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13 Cards in this Set

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What is 'Software Quality Assurance'?
Software QA involves the entire software development PROCESS - monitoring and improving the process, making sure that any agreed-upon standards and procedures are followed, and ensuring that problems are found and dealt with. It is oriented to 'prevention'.
What is 'Software Testing'?
Testing involves operation of a system or application under controlled conditions and evaluating the results.

Testing should intentionally attempt to make things go wrong to determine if things happen when they shouldn't or things don't happen when they should. It is oriented to 'detection'
What are some recent major computer system failures caused by software bugs?
In July 2004 newspapers reported that a new government welfare management system in Canada costing several hundred million dollars was unable to handle a simple benefits rate increase after being put into live operation. Reportedly the original contract allowed for only 6 weeks of acceptance testing and the system was never tested for its ability to handle a rate increase.
Why do software bugs occur?
Miscommunication - the specifics of the application's requirements.

Porgramming errors, changing requirements, time pressures, poorly documented code, other software developement tools such as scripting tools, libaries can bring in bugs also to the code.
What is verification? validation?
Verification typically involves reviews and meetings to evaluate documents, plans, code, requirements, and specifications. This can be done with checklists, issues lists, walkthroughs, and inspection meetings.

Validation typically involves actual testing and takes place after verifications are completed.
What kinds of testing should be considered?
Black box testing - not based on any knowledge of internal design or code. Tests are based on requirements and functionality.

White box testing - based on knowledge of the internal logic of an application's code. Tests are based on coverage of code statements, branches, paths, conditions.

regression testing - re-testing after fixes or modifications of the software or its environment. It can be difficult to determine how much re-testing is needed, especially near the end of the development cycle. Automated testing tools can be especially useful for this type of testing.

load testing - testing an application under heavy loads, such as testing of a web site under a range of loads to determine at what point the system's response time degrades or fails.

stress testing - term often used interchangeably with 'load' and 'performance' testing. Also used to describe such tests as system functional testing while under unusually heavy loads, heavy repetition of certain actions or inputs, input of large numerical values, large complex queries to a database system, etc.

performance testing - term often used interchangeably with 'stress' and 'load' testing. Ideally 'performance' testing (and any other 'type' of testing) is defined in requirements documentation or QA or Test Plans.
What are 5 common problems in the software development process?
poor requirements - if requirements are unclear, incomplete, too general, and not testable, there will be problems.

unrealistic schedule - if too much work is crammed in too little time, problems are inevitable.

inadequate testing - no one will know whether or not the program is any good until the customer complains or systems crash.

featuritis - requests to pile on new features after development is underway; extremely common.

miscommunication - if developers don't know what's needed or customer's have erroneous expectations, problems are guaranteed.
What are 5 common solutions to software development problems?
solid requirements - clear, complete, detailed, cohesive, attainable, testable requirements that are agreed to by all players. Use prototypes to help nail down requirements.

In 'agile'-type environments, continuous close coordination with customers/end-users is necessary.

realistic schedules - allow adequate time for planning, design, testing, bug fixing, re-testing, changes, and documentation; personnel should be able to complete the project without burning out.

adequate testing - start testing early on, re-test after fixes or changes, plan for adequate time for testing and bug-fixing. 'Early' testing ideally includes unit testing by developers and built-in testing and diagnostic capabilities.

stick to initial requirements as much as possible - be prepared to defend against excessive changes and additions once development has begun, and be prepared to explain consequences. If changes are necessary, they should be adequately reflected in related schedule changes. If possible, work closely with customers/end-users to manage expectations. This will provide them a higher comfort level with their requirements decisions and minimize excessive changes later on.

communication - require walkthroughs and inspections when appropriate; make extensive use of group communication tools - groupware, wiki's, bug-tracking tools and change management tools, intranet capabilities, etc.; insure that information/documentation is available and up-to-date - preferably electronic, not paper; promote teamwork and cooperation; use protoypes and/or continuous communication with end-users if possible to clarify expectations.
What is software 'quality'?
Quality software is reasonably bug-free, delivered on time and within budget, meets requirements and/or expectations, and is maintainable.
What is 'good code'?
'Good code' is code that works, is bug free, and is readable and maintainable.
What is 'good design'?
Good internal design is indicated by software code whose overall structure is clear, understandable, easily modifiable, and maintainable; is robust with sufficient error-handling and status logging capability; and works correctly when implemented.
What is the 'software life cycle'?
The life cycle begins when an application is first conceived and ends when it is no longer in use. It includes aspects such as initial concept, requirements analysis, functional design, internal design, documentation planning, test planning, coding, document preparation, integration, testing, maintenance, updates, retesting, phase-out, and other aspects.
What is Extreme Programming and what's it got to do with testing?
Extreme Programming (XP) is a software development approach for small teams on risk-prone projects with unstable requirements

Customers are expected to be an integral part of the project team and to help develope scenarios for acceptance/black box testing