to execute them is much lower, with the savings quickly covering the cost of the effort invested in its development. As a result, the lack of test automation

PAGE 26

could be viewed as a "technical debt" similar to a bad architecture or sloppily developed code.

WHILE THE INITIAL COST TO DEVELOP AUTOMATED TESTS IS HIGH, THE COST TO EXECUTE THEM IS MUCH LOWER, WITH THE SAVINGS QUICKLY COVERING THE COST OF THE EFFORT INVESTED IN ITS DEVELOPMENT

It has become clear then that the automating of testing is business critical for companies to remain competitive. It is critical for organisations moving toward an agile development process and is a pre-requisite for continuous delivery of services. Pressures are increasing on developers across industries to develop high quality code, at a prolific rate while operating with less budget. Regardless of the purpose of the code, this pressure will inevitably result in errors that automated testing could help to prevent. 

MOVING TO AUTOMATED TESTING Organisations can more easily make the journey to automated testing by initially evaluating which elements of their software code are most critical, then writing and running automated tests for these sections first, extending the capability and scale of testing over time. Some of the advantages of testing early and often generate: •  Higher quality releases, as a result of more bugs being

found earlier in development.

•  Lower development costs, as bugs are fixed while the

code is still fresh in the mind of developers.

•  Predictable release processes, resulting in the capability

to continuously deliver and a quicker time to market.

•  Reduced business risk, the early insight into potential

problems means there is a greater opportunity to make changes.

Those organisations that adopt automated testing become less vulnerable to potential defects and flaws. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact point where the problems challenging HealthCare.gov started, its difficulties brought the spotlight very firmly on the importance of early testing. With such challenges fresh in the minds of many, it presents a valuable opportunity for our industry to raise its profile and to help organisations move toward early automated testing.

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


THE EUROPEAN SOFTWARE TESTER

EXECUTIVE DEBATES

Offering you the key to successful solutions

• One-day event • Monthly • Lunch & refreshments provided • Central London venue • Network with like-minded individuals • Cutting edge content

For more information, contact Swati Bali on +44 (0) 203 668 6946 or email: swati. bali@31media.co.uk

Organised by 31 Media, Publishers of VitAL Magazine www.31media.co.uk

T H I R T YO N E


TESTING IN PRACTICE

CROWDSOURCED SOFTWARE TESTING Software test engineer, Reinhard Roemer, discusses how crowdsourced software testing can help rectify some of the problems software testing teams face when it comes to testing mobile apps…

CROWDSOURCING IS NOT THE CLASSICAL OUTSOURCING OF TASKS TO A THIRD PARTY COMPANY. IT IS OUTSOURCING TO THE INTELLIGENCE AND MANPOWER OF A COUPLE OF SPAR TIME WORKERS IN THE INTERNET

B

efore we talk about crowdsourced software testing, let’s have a look at what it means:

“In the classic use of the term, problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions.” This definition fits also for software testing. Last year I attended a conference that discussed crowd sourced software testing and four central questions were presented to the audience: • Are you member of a crowd? • Do you use crowd testing in your company?

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•  In the area of mobile apps: Do you think that crowd

testing is a benefit and do you know the expenditure of the organisation of test results? • Did you ever try to setup a crowd test? The conference addressed the problems when it comes to testing mobile apps, such as: •  Only 1/3 of the companies test mobile

apps systematically.

• IT managers complain of: • A lack of suitable tools (67%)

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TESTING IN PRACTICE

• A lack of available mobile devices (40%) • The availability of test experts (40%)

And this is where crowd testing can help.

FROM CROWDSOURCING TO CROWD TESTING Crowdsourcing is not the classical outsourcing of tasks to a third party company. It is outsourcing to the intelligence and manpower of a couple of spar time workers in the Internet. How a project works with the smart solution of crowd testing: 1. A customer with new software and a test manager organise a briefing. 2. The test manager selects testers with their own devices and ensures quality. 3. The testers write test protocols and report bugs and defects. 4. The protocols, bugs and defects are supervised by the test manager. 5. The test manager analyses the data and creates a final report with instructions to the customer. The project is finished within a week!

This model shows generic and existing process (phases) and the implementation of test types: Phases

Test types

Analysis

Analysis for competing products for strengths and weaknesses. Market Analysis.

Design

Test design prototypes. Comparing of different prototypes.

Implementation Iterative module tests. Functional tests. Test

Functional tests for the final product. Explorative Testing.

Operation and maintenance

End to end testing. Preparation of release updates

SUPPORT OF ITERATIVE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

This example shows the support in case of a SCRUM based   Support  of  iterative  software  development   development:  

This example  shows  the  support  in  case  of  a  SCRUM  based  development:  

 

Product   Owner  

Ready Tested   Product  

Testbird Project   Manage r  

   

Crowd testing covers:

•  Target groups with different test experience:

students, mothers, managers.

•  Certified testers: ISTQB, CAT (Certified Agile

Testers), test manager, project manager.

•  Specialists: Sales representatives, IT

administrators, craftsmen, online shop administrators and many more.

 

Test Requirements/Acceptance   Criterias  

Tester Feedback,  Acceptance   Criteria’s  fulfilled?    

Product   Backlog(User   Stories)    

Sprint Backlog  

Sprint Product  Development   with  integrated    testing  

 

PROBLEMS AND MYTHS OF CROWDSOURCED TESTING

CLASSIFICATION OF TESTERS At the conference, it was shared that the database of thousands of testers could be classified according to the following criteria: • Age:  16 – 20 (17%)

21 – 25 (32%) 26 – 30 (17%) 30 – 40 (20%) 40 – 50 (10%) >50 (4%) • Gender:

Male (62%) Female (38%)

• Professional Groups: Students (3%)

Employees (4%) Managers (6%) Freelancers (1%) Officials (9%) Pensioners (2%)

Problems

Items

Solution

 

Test coverage Domain   knowledge        

Privacy

Process documentation

Wide range of testers. Training of domain knowledge Two phase Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

Problems and  Myths  of  Crowd  sourced  testing    

MYTHS OF CROWDSOURCED TESTING Problems

Myths Items

Truth

Replacement of Crowdsourced testing is only classical testing one component. Crowdsourced testing shows new results. Replacement of classical test processes

Embedding crowdsourced testing in development process. Project management is essential.

References available on request

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INTERVIEW

THE CROSS-POLLINATION OF TESTING PRACTICES Sophie-Marie Odum talks to SEGA’s director of development services, about the testing processes required for the gaming industry and how the company relocated its QA facilities to London…

S

GAMES ARE ALSO POSSIBLY THE ONLY SECTOR WHERE ‘FUN’ IS A REAL CRITERIA THAT WE NEED TO ASSESS

onic the hedgehog, SEGA’s famous and hugely popular blue mascot graced the gaming industry back in 1991. However, Sonic is just one game SEGA is known for. SEGA first started manufacturing home computer game consoles in 1983, and it was during the late 80’s and early 90’s, that the SEGA Mega Drive and GameGear went head-to-head with Nintendo’s SNES and Gameboy. SEGA continued to make home video consoles through to 2001 before the decision was made to focus on just developing software.

“We now have a state-ofthe-art QA environment located alongside our existing publishing operation. This facility has the space, amenities and technology necessary to ensure we can support all territories necessary from this location. We have support services and tools to allow a fully transparent and agile approach to our testing service, as well as a management structure that seamlessly oversees all these areas.

Like any other industry, gaming software requires thorough testing to ensure quality, and a recent shift towards digital and mobile gaming has required SEGA to continue to adapt its business to satisfy new consumer demands, as well as continuing to create quality games for the PC and console markets.

“We also invested significantly in DevSuite and are in the process of migrating all of our internal studios onto this system. This investment allows us to create both standard and bespoke reports for the development teams with very detailed, real-time analysis of projects currently being tested.”

Speaking to Jim Woods, director of development services at SEGA West, he explained the software testing practises performed in the gaming industry that differ to other sectors.

SEGA now tests 95% of products developed outside of Japan at the London facility. Having QA in the same office as the publishing operation has helped increase efficiency and productivity. Jim explained, “Our producers form the critical link between publishing, development and QA. Having QA located alongside the publishing operation enables the producers to spend extended time with the test team, co-ordinating the flow of both game builds and bug information between QA and the development teams.

“In addition to the normal functional, destructive and localisation testing that takes place, there are a couple of obvious areas in which testing practise in the games industry differs from many other sectors,” he said. “We have to work with platform holders, the companies that manufacture the hardware, who each have their own set of standards and criteria with which anyone wishing to publish a game on their platform must comply. This means we need to ensure we adhere to not only our own test plans but our platform holder partners also. Games are also possibly the only sector where ‘fun’ is a real criteria that we need to assess.”

RELOCATING THE QA FACILITIES TO LONDON The offices based in Brentford are certainly very impressive – they feature acres of space and hundreds of employees who ensure quality game releases. Just two years ago Jim was responsible for where to locate the QA facilities for SEGA outside of Japan. After extensive research and evaluation of a number of possible options, Jim said it was clear that London was the best place to locate. “We reviewed locations as diverse as Eire, Canada, India, Eastern Europe and South Africa when looking at where to locate our QA facility,” explained Jim. “Each had their own benefits and incentives on offer, but they also had unique challenges for the business if we relocated there. “We looked at a number of options but when it came down to it we found the skills, experience and ability of the staff we already have in London would be incredibly difficult to replicate elsewhere in the world.

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“SEGA’s producers also then need to keep the marketing, PR and operations teams up-to-date with the latest changes, having all areas in the same location allows for much clearer and easier communication between the groups. “The game development process can often involve unplanned innovations and changes, with QA so close to the publishing operation our senior management team can review these changes and discuss their impact at very short notice. At SEGA, localisation and mastering and equipment are embedded with the QA group, again providing direct support to the publishing business, another benefit of the relocation. “We are very fortunate to have a very experienced management team at SEGA Europe, as well as the support of our colleagues in Japan, with whom we work closely to ensure that our business is aligned to market trends.”

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE SOFTWARE TESTING INDUSTRY Sharing his views on the current state of the software testing industry, Jim believes that it’s an under-recognised

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INTERVIEW

I BELIEVE THAT WE ARE STILL AN INDUSTRY THAT IS MATURING, AND PART OF THIS PROCESS NEEDS TO INCLUDE MORE CROSS-FERTILISATION OF IDEAS, PROCESSES AND SYSTEMS BETWEEN DIFFERENT SECTORS. I BELIEVE THAT AS A COMPUTER GAMES COMPANY, SEGA CAN LEARN AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT FROM OTHER SECTORS

industry. He said, “I believe that the software testing industry in general is under-recognised. Software is such an integral part of everyday life and we take it for granted that it just works. “There is very little understanding of the hours of testing and re-testing that goes on in order for a person to be able to check their bank statement online; see when the next train is due; or pass the time on their tube journey playing Sonic Dash, for example. Yet when things go wrong it can have a huge impact on a business. We only have to look at the uproar over certain banking systems failing to process online payments on Cyber Monday due to a ‘glitch’. “I believe that we are still an industry that is maturing, and part of this process needs to include more crossfertilisation of ideas, processes and systems between different sectors. I believe that as a computer games company, SEGA can learn an enormous amount from other sectors such as banking and business applications. “I also believe we have much to offer other sectors; we tackle problems that have previously been unique to games, but with the proliferation of mobile applications, may now be applicable to many other sectors. We are actively exploring options to encourage more discussions between different sectors of the testing industry and we hope this will receive support from the wider software testing industry.”

AUTOMATED TESTING One of the biggest trends affecting SEGA at the moment is the shift to automated testing, but there are a number of areas where it will improve efficiency. “One of the biggest software testing trends affecting us at the moment is the shift to automated testing,” said Jim. “The leap in complexity and content that the latest

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

generation of games consoles has brought means this is a very necessary evolution, as we need to constantly look for ways to improve our efficiency. “There are many areas where automated testing will not be appropriate, but we have already defined a number of key areas where we believe it will have a significant impact on the amount of coverage and speed of results. “Despite the complex structure of modern computer games, we need to invest time and effort into designing systems that will allow us to automate the detection and analysis of undesired outcomes. To this end we are currently recruiting SDETs (software development engineers in test) to ensure that SEGA is at the leading edge of automated software testing for the computer games industry.”

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE? As for the future of SEGA, as the gaming industry evolves there is lots on the horizon for this leading interactive entertainment company. “Computer games are seeing a shift towards the ‘Games as a Service’ business model,” explained Jim. “This broadly means that we no longer make a game, release it and move on to the next game, instead we provide additional content and features for consumers to enjoy new experiences in the same game for months, or even years, after their original purchase. “Existing processes aren’t designed for this type of model, so this is a new challenge for us. As a company, we are adapting to allow consumers to provide feedback based on their own experience after purchase to aid traditional methods of testing. We are also introducing automated testing systems, mentioned earlier, that can replicate in seconds what a consumer may spend months doing.”

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TEST CASE MANAGEMENT PAULA HEENAN LEAD TEST CONSULTANT, EXCEPTION

APPLYING PSYCHOLOGY TO THE ESTIMATION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE Paula Heenan, lead test consultant at Exception, uses psychology to explain decision-making and the implications this has on risk-based testing…

W

hen I tell people I’m studying psychology they either assume I’m analysing them or they start telling me their problems! Either way, a comment usually follows on how different it must be to what I do in my day job as test consultant. The reality is that there is a lot more cross-over than you may expect. A lot of what I have learned has been applicable to the softer side of my role, such as leading teams, for example. Most recently, I’ve been gaining a deeper understanding of cognitive psychology, which looks at how the brain processes information and how this affects our behaviour, memory and decision-making. This article will discuss mental heuristics, which are rules of thumb that the brain uses to reduce the amount of mental work (cognitive processing) required for complex tasks.

TO MITIGATE AGAINST AVAILABILITY BIASES WHEN TESTING, USE METRICS FROM PAST PROJECTS, CHECKLISTS AND WORK WITH OTHER PROJECT TEAMS TO UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITY AND RISK INVOLVED IN THE SYSTEMS UNDER TEST

Tversky and Kahneman’s 1974 paper, Judgment in Uncertainty, stated: “Many decisions are based upon beliefs concerning the likelihood of uncertain events such as the outcome of an election...” Though the discipline of software testing was still in its infancy in 1974, it is easy to see how this statement still applies today. As testers, we are often asked to make estimates on testing or likely location of defects, despite having no reliable information to base these upon. In this article, we’ll take a look at how three different heuristics, identified by Tversky and Kahnemenn, can affect testers’ judgement and how awareness of these heuristics can enhance the estimation process.

ADJUST AND ANCHOR The first heuristic is the “adjust and anchor” heuristic, which I think is particularly relevant to estimation. The anchor and adjust heuristic is when estimates are made by starting from an initial value and then adjusting. These initial values can be based upon memory of previous projects or by applying a general rule such as testing will be a certain percentage of development time. As we know, a large percentage of projects fail to start and complete on the planned dates, so we can deduce that there must be something wrong in how projects are estimated. The risk with using this heuristic is that the anchoring point may not be reliable. If the metrics we are anchoring on were wrong, it’s improbable that they will fit next time.

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To resolve issues with adjusting and anchoring it is beneficial to start afresh with estimation and use proven estimation techniques such as function point analysis. Naturally, unforeseen circumstances will influence test projects but having an awareness of how estimation can be affected by this heuristic improves the robustness of estimations.

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TEST CASE MANAGEMENT

REPRESENTATIVENESS The second heuristic, and to me the most complex of the three, is representativeness. It is relevant when planning what to test and covers a range of fallacies applied when making a judgment or estimation, including insensitivity to probability and misconceptions of chance and randomness. While these may not appear immediately or easily relatable to testing, some examples may help. When asked if a tall, blonde, glamourous woman

go right this time or that we may be fooled by the simple appearance of a user interface.

I BELIEVE THAT HAVING CHECKLISTS AND TRACEABILITY MATRIXES SUPPORTS HAVING SUFFICIENT COVERAGE, AND HAVING OPEN DIALOGUES WITH THE TECHNICAL TEAMS TO UNDERSTAND RISK WILL HELP FOCUS TESTING AND AVOID THE TRAP OF REPRESENTATIVENESS

So how do we avoid the traps of these heuristics to improve testing? I believe that having checklists and traceability matrixes supports having sufficient coverage, and having open dialogues with the technical teams to understand risk will help focus testing and avoid the trap of representativeness.

AVAILABILITY The last type of heuristic to be discussed is availability. As with representativeness, there is more than one factor that impacts the availability heuristic. One is imaginability; where the probability of an outcome is based upon imagined risks; another is the retrievability of information, which purports that people will estimate likelihood by how easily they remember past occurrences. Imaginability is very pertinent to risk-based testing, where assessing risk and imagining outcomes is a key part of the test planning. With regard to retrievability of information, when planning testing and identifying the critical areas to test, easily remembered functionality which has been problematic in the past may be focussed upon when, in the reality, the defect metrics and issue logs tell a different picture. wearing designer clothes is a model or a nurse, respondents are likely to respond “model”, being insensitive to the probability that there are more nurses than models in the general population. An example of misconceptions of chance and randomness would be that in a game of heads and tails, after a run of heads people are likely to predict tails as the next outcome, believing that tails must be due. Now to me these fallacies appear slightly contradictory; one saying that people ignore probability and that causes them to make errors in judgement and the other saying probability makes people ignore the 50/50 chance. They are applicable to how we judge where to focus testing – we may think that something that has failed a lot in the past must

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

For example, on a recent project there were two areas with a lot of defects. Team A managed their defects effectively and I had daily updates with the team lead. Team B had more issues managing defects; not all their developers had access to the defect system and there were a few resource changes that impacted defect fixing. The defects for Team B are more easily remembered yet they did not have more defects than Team A. This could result in incorrect judgements regarding how testing is planned and on the functionality to be tested. To mitigate against availability biases when testing, use metrics from past projects, checklists and work with other project teams to understand the complexity and risk involved in the systems under test. Again, checklists and traceability matrixes are helpful to ensure coverage is sufficient. These heuristics are only three examples of how studying psychology can be beneficial to QA and testing. While there is no magic solution to resolve these, being aware of them and putting tools in place to mitigate their occurrence will improve the reliability of future test estimation and planning.

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SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT RUI MONICA SENIOR ENGINEER CRITICAL SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES

TEST-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT: AN ANALOGY WITH THE ‘NATURAL’ WORLD Rui Monica, senior engineer at Critical Software Technologies, takes test-driven development and makes an analogy with the natural world…

T

est-Driven Development (TDD) is an evolutionary and iterative methodology that provides an alternative approach to software development. Whereas in traditional approaches tests are written retrospectively, after the code that they are designed to test, TDD reverses this approach by first writing the tests and then the code intended to pass them. A potentially useful metaphor for helping us to understand the TDD process is by analogy with how DNA “codes” for an organism’s functions, albeit indirectly through protein structures. Let’s say, for example, that we have been asked to engineer a new organism capable of surviving in a particular habitat. Just as software code needs to be written in a way that allows it to pass the process of software testing, DNA “codes” for physical characteristics that create behaviours that allow an organism to pass the tests a particular habitat might throw its way.

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LET’S GO TO WORK… We can begin to think about creating our organism by generating its DNA sequences, which create the genotype (the rough equivalent of “functions” in software programming) that will shape its phenotype (its observable characteristics) and thus its behaviours in the designated habitat. Of course, once we have the first version of our organism, we can’t throw the poor, unfinished and untested thing into the wild without properly working out if it has a chance of surviving. This would be the equivalent of launching a software product that has not been fully tested on the market, carrying a high risk of failure and a strong chance of damaging the reputation of the company responsible. Because we have been given the role of almighty creator, we can create a

BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE ROLE OF ALMIGHTY CREATOR, WE CAN CREATE A PRIVATE ZOOLOGICAL PARK, DESIGNED TO REPLICATE THE CONDITIONS OUR ORGANISM WILL FIND WAITING FOR IT IN THE “REAL WORLD”

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SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

THIS ZOO CAN private zoological park, BE SEEN AS THE designed to replicate EQUIVALENT OF A the conditions our organism will find SOFTWARE TEST BED, waiting for it in the DESIGNED TO TEST THE “real world”. This SUITABILITY OF THE DNA zoo can be seen as SEQUENCE, JUST AS WE ARE the equivalent of a ABLE TO TEST SOFTWARE software test bed, designed to test the CODE BEFORE IT IS USED suitability of the DNA IN THE REAL WORLD

sequence, just as we are able to test software code before it is used in the real world. Once we have created our zoo, we place our organism in this controlled environment to see what happens. If the organism survives, the test was successful and we can release the organism into the wild. If our poor organism perishes, we need to go back to the drawing board to refine and improve its design before giving it another go. Using the TDD approach to develop the organism is all about first creating the test “zoo’”, which we hope will accurately reflect the real-world environment that our organism will hopefully survive in. When our DNA sequence leads to an organism that fails in this test environment, we do not release it into the wild, as clearly, that sequence isn’t capable of creating an organism that can survive that habitat. Instead, we refine things. We examine the DNA sequence and systematically redesign it in a way we think will lead to an organism that is capable of surviving in our test environment. The aim is not to over-engineer, but to create a DNA sequence just good enough for the organism to survive. At each increment, we place our organism back in the zoo to see how the latest version of the DNA performs, until our organism is finally able to survive. Once we have a successful DNA sequence – our organism survives – we might want to re-examine the DNA to ensure it is “clean”, getting rid of redundant or unnecessary junk. In the software world, this roughly corresponds to “re-factoring”, where the internal structure of the code is changed without affecting its external behaviour. We might also consider adding more conditions to our test environment, such as extreme environmental conditions like floods or high temperatures, a virus or other organisms. We repeat our tests until we are happy that our organism has managed to survive all its ordeals. At this point, it’s time to release it into the wild, safe in the knowledge that our organism is designed to survive.

THE TDD RE-EVOLUTION Now, let’s step away from the natural world and immerse ourselves in the world of software. TDD relies on repeating a short and simple development cycle: 1. A  dd test: before any code is written, a test is created that takes into account all the possible inputs, outputs and error conditions. 2. R  un test: the test is run for the first time. It will probably fail. In the first instance, this is simply because no code yet exists to satisfy the test.

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3. W  rite code: the code is written, or improved to overcome any identified failings. This process can be repeated until the test is passed. 4. R  e-factor: once the test is passed, the code can be cleaned, or “re-factored”. As long as the code continues to pass the test, it works. This allows the code to be improved while eliminating concerns that any changes might introduce bugs. 5. Repeat: the whole process is repeated.

TO TDD OR NOT TO TDD? We have already discussed how TDD allows us to test code without having any prior knowledge of it that would prejudice the creation of the test. With TDD, any change in the code that would have implications on the software’s external “behaviour” or function is guaranteed to be tested, because the test exists before the code is written. TDD can also help drive the overall design of the software. Because TDD focuses on creating the tests first, it can be a useful way of ensuring subsequent coding places the function being tested at the heart of the software. A further advantage to using TDD is that it allows programmers to take small, incremental steps in evolving code. Consider, for example, the case where a new software function is required. A few new lines of code are added and the software is tested again. If the software fails the test, we will know this is likely because of the introduction of new lines of code, making problematic code much easier to find than if we are trying to look for the proverbial needle in the haystack; looking through thousands of lines of code in the complete piece of software. Finally, TDD requires developers to think about software in smaller units that can be implemented and tested independently before integration. This leads to cleaner, more versatile and more flexible software. So, should we all start using TDD right away without a moment’s hesitation? Not necessarily. Although, theoretically, TDD is scalable, in reality it can be an issue. Another problem can arise when tests created in a TDD context are written by the developer who writes the code. This means that both tests and code could share the same blind spots. Furthermore, because of TDD’s reliance on unit tests, some problems might arise not from faults within the units themselves, but rather from their interactions when they function as part of a bigger system. However, there’s no doubt that TDD has real merit in the world of software testing. It avoids clouding the tester’s mind with code that already exists and tests can focus specifically on the system functions required. It also allows for complete test coverage of the code and helps to eliminate code that doesn’t have functional value. Ultimately, no software testing approach offers a one-size-fits-all solution, but TDD is another useful tool in the quest for more efficient and effective testing methods.

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Focus on: Problem solving WILLIAM MONTGOMERY CEO TEN

HOW LEADERS SOLVE PROBLEMS William Montgomery, CEO of TEN, discusses the best way to solve problems in the workplace…

W

ith as many problems as we are all faced with at our work and in life, it seems as if there is never enough time to solve each one without dealing with some adversity along the way. Problems keep mounting so fast that we find ourselves taking shortcuts to temporarily alleviate the tension points — so we can move onto the next problem. In the process, we fail to solve the core of each problem we are dealt; thus we continuously get caught in the trap of a never-ending cycle that makes it difficult to find any real resolutions. Sound familiar? Problem solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do. As leaders, the goal is to minimise the occurrence of problems – which means we must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances force our hand. We must be resilient in our quest to create and sustain momentum for the organisation and people we serve. But the reality of the workplace finds us dealing with people that complicate matters with their corporate politicking, self-promotion, power-plays and ploys, and envy. Silos, lack of budgets and resources, and many other random acts or circumstances also make it harder for people to be productive. Competitors equally create problems for us when they unexpectedly convert a longstanding client, establish a new industry relationship, or launch a new product, brand or corporate strategy. Mergers and acquisitions keep us on our toes and further distract us from solving existing problems by creating new ones. I’ve often contended that the best leaders are the best problem solvers. They have the patience to step back and see the problem at-hand through broadened observation; circular vision. They see around, beneath and beyond the problem itself. They see beyond the obvious. The most effective leaders approach problems through a lens of opportunity.

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Leaders who lack this wisdom approach problems with linear vision – thus only seeing the problem that lies directly in front of them and blocking the possibilities that lie within the problem. As such, they never see the totality of what the problem represents; that it can actually serve as an enabler to improve existing best practices, protocols and standard operating procedures for growing and competing in the marketplace. They never realise that, in the end, all problems are the same – just packaged differently.

A LEADER MUST NEVER VIEW A PROBLEM AS A DISTRACTION, BUT RATHER AS A STRATEGIC ENABLER FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT AND OPPORTUNITIES PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN

A leader must never view a problem as a distraction, but rather as a strategic enabler for continuous improvement and opportunities previously unseen. Whether you are a leader for a large corporation or a small business owner, here are the four most effective ways to solve problems:

1. COMMUNICATE TRANSPARENTLY: When there’s a problem, it’s important that everyone feels able to express their concerns and opinions freely. I’ve seen one too many times how difficult it is to get to the root of the matter in a timely manner when people do not speak up. Effective leaders facilitate open dialogue and work for accountability from the entire team.

2. BREAK DOWN SILOS: Workplace problems frequently arise from organisational boundaries. Breaking down those barriers will create a more

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


Focus on: Problem solving

open culture and decrease competition, which, in turn, should lessen office problems. A great leader understands this, and acts on it.

3. FOSTER AN OPEN-MINDED CULTURE:

NEVER SHOOT FROM THE HIP WHEN PROBLEM SOLVING. situation and the opportunities AVOID GUESSING. that each problem represents. TAKE ENOUGH TIME TO Make the problem solving STEP BACK AND ASSESS process more efficient by THE SITUATION AND THE recognising that each problem OPPORTUNITIES THAT has its own nuances that may require a distinct strategy towards a EACH PROBLEM viable resolution. REPRESENTS

In the end, problem solving is about people working together to make the organisation and the people it serves better. To accomplish that, it’s essential to have open-minded and positive people in the office, and that’s the leader’s responsibility.

4. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION: Successful leaders are experienced problem-solvers. When trouble hits, they know from past encounters how to work with the right people and resources to reach a solution. The worst way to approach an issue is without an underlying strategy. Take enough time to step back and assess the situation. Never shoot from the hip when problem solving. Avoid guessing. Take enough time to step back and assess the

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

You know that you have great leadership in your organisation when problem solving becomes a seamless process that enables the people and the organisation to grow and get better. If problem solving creates chaos, you may have a serious leadership deficiency. Problem solving is the greatest enabler for growth and opportunity. This is why they say failure serves as the greatest lesson in business and in life. Be the leader that shows maturity, acts courageously, and requires accountability. Applying each of these lessons can help you become a master problem solver. Each experience teaches us all new things. Embrace problem solving and the many unseen treasures it represents.

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FOCUS ON: PROBLEM SOLVING ROS TAYLOR PSYCHOLOGIST ROS TAYLOR COMPANY

GLOBAL TEAMS AND IDEAL ‘Q’ When working with teams across the world, it’s important that effective communication is maintained to ensure outstanding performance, says psychologist, Ros Taylor…

L

eaders across the ages have wrestled with the ideal way for teams to deliver best performance. And this challenge just got more challenging with the advent of global teams.

To help with this quest, Brian Uzzi, Professor of Leadership at Kellogg School of Management, came up with the concept of “Q”. He was interested in what made up the perfect team to deliver a successful show, musical or play – comfortable comrades, new faces or a mixture of both? The amount of Q denoted degrees of closeness and social intimacy of the people working together on a show. Should the ideal team be comprised of those who know each other really well and have worked together before? Or do completely new faces bring a breath of fresh air to the delivery mix? Uzzi found that when people didn’t know each other, had few connections and never worked with each other before then their productive endeavours were more likely to end in failure. They simply found it too difficult to collaborate and exchange ideas. If you can extrapolate the concept of Q to the general workplace (I think there are parallels – creativity dependent on new ideas, team work, marketing, delivery

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and customer satisfaction), then we do expect people to work together globally who haven’t met each other and have no relationships, except by conference call or, if lucky, once a year at an away day. When Q is too high (everyone knows each other and have worked together before), and everyone is too comfortable with each other, they tend to think in similar ways, called “group thinking”, which also leads, in Uzzi’s terms, to productive failure. Again we can extrapolate to the boardrooms of the nation; similar backgrounds, similar views, doing what they have always done, less innovative, productive performance. So the ideal Q, according to Uzzi, is a mixture of relationships; some close, others less and there is also a place for even new and fresh relationships added to the group at intervals. Having worked with many global companies, here are some guidelines for keeping in touch using web technology so that even remotely you can try to obtain your “ideal Q”.

GLOBAL TEAM TIPS • If starting a new team or hiring a new team member start where possible with a face-to-face meeting. The “getting to know you” is accelerated. If using

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


FOCUS ON: PROBLEM SOLVING

psychometrics (which every good leader should use, global or not) carry out the “debrief” face-to-face. So much can be misunderstood if tests are not fully explained and those on the receiving end can think the results immutable which they are not. They are a great short cut to understanding strengths, working out “team fit” and a huge help in working out how to target individual motivation and communication. Sharing CVs, photographs and perhaps, if everyone agrees, their psychometric test results help to create relationships. • If communicating via video, tele-or Internetconferencing this requires to happen more regularly than office-based meetings. You can bump into people when under the same roof but if the only bumping is by task focussed email then your team will feel starved of support. • So many leaders I talk to find it a challenge to make their global team interactions fun. They are all too aware that team members could be playing Sudoku, washing the dishes or perhaps even working for someone else while they are present at a teleconference. The leader ends up doing all the talking in a frenzied stand- up comedian way trying to be “Internet inspirational”. Providing an agenda and getting the team to complete work in advance and present

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

their findings in a succinct way all help to make these virtual meetings more compelling.

EVALUATE CONSTANTLY. AN ONLINE ANONYMOUS QUESTIONNAIRE ALLOWS A SNAPSHOT OF HOW A TEAM IS FEELING ABOUT THEIR SUPPORT. YOU CAN ALSO MONITOR THE NUMBER OF IDEAS RECEIVED AND PROBLEMS SOLVED BY THE TEAM. AND OF COURSE TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION IF THEY ARE UNHAPPY

• How you capture team ideas for change and build on them from a distance is a challenge so I searched for and discovered a great online postit device at en.linoit.com. There is a ‘lino’ board online and you are provided with different post-it colours and everyone can post ideas on the team board during the meeting. Try it out. Fun, involvement and ideal Q at a stroke.

• Evaluate constantly. An online anonymous questionnaire allows a snapshot of how a team is feeling about their support. You can also monitor the number of ideas received and problems solved by the team. And of course take immediate action if they are unhappy. Maintaining small groups within smaller company structures seems to work better in delivering consistent and innovative performance. And let’s face it, nowadays we are asking teams to do more with less, do things differently all the time and at a distance. So monitor your Q.

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FOCUS ON: PROBLEM SOLVING HAMISH TEDESCHI DIRECTOR OF TESTING MAGENTYS

WHY (I THINK) TEST PREPARATION IS A WASTE OF TIME Hamish Tedeschi, director of testing at MagenTys, explains why he thinks test preparation is a waste of time…

I

n my first job as a tester, I was told we had three months to prepare the tests for a release of upcoming software.

The tests were to be at a detailed step level, even though I had never seen the application and was probably not going to until the initial release. I did have detailed requirement documents and functional specifications, but I read these and re-read these and still could not fathom what the application would look like and how it may behave in certain areas. I certainly knew how it should behave in certain areas as the requirements were quite specific, but in other areas less so. It was obviously up to me to “fill in the blanks”, but at times, I’m not sure you can really ever know what all the blanks are. IT can be like the Donald Rumsfeld quote, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know”. Of each of the recognised learning styles, I would certainly be classified in the “learning by doing” class. This type of learning, which is arguably the most popular type, especially amongst children, does not really fit well with the concept of preparing for something, which is as yet, intangible. Like most children, I respond better when being engaged in practical activities, rather than reading from textbooks (or functional specifications). I also understand a requirement better if you give me a tangible example. As I was a newbie though, I accepted that this is the way it should be done and the people around me all appeared very comfortable with the notion of preparing for something which was likely to change; was based on assumption; and would end up producing a large amount of waste (or throw away test scripts). I was also told that test automation was something reserved for regression testing, which to me didn’t make sense, but I’ll discuss that another time. As time went on, I realised that, while this was the accepted norm, it wasn’t the only way of doing things. In fact, there was a whole methodology devoted to the practise of quicker feedback and less preparation. Not only this, but I could, heaven forbid, make my own rules! If I could gain the trust of stakeholders, then I could persuade them that we may not have to do things in the accepted “old” way, but instead do it a newer way where I would still provide them with all the information

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk

necessary to enable them to make the best decision necessary on the future of their software/product. So why is test preparation (not planning) a waste of time?:

• TIME There is no longer the time to spend on preparing alone. We (as an IT team) are under increasing pressure to provide visible results, quicker. We need to reduce timeto-market, but also maintain a high level of quality, especially with the advent of mobile technologies. If you approach a product team and suggest the same level of development time to prepare (not just execute) tests, you will be ridiculed or laughed at. While testing is starting to be recognised as a much more important part of the process, it can no longer be seen as a process added on at the end.

• CHANGE Today, the rate of change is fast. Too fast in fact to cope with (extended) test preparation. Some may say this is bad because you will always be playing catch up. However, if you are smart and use the right tools to assist you in your particular environment, change can be managed effectively and risk can be reduced as a result, all the while providing the information necessary to the correct people.

• TEST PHASES A period of test preparation implies a period of test execution. In many cases, you no longer are afforded the opportunity for a dedicated period of test execution and likewise a tester (or whatever role we apply to this person) does not get to define entry and exit criteria any more. Did/should they ever have been able to? Whatever or whoever gave the tester the power to judge whether software was fit-for-purpose? Their role has always been to convey the facts about software (under certain conditions) and for the customer/product owner/ stakeholder (or whatever we want to call them) to make the final decision about the “acceptance” of the software. Please don’t misinterpret what I am trying to say. Planning is essential, in whatever form that may take, however, my argument is that we spend (or have spent) too much time preparing for something which does not yet exist. Some may be able to cope with this, but the bulk of us will not be able to.

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LAST WORD DAVE WHALEN PRESIDENT AND SENIOR SOFTWARE ENTOMOLOGIST WHALEN TECHNOLOGIES HTTP://SOFTWAREENTOMOLOGIST.WORDPRESS.COM

YOU WASH MY BACK... By Dave Whalen

I

s it “wash” or “watch”? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter… We’ll go with wash.

I was recently speaking at a local software testing conference on the benefits of test automation and my presentation attracted a lot of software developers. Since I knew that my presentation would discuss some writing of Java code, I had a huge disclaimer on the first slide following the overview: I AM NOT A DEVELOPER! Actually, I write what I like to call “street Java”. I’ve never taken a class in object-oriented development. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no slouch either. When I was in the Air Force, I used to teach computer programming. Of course that was 30 years ago and included things like line numbers and “goto” statements. The language I taught is obsolete and nobody has ever heard of it (ATLAS for the curious amongst you). But it was still coding and I was pretty good at it. At the time of this presentation, I had been writing objectoriented code in both Java and C# for a few years. Was it efficient? No. Did it work? You bet! Could it be better? Absolutely! Could I use help? Yes please. So I told my life story during the presentation, secretly hoping it would generate enough sympathy to silence the critics as we reviewed a simple class that I had written in Java. Nope! As soon as the first block of code hit the screen, the hands flew up. “Why didn’t you create a base class and then inherit it later?” “Why don’t you create an external class for common functions and call it when you need it, rather than having the same code in every class?” I wanted to respond, “Well, because, I, umm, shut up!” Most testers are not coders. I’m certainly not. More importantly, coders do not want to be testers. They see having to test as punishment really. But I need their help. What to do? The solution is quite simple. You wash my back and I’ll wash yours. No, it’s not the plot to some adult movie. It’s mutual respect. I learned long ago that the care and feeding of the development staff was vital to the success of any project. Besides, when a product is released and it is virtually errorfree, who gets the credit? Not the testers. The customers will marvel at how wonderfully skilled the development staff is. Now reverse the scenario. If the application is released and it is full of errors, the customers will wonder “Who tested that?” So if it’s good, they get the credit. If it’s bad, I get the blame. The bottom line is that if I do my job well, they look good, not me. It’s a situation that I came to terms with years ago. Do I like to throw it in the faces of the development staff? Absolutely! Every chance I get. It keeps them humble.

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IF THE APPLICATION IS RELEASED AND IT IS FULL OF ERRORS, THE CUSTOMERS WILL WONDER “WHO TESTED THAT?” SO IF IT’S GOOD, THEY GET THE CREDIT. IF IT’S BAD, I GET THE BLAME

Plus I throw them a dozen donuts every now and then just in case.

The key? Build a rapport with your developers. They’re actually very nice people (mostly). If you’re stuck on a coding problem, ask for help. I have found that they are usually flattered that you asked and will bend over backwards to help. When you get right down to it, it’s an ego thing. I’ve learned a lot from my developers over the years. They once caught me online looking at a website for a local community college as I was trying to find a Java class that I could take. They wouldn’t hear of it. Besides, they told me, what they teach you in class is not how we do it in the real world. They adopted me as their student and they recommended a book to use. They made me feel like one of them. It was a truly amazing experience. Unfortunately, my contract ended and I had to move on. But, I’m no longer just a tester. I’m a Super Tester. In addition to the usual testing tasks, I have become somewhat of an expert in test automation. I love it! The developers on my new job have been surprised at my skills. I have recently asked to participate in code reviews. Unheard of! Absurd! But, they reluctantly gave in and said yes. I may have threatened to cut off their donuts. I forget. Bottom line, I think I’ve provided some pretty good inputs and I’m still learning. My current project is written in C#. Luckily it is very similar to Java so I’ve picked it up pretty quick. I’m even writing tests in C#. Ultimately, they become better coders and I become a better tester. A win-win! I’m still a street coder with no desire to be a professional developer… I could probably do it, but ewww!

FEBRUARY 2014 | www.testmagazine.co.uk


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TEST Magazine - February-March 2014  

The February-March 2014 issue of TEST Magazine

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