Friday, May 26, 2006

Software testing FAQ - No. 17

Is not it obvious to all sentient beings that the Roman’s invented software testing?

That question was sent in by Roman Polanski.

Oddly enough we had a similar question way back at Software testing FAQ No. 3 although it was a little less assertively put.

The answer remains No.

Software testing

Friday, May 19, 2006

Software testing FAQ - No. 16

Reports are breaking that there was a fifth Teletubby who left the group before they broke into TV and is hiding out as a software testing consultant . My question to you is how ridiculous does a Teletubby look when engaged in agile testing?

That question was sent in by Jeremy Paxman. Not sure if that question is a quiz question or part of probing interrogation. Either way I can’t say that I have heard of these reports you mention. I even searched a software testing news blog but found no mention of any such story. I do not know if your question deserves an answer. If you are unhappy with that response please ask the same question again.

But may I be permitted to turn the tables and ask you a question (or two)? My second question to you is why do you think a Teletubby (with their rotund build, limited intelligence and incoherent utterances) could go unobserved in the world of software testers?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Software testing FAQ - No. 15

Is there a SIC code specifically for software testing companies?

That question was sent in by the Phantom Flan Flinger from Tiswas. It’s nice to hear from the Phantom. There was a time when the whole nation was gripped by his antics, before they moved onto the delights of Wayang Kulit and wearing hoodies. Some say that Norris McWhirter was the Flan Flinging Phantom. If this was so then, surely, there would be some records in the Guiness Book of Records about flinging flans or the like. There are none. Furthermore, Norris died in 2004. It is far more likely that the Phantom was Benny Mills.

The UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities is used to classify business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activities they are engaged in.

There is no SIC code for software testing as such. Perhaps we should lobby for one. Most companies that specialise in software testing choose one or more of the following codes:

  • 7220 - Software consultancy & supply
  • 7222 - Other software consultancy and supply
  • 7260 - Other computer related activities

So the short answer is no.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Software testing FAQ - No. 14

What is software testing ? If it is results-orientated, can win matches and makes sure that over the next four years I win a major trophy then I need to know more about it.

That question was sent in by Steve McClaren. The question is straight-forward and I recommend Wikipedia for the full definition.

Software testing is the process used to help identify the correctness, completeness, security and quality of developed computer software. With that in mind, testing can never completely establish the correctness of arbitrary computer software. In computability theory, a field of computer science, an elegant mathematical proof concludes that it is impossible to solve the halting problem, the question of whether an arbitrary computer program will enter an infinite loop, or halt and produce output. In other words, testing is criticism or comparison, that is comparing the actual value with an expected one.

There are many approaches to software testing, but effective testing of complex products is essentially a process of investigation, not merely a matter of creating and following rote procedure. One definition of testing is "the process of questioning a product in order to evaluate it", where the "questions" are things the tester tries to do with the product, and the product answers with its behavior in reaction to the probing of the tester.

Although most of the intellectual processes of testing are nearly identical to that of review or inspection, the word testing is connoted to mean the dynamic analysis of the product—putting the product through its paces. The quality of the application can, and normally does, vary widely from system to system but some of the common quality attributes include reliability, stability, portability, maintainability and usability. Refer to the ISO standard ISO 9126 for a more complete list of attributes and criteria.

There is plenty of additional information about software testing on the Wikipedia site. You may also enjoy which combines a dictionary, an encyclopedia and a web directory.

As for the statement following your question, Steve, I think you are confused about software testing. I suggest you get a grip of yourself, or people may start thinking you are a bit of a turnip head.