February 13, 2009

Seminar on Inspecting Specifications before Testing Software

Posted in inspections, Portland Technical events, software testing, Specification Quality Control, specifications at 5:14 am by mknight1130

This evening, Erik Simmons, spoke about catching the majority of defects by inspecting the specifications before the final version is written. The idea is to have the specification author write about 60-120 words at a significant time period before the specification is due. At this point the author may feel a little guarded about what is written since it is not complete. But, by inspecting these pages,a team of testers can get a sense of the “defect density” per page in the spec. Basically, inspection reveal positive and negative trend( e.g. missing language, unbounded quantifiers, etc..). The negative trends are specification defects. The testing team gives feedback to the author. Then the author knows what to change, as needed, when writing the final spec. The result is a better quality spec which translates into potentially less system defects. Erik explained how this can be used during Agile software development. It was a very interesting talk and I could see how this can be beneficial before beginning manual and automatic testing. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in different kinds of testing scenarios and in different company cultures.

The approach to inspecting specifications is based on Gilb and Graham’s Software Inspection
. Here is a review to the book, http://www.exampler.com/testing-com/writings/reviews/gilb-inspection.html. For books describing alternative approaches towards inspection and/or software testing try the Reviews of Software Product Development Books, Articles and Web Pages . The listing appears here, with some feedback: http://www.exampler.com/testing-com/writings/reviews/kaner-tcs.html

For additional events, like the one above, geared towards the Portland Oregon community, try Caligator http://calagator.org/. This is a great tool to see what technical seminars, pertaining to software development and testing, are planned in the next couple of months.

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