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Managing the Testing Process: Practical Tools and Techniques for Managing Hardware and Software Testing

Book Description

An updated edition of the best tips and tools to plan, build, and execute a structured test operation

In this update of his bestselling book, Rex Black walks you through how to develop essential tools and apply them to your test project. He helps you master the basic tools, apply the techniques to manage your resources, and give each area just the right amount of attention so that you can successfully survive managing a test project!

Offering a thorough review of the tools and resources you will need to manage both large and small projects for hardware and software, this book prepares you to adapt the concepts across a broad range of settings. Simple and effective, the tools comply with industry standards and bring you up to date with the best test management practices and tools of leading hardware and software vendors. Rex Black draws from his own numerous testing experiences-- including the bad ones, so you can learn from his mistakes-- to provide you with insightful tips in test project management. He explores such topics as:

  • Dates, budgets, and quality-expectations versus reality

  • Fitting the testing process into the overall development or maintenance process

  • How to choose and when to use test engineers and technicians, contractors and consultants, and external test labs and vendors

  • Setting up and using an effective and simple bug-tracking database

  • Following the status of each test case

  • The companion Web site contains fifty tools, templates, and case studies that will help you put these ideas into action--fast!

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Author
    3. Acknowledgments
    4. Introduction
    5. Defining What's on Your Plate: The Foundation of a Test Project
      1. What You Might Test: The Extended Test Effort
      2. From Microscope to Telescope: Test Granularity
      3. What You Should Test: Considering Quality
      4. What You Can Test: Schedule, Resources, and Budget
      5. Case Study
      6. Exercises
    6. Plotting and Presenting Your Course: The Test Plan
      1. Why I Write Test Plans
      2. How Many Test Plans?
      3. Using Drafts to Stimulate Discussion
      4. A Test Plan Template
      5. Overview
      6. Bounds
      7. Quality Risks
      8. Proposed Schedule of Milestones
      9. Transitions
      10. Entry Criteria
      11. Exit Criteria
      12. Test Configurations and Environments
      13. Test Development
      14. Test Execution
      15. Risks and Contingencies
      16. Change History
      17. Referenced Documents
      18. Frequently Asked Questions
      19. Selling the Plan
      20. Clarity, Pertinence, and Action
      21. Bonus Test Planning Templates
      22. Case Study
      23. Exercises
    7. Test System Architecture, Cases, and Coverage
      1. Test System Architecture and Engineering
      2. It's Not Saint Paul's, But... Principles for Test System Architecture
      3. The Bricks and Mortar of the System: Test Cases
      4. Avoiding the Dreaded "Test Escape": Coverage and Regression Test Gaps
      5. "There's a Lesson to Be Learned Here...": Test Case Incremental Improvement
      6. You Can't Do It All: Deciding What Not to Do
      7. Case Study
      8. Bonus Case Study
      9. Exercises
    8. An Exciting Career in Entomology Awaits You: A Bug Tracking Database
      1. Why Bother? The Case for a Formal Bug Tracking System
      2. So, What Seems to Be the Problem? The Failure Description
      3. Flexible Reporting: Beginning to Construct a Database
      4. The Vital Few and the Trivial Many: Ranking Importance
      5. Putting the Tracking in Bug Tracking: Adding Dynamic Information
      6. Finishing Touches: Capturing Bug Data for Analysis
      7. Extracting Metrics from the Bug Tracking Database
      8. Managing Bug Tracking
      9. Case Study
      10. Exercises
    9. Managing Test Cases: The Test Tracking Spreadsheet
      1. Building a Minimalist Test Tracking Spreadsheet
      2. Making Enhancements
      3. Putting the Test Tracking System in Motion
      4. Extracting Metrics from the Test Tracking Spreadsheet
      5. Case Study
      6. Exercises
    10. Tips and Tools for Crunch Time: Managing the Dynamic
      1. Do Sweat the Details: Staying on Top of Everything
      2. A Spider's Web of Connections: Managing Test Hardware and Software Configuration Logistics
      3. Expect the Unexpected: A Change Management Database
      4. Case Study
      5. Exercises
    11. Stocking and Managing a Test Lab
      1. Do You Need a Test Lab?
      2. Selecting and Planning a Lab Area
      3. The Test Lab Inventory
      4. Security and Tracking Concerns
      5. Managing Equipment and Configurations
      6. Keeping the Test Environment Clean
      7. Human Factors
      8. Case Study
      9. Exercises
    12. Staffing and Managing a Test Team
      1. The Right Person for the Job: What Kind of People Make Good Test Engineers
      2. Defining the Test Team: How Many Whos Do What?
      3. Specialists or Project Resources? Organizational Models
      4. Hiring Testers
      5. Giving a Damn: Motivating Your Test Team
      6. Extending Your Talent: Using Temporary Experts and Implementers
      7. Case Study
      8. Exercises
      9. Test Automator
    13. The Triumph of Politics: Organizational Challenges for Test Managers
      1. Don Quixote, Champion of Quality: What's Your Job, Anyhow?
      2. Where You Fit: The Test Group in the Organization
      3. What Else Fits? Adding Other Functions to Test
      4. Working with Other Managers: Directions of Test Management
      5. Testing in the Dark: Should You Proceed without Documentation?
      6. Pink Slips: Layoffs and Liquidation
      7. Presenting the Results: The Right Message, Delivered Properly
      8. "You Can Tell the Pioneers"... The Effect of Early Adoption on Test
      9. Exercises
    14. Involving Other Players: Distributing a Test Project
      1. Choosing Your Partners
      2. Planning a Distributed Test Effort
      3. Managing a Distributed Test Effort
      4. Case Study
      5. Exercises
    15. Testing in Context: Economics, Life Cycles, and Process Maturity
      1. Is Quality Free? The Economic Justification for the Testing Investment
      2. Where Testing Fits into the Life Cycle
      3. Process Maturity
      4. Managing the Testing Process: A Retrospective Conclusion
      5. Case Study
      6. Exercises
    16. Hardware Testing Fundamentals: An Introduction for Software Testing Professionals
      1. Test Management
      2. Basic Functionality and Self Tests
      3. Electrical Testing
      4. Environmental Tests
      5. Mechanical Life
      6. Thermal Tests
      7. Reliability
      8. Packaging Tests
      9. Acoustics
      10. Safety
      11. Radiation
      12. Standards and Regulations
      13. Components and Subsystems
      14. Integrated Software
      15. Supplier Quality Engineering
      16. Pilot Testing
      17. Case Study
    17. Bibliography, Related Readings, and Other Resources
      1. Where Do I Go Next, Rex?
      2. Bibliography and Related Readings
      3. Help on the Internet
      4. Nonprofit Organizations
      5. Publications
      6. Contacting Me
    18. Glossary