Test Design Techniques

We’ve discussed quite a few different testing techniques, so I would like to offer some personal reflection on what we’ve learned so far. Udemy has a great blog highlighting many of these techniques; it is entitled Test Design Techniques You Need to Know. I will summarize some points from Udemy’s blog which I feel directly relate to what we’ve discussed in class so far.

Udemy begins by explaining the concept and importance of Software Testing, which I feel is an intricate part of Software Development itself.  As we’ve learned in class, we test our software to ensure the quality and integrity of our products. We want to be able to detect and fix any flaws in our products before they reach the consumer.

Udemy classifies testing techniques as a whole into two general categories: black-box and white-box. We’ve learned in class that we do not need access to the actual code to perform black-box testing of a product. In contrast, we ought to have access to the program’s internal structure and/or source code to perform testing techniques in the white-box category.

Many of the techniques we’ve discussed in class seem to fall within the black-box testing category, so I will focus primarily on that category. Udemy lists some techniques of black-box testing, three of which sound very familiar due to what we’ve done in class:

  • Boundary value analysis: This is where we test the lower and upper limits of possible inputs. After finishing a class project and reading thoroughly about this technique, I feel that if our code is going to fail, there is a significant chance in finding these errors somewhere close to the minimum, nominal, maximum range.
  • Decision table testing: Udemy describes this as evaluating conditions of our code within a table, where every decision correlates with a relation, predicate or variable. The blog cites this technique as “providing great confidence in the test cases.” I tend to agree with this statement because as we’ve learned in class, decision tables are good at analyzing complex logical relationships within our projects.
  • Equivalence class partitioning: We use this technique to partition a complete set into subsets, and test each of these “equivalence classes.” Since we’re partitioning the sets, I believe this technique can be used as an efficient way of reducing the total number of needed tests as a whole.

Udemy concludes by explaining that a decision test design technique is the best way to obtain absolute logical coverage. I would like to learn more about this topic; perhaps we will be discussing it in class soon. The blog also emphasizes that we ought to use boundary value analysis and equivalence partitioning to cover a wide range of inputs.

After reading Udemy’s blog, I am convinced that all of the summarized techniques are used everyday in Software Development as a whole. Thus I am confident I will be using many (if not all) of these techniques in my professional career.

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