“Good Manual Testers are hard to find..”

In order to do better testing, testers should understand the quality attributes. Testability is one important quality attribute.

Testability is the degree of difficulty of testing a system. This is determined by both aspects of the system under test and its development approach.

  • Higher testability: more better tests, same cost.
  • Lower testability:  Weaker tests, same cost.

When the degree of testability is lower, then there are chances of skipping bugs during the testing. Main causes for lower testability –

1. Functional/Non-functional Requirements – Poor/unambiguous requirements written by the author. Insufficient requirement reviews by testers.

2. Technical requirements/Architecture/Design of the system – Development teams concerns functionality for the customer, not for the testers. Testing Team does not get Management support and testing team not involved in the design meetings.

Higher testability can be achieved –
Note – Testability is not only testable, but also Easy to Test. The goal of increasing the testability of software is not just to detect defects but more importantly, to detect defects as soon as they are introduced.

1. If requirements are explicitly defined. The source for many improvements to the testability of the system will stem from the requirements. Business Analyst should keep the requirements language simple so that it should be easily understandable by testing and dev teams.
While reviewing the requirements/specifications – testers/test case designers should inspect requirements for testability. But how Testers can inspect the requirements for testability?
– James Bach has defined the Heuristics of Software Testability. Go thru this checklist. This is very useful while reviewing the spec documents.

– Go thru Guidelines and Checklist for Requirement Document Review.

2. Testers should be involved in the software design/architecture meetings, so that testers can understand how the software system is being developed. This is very required because it will help testers in understand the design, the complexity of the system and relations of one function/module with another function/module. This will help testers in getting the higher testability. Thru this testing team knows which programs are being touched in what scenario.
Sometimes, to cover the client’s requirements, development team develops the requirements in a complex way which makes the testing difficult. For example, developers might include some nightly jobs (db jobs) in the system which corrects the data. Now these things increase the complexity of the system which results into lower testability. These things should be avoided. This is one more reason that why testers should be involved in the software design/architecture meetings


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