How Many Pairwise Tests Required (In the Face of Combinatorial Explosions)

This webcast continuing from where, Combinatorial Explosions Explained (Software Testing Example), left off.

This video shows how well designed test plans can achieve full pairwise testing coverage with a very small number of tests. And as the total number of permutations increase exponentially as more parameters and parameter values are added properly designed test plans can provide full pairwise coverage with very few tests.

This is not possible for a person to manually do but using the right algorithms to create a test plans can provide amazing benefits.

Related: More Coverage, Fewer Tests™84% of Software Defects Found in Production Could Have Been Found Using Pairwise TestingLooking at the Empirical Evidence for Using Pairwise and Combinatorial Software TestingHow to Pack More Coverage Into Fewer Software TestsHow Do You Know You are Executing the Right software Tests?

Soap Opera Testing Presentation by Hans Buwalda

Hans Buwalda gave this presentation on Soap Opera Testing at the Hexawise software testing talks during StarEast 2017.

Quote from Hans’ article explaining Soap Opera Testing:

The end users were the people with the most practical knowledge, but they had no IT or QA background. The testers lacked the proper financial background and the day-to-day experience. To solve this, the testers and end users were asked to sit together in small work groups (four to five people each) and come up with stories based on the most extreme examples that had happened, or that could happen in practice. Imagination was invited and exaggeration was welcome. To help the process, I asked the groups to imagine that they were writing soap operas.

Michael Bolton (from the video):

I am so excited by Hans’ presentation… He has touched on this fork, and the fork is, are we going to confirm repeatedly, relentlessly, the same stuff, that we have seen over and over and over again (which I worry sometimes the action word stuff drives us into) or are we going to do really exciting stuff that soap opera is good for. Which is to actually investigate what happens when things are non-routine and things are non-routine far more often than we believe. I love the soap opera concept, I absolutely love it.

Hans:

Exploratory testing is all about curiosity. If you are not curious you do not find bugs…

Hans also mentions “exploratory test design” where you think about the business (not the User Interface UI).

This idea of planning exploratory testing is often overlooked. It is important to think about the critical business rules and how those ideas should be tested. Planning out areas and concepts that need to be covered during exploratory testing is important. Soap Opera Testing can help with this, as can Hexawise test plans which help you consider interaction effects.

Related: Testing Smarter with Hans BuwaldaMaximizing Software Tester Value by Letting Them Spend More Time ThinkingUsing Hexawise to Reduce Test Cases by 95% While Increasing Test Coverage

Combinatorial Explosions Explained (Software Testing Example)

It is impractical in many situations for testers to test every possible permutation of software tests.

In this video Justin Hunter, the founder of Hexawise, explains how combinatorial explosions impact software testing. He explains how to quickly calculate the total possible number of permutations exist in simplified systems under test using several examples.

The video ends with a reference to a continuation of this discussion in the next video: How Many Pairwise Tests Required (In the Face of Combinatorial Explosions).

Related: Combinatorial Testing, The Quadrant of Massive Efficiency GainsMind Maps: What, Why and HowCombinatorial Testing for Software

Using Hexawise to Reduce Test Cases by 95% While Increasing Test Coverage

Kathleen Poulsen spoke on using Combinatorial Software Testing at Fidelity Investments during the StarEAST conference in 2017.

Hexawise sponsored an evening gathering with short talks on software testing by various experts. Kathleen discussed the use of Hexawise at Fidelity Investments, as seen in this video.

We hope you enjoy this video. We plan on added several more from the speakers at the evening sessions.

Kathleen, in the video:

We had more than 20,000 less than 30,000 test cases that were in place. 95% of them were redundant; either with the integration layer below them or themselves because people would come on board for 6 months and they would quit and go somewhere else and someone else would come along and reinvent exactly the same test.

I could see that now. When we went with in Hexawise we could see how many tests it actually took and just so small compared to what we had been testing. The first time I ran the full suite of [new Hexawise designed] tests I went back an hour later and I told the manager “we’re done you can move ahead you’re all right now.” By “move ahead” I meant promote to a new environment. And he said, “what, I thought I would see you again in 2 weeks.

That’s the kind of difference it is making.

Related: Examples of the Benefits of Using Hexawise at a Large Bank QA DepartmentHow Do You Know You are Executing the Right software Tests?Too Many Tests

Testing Smarter with Santhosh Tuppad (Full Interview)

This interview with Santhosh Tuppad is part of our series of “Testing Smarter with…” interviews. Our goal with these interviews is to highlight insights and experiences as told by many of the software testing field’s leading thinkers.

Santhosh Tuppad fell in love with computers when he was 12 and since then his love for computers has increased exponentially. He founded his first startup in 2010 and was part of growing the company to nearly 80 people.

In short, he is a passionate software tester, security researcher, entrepreneur and badass in following his heart come what may!

Santhosh Tuppad speaking in front of screen of text
Santhosh Tuppad

Personal Background

Hexawise: What drew you into a career in software testing?

Santhosh: I have loved computers since I was 12. My father enrolled me into a computer course and I got to experience Disk Operating System for the first time where I used computer using command-line terminal and also played Prince Of Persia game. And I was addicted to gaming during this phase.

After my gaming stint, I was introduced to the internet and picked up an addiction for IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Here, I met various hackers and used to communicate with them on various channels which were heavily moderated and were invite only. I had to demonstrate my interest in hacking to these folks to invite me to their channel. My first hack was to hack the dial-up network credentials and use them at my home when the internet shop used to close at night. We used to have Internet Packs at those times in India and I had to pay money to buy those: and I did not have money during my teenage years.

Without much ado, let’s skip to software testing part. After my graduation, I did not know what should I be doing (one thing I knew for sure was, anything that I do has to be with computers as I was passionate). I switched 5 jobs in 1 month and worked as IBM technical support guy, Creative Designer, XML Language Translator, PHP Developer and some other profession that I cannot remember as of now. I understood that, I cannot settle for anything which doesn’t synchronize with my heart. I was on the journey of finding which becomes part of me. And finally, I enrolled for the software testing course. And during the course days, I could connect my hacking skills (security testing) to software testing. This part of my life is what I call finding bliss.

And the story continued and I started growing in the industry as a tester, international speaker, participant in conferences across the globe, entrepreneur in software testing, keynote speaker, blogger, author and what not.

Hexawise: If you could write a letter and send it back in time to yourself when you were first getting into software testing, what advice would you include in it?

Santhosh:

Oh my dear soul,

I see that you have found yourself in a country where everyone is pressurized to become something else than they want to be. You identified something crucial and beautiful about yourself, that is you follow your heart with patience and kindness and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make you come alive. Like I know, passion is a variable and it may get boring at times; but being bored is just a temporary phase and an emotion which doesn’t mean your passion is dead. So, be rational and decide for yourself while you are kind to others. Accept yourself and forgive everyone.

You are stepping into what you love and I know you are confident about your journey and you believe in it. That’s beautiful.

It may be easy to fall into routine and get into monotony of things in your career. Nevertheless, you know how to sail through things and get out of them to start fresh or continue in a different path. You can swiftly shift based on your visceral.

Grow by following your visceral feelings and have no regrets. Be good at connecting the dots and growing out of them. The beauty of software testing has not been known by the world so well as of today, so work on your skills and demonstrate them to the world and educate professionals and students about the greatness of software testing. It’s not about you or me or anyone, it’s about next generation testers who could help their next generation and their generation to enjoy the fruit of invention which includes software. Let software make the life beautiful and not buggy.

I know that you know about your journey, but I am just saying.

With love,
Your other self

Hexawise: Describe a testing experience you are especially proud of. What discovery did you make while testing and how did you share this information so improvements could be made to the software?

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Why are We Paying to Run These Software Tests?

The Hexawise coverage matrix displays pairwise coverage as each test is run in the test plan. The Hexawise created test plans also put the tests in order that provides the most coverage as quickly as possible (so if you have to release before you finish the test plan you have achieved as much coverage as possible with the tests you managed to execute).

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Related: Introducing the Hexawise Coverage Matrix!How do I understand the testing coverage achieved by my Hexawise-generated tests?

Testing Smarter with Mike Bland (Full Interview)

This interview with Mike Bland is part of our series of “Testing Smarter with…” interviews. Our goal with these interviews is to highlight insights and experiences as told by many of the software testing field’s leading thinkers.

Mike Bland aims to produce a culture of transparency, autonomy, and collaboration wherever he goes, in which “Instigators” are inspired and encouraged to make creative use of existing systems to drive improvement throughout an organization. The ultimate goal of such efforts is to make the right thing the easy thing. He’s followed this path since 2005, when he helped drive adoption of automated testing throughout Google as part of the Testing Grouplet, the Test Mercenaries, and the Fixit Grouplet.


Mike Bland

Personal Background

Hexawise: If you could write a letter and send it back in time to yourself when you were first getting into software testing, what advice would you include in it?

Mike: When I first started practicing automated testing and had a lot of success with it, I couldn’t understand why people on my team wouldn’t adopt it despite its “obvious” benefits. One of the biggest things that experience, reading, and reflection has afforded me is the perspective to realize now that different people adopt change differently, at different rates and for different reasons, and that you’ve got to create the space for everyone to adapt accordingly.

As I say in my most recent presentation, “The Rainbow of Death”, metrics and arguments are far from sufficient to inspire action in either the skeptical or the powerless, and the greater challenge is to create the cultural space necessary for lasting change.

Oh, and you’ve got to repeat yourself and say the same thing different ways multiple times—a lot.

Hexawise: What change management lessons did you learn while driving adoption of test automation methods at Google between 2005-2010? Which of those lessons were applicable when you were involved in the recent U.S. federal government effort to bring in talented tech people to bring new ways of working with technology into the government? Which of those lessons were not?

Mike: The top objective is to make the right thing the easy thing. Once people have the knowledge and power to do the right thing the right way, they won’t require regulation, manipulation, or coercion—doing things any other way will cease to make any sense.

Most of what I learned in terms of specific approaches to supplying the necessary knowledge and power has come from trying different things and seeing what sticks—and I’m still working to make sense of why certain things stuck, years after the fact. The most important insight, as mentioned earlier, is that different people adopt change differently, for different reasons, and as a result of different stimuli. Geoffrey A. Moore’s Crossing the Chasm was the biggest eye-opener in this regard.

Then, years later, when I saw fellow ex-Googler Albert Wong present his “Framework for Helping” to describe his first experience in the U.S. Digital Service, I instantly saw it snapping in place across the chasm, describing how the Innovators and Early Adopters from Moore’s model—who I like to call “Instigators”—need to fulfill an array of functions in order to connect with and empower the Early Majority on the other side of the chasm. Of course, through the filter of my own twisted sense of humor, I thought “Rainbow of Death” might make the model stick in people’s brains a little better.

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2 Minute Introduction to Hexawise Software Testing Solution

This short video gives a quick overview of the Hexawise software as a service solution and a very high level overview of software testing with a focus on interactions between parameters/factors.

Learn more about pairwise and combinatorial software testing practices: Introducing the Hexawise Coverage Matrix!How to Pack More Coverage Into Fewer Software TestsCreate a Risk-based Testing Plan With Extra Coverage on Higher Priority Areas

Too Much to Test and Not Enough Time to Test It All

beginner videoJustin Hunter’s presentation at the 12th annual international software testing conference in Bangalore, India, December 2012.

The techniques discussed focus on how to reduce the amount of time spent selecting and documenting test scripts, reduce the amount of tests needed for execution by creating unusually powerful tests and thus increase the thoroughness of software test suites.

The talk explored the significant risks, for users, companies and employees of failing to catch software application failures before release (for example, looking at releasing Apple Maps with significant failures). And discussed how combinatorial (also orthogonal array or pairwise) software testing can be used to create test plans that test a large number of parameters/factors quickly.

The slides from the presentation:

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