Testing Extreme Programming

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Overview

The rapid rise in popularity of Extreme Programming (XP) has put the practice of software testing squarely in the spotlight of application development. At one time, testing was a neglected practice, a highly specialized activity that came as an afterthought as complex, code-intensive projects were rushed to completion. But in today's world of escalating quality expectations, testing is a key component of the development process.

XP accelerates testing by demanding its complete integration with development. This in turn has pushed software professionals to rethink their traditional attitudes toward testing. XP asks the entire development team to embrace testing. In fact, testing is so critical to the XP methodology that programmers are required to write automated tests before they begin coding. Until now, however, there has been a distinct lack of instruction specific to testing and how it relates to XP.

Testing Extreme Programming is a practical tutorial that gives software builders a lucid understanding of this important aspect of development. This book demonstrates how testing is central to the XP project, clearly spelling out what testing should be done and when and how it should be performed. The authors teach by example, and readers will be able to improve their knowledge of the testing process by completing the book's exercises.

In addition, this book:

  • Provides a general overview of the XP methodology
  • Defines the roles of XP team members
  • Shows how to write effective tests before coding begins
  • Helps you avoid the traps and pitfalls that can derail software projects
  • Sheds light on the important practice of refactoring and how it relates to testing
  • Compares and contrasts manual and automated tests

Many software engineers have dismissed XP as a throw-out-the-rulebook, anything-goes technique. It isn't. As this book shows, XP is a deliberate and disciplined approach to software development. Many software engineers have reaped the benefits of this agile methodology because its emphasis on testing eliminates much of the risk inherent in software projects. XP helps developers produce software on time, under budget, and at a higher quality level. But you can't XP if you don't test. With this book as a guide, you will learn to embrace testing. A sound testing program is the engine that drives an XP project.

0321113551B09262002

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321113559
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 10/25/2002
  • Series: XP Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Crispin has more than ten years of experience testing Web applications, databases, 4GLs, middleware, and business applications. She first elbowed her way onto an XP team in July 2000. Lisa has published articles based on her XP testing experience in STQE Magazine, Novatica, and other technical journals. She has also presented technical papers and seminars on XP testing in the U.S. and Europe.

Tip House, a chief systems analyst at the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, has twenty-five years of experience in software development, testing, and quality assurance. Tip is a Certified Quality Analyst, Certified Software Quality Engineer, and trained Lead Ticket Auditor. He is the creator of numerous tools for test automation and software configuration, including the WebART tool, and is the author of numerous papers and presentations on software testing, software measurement, electronic document control/collaboration, and XP.

0321113551AB09262002

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Read an Excerpt

This is a book about being a tester on an Extreme Programming (XP) team. It plugs a gap in the currently available XP materials by defining how an XP tester can contribute to the project, including what testers should do, when they should do it, and how they should do it. We wrote it because we think XP is a better way to develop software and that more teams should use it. We believe an acknowledged place in XP teams for testing and quality assurance will help bring that about.

Our goals in this book are to

  • Convince current XP practitioners that a tester has a valid role on the team
  • Convince testing and quality assurance professionals that XP offers solutions to some of their worst problems
  • Convince both groups that testers are needed just as much in an XP project as in a traditional development project
  • Provide enough detail and practical example to allow you to either perform the XP tester role yourself or work productively with a tester on your team, whether you're an XP newbie or veteran, tester, programmer, guide, customer, or manager

We hope that if you're not currently using XP, you can influence your organization to try it. Even if your team uses some other process for software development, we think you can apply "extreme testing" practices to add value.Because not everyone will be familiar with XP, we provide an overview of the basic concepts in the introduction and describe a few aspects in more detail as necessary throughout the text. But this will be a bare-bones summary, at best. We list several excellent books on the subject in the bibliography, and a wealth of information is available on the Web.

The book is divided into three major sections:

Part I: The XP Tester Role
This is where we define what we think the tester role is (and is not), how a project will benefit from it, what's in it for the tester, and generally why XP needs a tester role.

Part II: Test Drive through an XP Project
Here we navigate an XP project step by step and suggest what goals to shoot for, which activities to engage in, and helpful techniques to try as a tester on an XP project.

Part III: Road Hazard Survival Kit
Finally, we provide some resources to help you cope when the real world doesn't conform to the ideal XP project: large projects, for instance, where an XP team is embedded in a larger, non-XP effort or when critical XP practices are modified or omitted.

We've tried to keep things as practical as possible and have provided real-life examples. We've also included exercises, so you can try the ideas out for yourself. The exercises are built around an XP project to develop a simple Web-based tracking application. We provide portions of the application at various stages for you to practice on.

We think you'll find this book helpful if you're already a member of an XP team, if you're a testing/quality assurance professional, or if you're in any software development role and are considering XP.

Lisa Crispin Tip House June 2002

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Table of Contents

Foreword.
Preface.
Acknowledgments.

I. THE XP TESTER ROLE.

1. An Overview.

Introduction.
Overview of XP.
Communication.
Simplicity.
Feedback.
Courage.
How XP Solves Testing and Quality Assurance Problems.
System and Acceptance Testing Resources Wasted on Unit- and Integration-Level Bugs.
Missing and Out-of-Date Requirements.
Huge Gaps between the System and User Expectations.
Wolves in Sheep's Clothing.
Summary.

2. Why XP Teams Need Testers.

Definition of Tester.
The Tester's Contribution, Illustrated.
Shun the Dark Side.
Summary.

3. How XP Teams Benefit from Having Testers.

Checks and Balances.
Acceptance Tests versus Unit Tests.
Navigating for XP Projects.
Summary.

4. XP Testing Values.

Communication.
Simplicity.
Feedback.
Courage.
Summary.

5. Overview of the XP Tester Role.

XP Tester's Bill of Rights.
XP Tester Activities.
Summary.

6. Quality and XP.

Defining Quality.
Setting Quality Criteria.
Who Is Responsible for Quality?
Summary.

II. TEST DRIVE THROUGH AN XP PROJECT.

7. User Stories and Release Planning.

The Tester's Role in Up-Front Activities.
Goals of Up-Front Tester Activities.
Summary.
Exercise 1.

8. Identifying Hidden Assumptions.

A Process for Finding Hidden Assumptions.
Example 1.
Summary.
Exercise 2.
Introducing the XTrack Application.

9. Defining High-Level Acceptance Tests.

Basic Acceptance Test Definitions.
Example 2.
Example 3.
Summary.
Exercise 3.

10. High-Level Acceptance Test Estimates.

Ways to Estimate Acceptance-Test Effort.
Quick-and-Dirty Approach.
Example 4.
A More Detailed Estimating Method.
Example 5.
Summary.
Exercise 4.

11. Enabling Accurate Estimates during Release Planning.

Why We Care about Estimates.
How You Can Improve Estimate Accuracy.
Summary.
Exercise 5.

12. Planning the First Iteration.

Overview of Iteration Planning.
The Tester's Role in Iteration Planning.
Thinking of All the Tasks.
Enhancing Communication.
Summary.
Exercise 6.

13. Defining and Estimating Testing and Test Infrastructure Tasks.

Identifying and Estimating Test Infrastructure Tasks.
Identifying and Estimating Functional and Acceptance Testing Tasks.
A Note on Separate Test Teams.
Example 6.
Test Infrastructure Tasks.
Acceptance Testing Tasks.
Summary.
Exercise 7.

14. Acceptance Tests and Quality.

Acceptance Test Details.
Internal and External Quality.
Summary.
Exercise 8.

15. Nailing Down the Details.

Picking the Customer's Brain (and the Programmers'!).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Example 7.
Optional Tests.
Getting Creative.
Lights-Out Test Design.
Summary.
Exercise 9.

16. Writing Acceptance Tests.

Executable Tests.
If You Have Trouble Getting Started.
Summary.
Exercise 10.

17. Organizing Acceptance Tests.

Version Control of Acceptance Tests.
Executable Test Files.
Organizing Acceptance Tests in Spreadsheets.
Summary.
Exercise 11.

18. Test Design and Refactoring.

Establishing the Initial System State.
Tests That Leave the System State Unchanged.
Coupling between Tests.
Summary.
Exercise 12 130

19. Manual Tests.

Summary.
Exercise 13.

20. What!?!!

Manual Tests Are Unreliable.
Manual Tests Undermine the XP Testing Practice.
Manual Tests Are Divisive.
The Wings-Fall-Off Button.
What If You Have Manual Tests?
Summary.
Exercise 14.

21. Test Automation.

Modular Tests.
Data-Independent Tests.
Self-Verifying Tests.
Summary.
Exercise 15.

22. Making Executable Tests Run.

Linking the Executable Test to an Application Test Class.
Defining the Application Test Class.
Calling the Code to be Tested.
Running the Test.
Getting Additional Tests to Run.
Combining Multiple Tests into Test Suites.
Summary.
Exercise 16 156

23. Running Executable Tests through Other Interfaces.

Code Missed by Direct Calls.
Expanding Coverage of the Executable Tests.
Interfacing to a Test Tool.
Creating an Application Test-Interface Class.
Refactoring the Direct-Call Interface.
Refactoring the Application Test Class.
Creating a Tool-Specific Interface Class.
One Team's Experience with Direct-Call Test Automation.
Summary.
Exercise 17.

24. Driving the System with a Test Tool.

WebART Overview.
Main WebART Script.
Login Module.
Validation Criteria.
Summary.
Exercise 18.

25. Bugs on the Windshield: Running Acceptance Tests.

How Often Do You Run Acceptance Tests?
Educating the Customer.
Acceptance Criteria.
Defect Management.
Road Food for Thought.
Summary.
Exercise 19.

26. Looking Back for the Future.

Summary.
Exercise 20.

27. Keep On Truckin': Completing the XP Road Trip.

Regression Testing.
Catching Up.
Maintenance?
The Release.
When XP Projects End.
Summary.
Exercise 21.

III. ROAD HAZARD SURVIVAL KIT.

28. Challenges in “Testability” .

Designing for Testability.
A Real-Life Example.
Summary.
Exercise 22.

29. Selecting and Implementing Tools.

Evolving Tools.
Test Tools.
Other Tools Related to Quality.
Choosing an Off-the-Shelf Tool.
Implementing Tools.
Experimenting with Tools.
Summary.

30. Project Tune-Ups.

Office Space.
Accessorizing for XP.
Whiteboards.
Celebrating Successes.
Timer.
Wiki.
Metrics.
Test Environment.
Other Obvious Best Practices.
Additional Tester Duties.
Summary.

31. Introducing XP to Your Organization: A Tester's Point of View.

Test Phases and Practices.
Introducing People to the XP Tester Role.
Helping XP Testers Succeed.
XP Testing with Blended Practices.
What If You Don't Have Enough Testers?
Summary.

32. XP for Projects of Unusual Size.

Adjusting XP.
Advance Planning Pays Off.
Working with Customers.
Satisfying Customer Test Documentation Requirements.
Iteration Planning and Execution for Large or Multilocation Projects.
Summary.

33. Extreme Testing without Extreme Programming.

Gathering Requirements.
System Design.
Planning and Defining Tests.
Running Tests.
Retrospectives.
Let Worry Be Your Guide.
Summary.

34. In Closing: May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.
Answers to Exercises.
Bibliography.
Afterword.
Index. 0321113551T10072002

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Preface

This is a book about being a tester on an Extreme Programming (XP) team. It plugs a gap in the currently available XP materials by defining how an XP tester can contribute to the project, including what testers should do, when they should do it, and how they should do it. We wrote it because we think XP is a better way to develop software and that more teams should use it. We believe an acknowledged place in XP teams for testing and quality assurance will help bring that about.

Our goals in this book are to

  • Convince current XP practitioners that a tester has a valid role on the team
  • Convince testing and quality assurance professionals that XP offers solutions to some of their worst problems
  • Convince both groups that testers are needed just as much in an XP project as in a traditional development project
  • Provide enough detail and practical example to allow you to either perform the XP tester role yourself or work productively with a tester on your team, whether you're an XP newbie or veteran, tester, programmer, guide, customer, or manager

We hope that if you're not currently using XP, you can influence your organization to try it. Even if your team uses some other process for software development, we think you can apply "extreme testing" practices to add value.Because not everyone will be familiar with XP, we provide an overview of the basic concepts in the introduction and describe a few aspects in more detail as necessary throughout the text. But this will be a bare-bones summary, at best. We list several excellent books on the subject in the bibliography, and a wealth of information is available on the Web.

The book is divided into three major sections:

Part I: The XP Tester Role
This is where we define what we think the tester role is (and is not), how a project will benefit from it, what's in it for the tester, and generally why XP needs a tester role.

Part II: Test Drive through an XP Project
Here we navigate an XP project step by step and suggest what goals to shoot for, which activities to engage in, and helpful techniques to try as a tester on an XP project.

Part III: Road Hazard Survival Kit
Finally, we provide some resources to help you cope when the real world doesn't conform to the ideal XP project: large projects, for instance, where an XP team is embedded in a larger, non-XP effort or when critical XP practices are modified or omitted.

We've tried to keep things as practical as possible and have provided real-life examples. We've also included exercises, so you can try the ideas out for yourself. The exercises are built around an XP project to develop a simple Web-based tracking application. We provide portions of the application at various stages for you to practice on.

We think you'll find this book helpful if you're already a member of an XP team, if you're a testing/quality assurance professional, or if you're in any software development role and are considering XP.

Lisa Crispin
Tip House
June 2002

0321113551P10072002

Read More Show Less

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