Meeting of the Software Quality Group of New England

Meetings of the Software Quality Group are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each
month at the facilities of Sun Microsystems, Burlington (Driving directions below).

MEETING DAY & DATE: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 TIME: 6:15 PM

HEADLINE: Alternatives to GUI-based regression as strategies for high volume testing

SPEAKER: Cem Kaner, software development consultant and author

MORE INFO: John Pustaver, 978-443-4254,

LOCATION: Sun Microsystems, Burlington MA(Driving directions below)

DESCRIPTION: Today's dominant style of automated testing is done at the level of the
graphical user interface. When the GUI changes, the test case needs maintenance.
In some companies, the dominant testing cost is maintenance of the GUI-based
test suite.

Today's dominant objective of automated testing is regression testing. Run the
same tests as you ran before, but a little faster and a little cheaper than you
could do by hand. However, if the program passed a series of tests before,
re-running those tests is not likely to be the most effective method for finding new bugs.

This talk looks at some of the alternatives to the GUI-level regression
paradigm. In particular, I'll explore examples of high volume testing in which
the test cases are generated and evaluated by computer, running new tests every
time. These approaches are not silver bullets. They involve their own
development and maintenance costs. They are applicable to some issues and not
others. They won't replace your staff or (probably) become your dominant testing
technique. But under the right circumstances, they are powerful tools.

Cem Kaner is the primary author of Testing Computer Software and of Bad Software, What to Do When Software Fails. Cem has managed every aspect of software product development. He is also an attorney whose practice focuses on the law of software quality. Cem has been an important figure in the battle against UCITA, a law that would make it more difficult to bring a software producer to account for defective software.