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A survey of software testing practices in alberta

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3 Author(s)

Software organizations have typically de-emphasized the importance of software testing. In this paper, the results of a regional survey of software testing and software quality assurance techniques are described. Researchers conducted the study during the summer and fall of 2002 by surveying software organizations in the Province of Alberta. Results indicate that Alberta-based organizations tend to test less than their counterparts in the United States. The results also indicate that Alberta software organizations tend to train fewer personnel on testing-related topics. This practice has the potential for a two-fold impact: first, the ability to detect trends that lead to reduced quality and to identify the root causes of reductions in product quality may suffer from the lack of testing. This consequence is serious enough to warrant consideration, since overall quality may suffer from the reduced ability to detect and eliminate process or product defects. Second, the organization may have a more difficult time adopting methodologies such as extreme programming. This is significant because other industry studies have concluded that many software organizations have tried or will in the next few years try some form of agile method. Newer approaches to software development like extreme programming increase the extent to which teams rely on testing skills. Organizations should consider their testing skill level as a key indication of their readiness for adopting software development techniques such as test-driven development, extreme programming, agile modelling, or other agile methods.

Published in:

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Canadian Journal of  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 3 )