When in the cycle does formal testing begin?

Extreme and agile programming styles that emphasize up-front testing may lead to testing earlier on in the development cycle. But, said Cutter Consortium Analyst E.M. Bennatan, “generally speaking, testing starts late.” A recent Cutter survey results bear this out.

According to Bennatan’s research, most respondents using agile methods felt that testing was easier with agile methodologies than with traditional methods. “You are taking small steps, so you have less to test at each iteration. As a result, testing is much more successful and [fewer] bugs actually get through,” he explained.

“The difficult thing is to test large chunks of software,” Bennatan said. “It is much easier if you can test two or three person-years of software and the next time in the cycle, do it again.”

But the largest single group (44%) in a recent Cutter survey waited until the end of coding to begin testing. And another sizable group (12%) waited for integration of major software modules to begin testing.

As integration becomes a larger part of the development picture, waiting for integration -- of enterprise application packages and other integration elements -- may become a bigger part of the test planning problem.

“Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing you can do about it,” said Bennatan. “When you [rely on] components from other organizations, you sometimes must wait until they are delivered.”

Please see the following related stories:

New ways to test packages” by Lana Gates and Jack Vaughan

Dow Chemical uses Optane to fine-tune SAP” by Lana Gates

A sampling of testing tools” by Lana Gates and Maggie Madden

Toolmakers await ‘wireless revolution’” by Mike Bucken

Or click here for a Web-only Special Report on Testing.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.


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