When most people think of automated tests they picture automating what a manual tester does in running the tests. Sometimes this is what we desire, but it isn’t the most powerful way to use test automation. This tutorial is about extending our reach to do testing that cannot be done manually; working beyond the automated execution of manual tests by evaluating massive volumes of data, monitoring program activities not observable by humans, or exploring ever-changing areas of the program. This tutorial covers these types of tests with a focus on exploratory automated tests (EAT) and automated test oracles for evaluating software behavior for the tests.
EAT is a testing approach that uses the power of the computer to look for bugs that functional testing misses. Unlike regression tests that do the same thing each time they are run, exploratory tests do something different each time. Through the power of the computer, many of these tests can run and check millions or billions of functions – numbers unthinkable with manual tests, automated scripts, or even table-driven automation. These techniques go after bugs that are virtually impossible to expose or isolate in manual testing.
Automated test oracles increase the power of the tests by potentially exposing multiple types of errors, often without modifying the tests themselves.
- Exploratory Automated Tests.
- The power of automated oracles.
- Frameworks for oracles, emphasizing automated oracles.
- Twelve mechanisms for oracles.
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Doug Hoffman – President, Software Quality Methods, LLC.
Douglas Hoffman BACS, MSEE, MBA, ASQ-CSQE, ASQ-CMQ/OE (quality management), ASQ Fellow. Douglas has over 30 years of experience as a consultant, manager, and engineer in the computer and software industries with a solid foundation in computer science, electrical engineering, and management. In addition to teaching, he provides organizational assessments, strategic quality planning, and test planning services. His recent technical work has focused on equivalence class analysis, test oracles, and advanced automation architectures. He is an ASQ Fellow, Senior Member of ACM and IEEE, and holds ASQ Certificates in Software Quality Engineering and Manager of Quality/Organization Excellence. He holds credentials for teaching Computer Science at the college level and has taught university classes at the University of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz Extension, Florida Institute of Technology, and Howard University. He is a founder, Lead instructor, and Past President of the Association for Software Testing (AST).