On the role of communication, documentation and experience during testing - an exploratory study
Nowadays, the quality of software is becoming more and more a competitive factor. As complete testing is impossible, testers have to make decisions, e.g. to choose which parts of the software have to be tested in which way. For this purpose, testers need a lot of information, such as input documentation which serves as a basis for the derivation of test cases or information on the project status which serves as a basis for planning the testing process. Thus, testers rely on up-todate and complete information in order to make sound decisions. Consequently, the quality of the testing process depends on the quality of the information sources available for the testers. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study conducted during the SIKOSA research project with expert testers of our industry partners in order to identify the most valuable sources of information during testing. Particularly, we conducted interviews in order to investigate which documents are often used by testers, as well as the role of communication and experience. Our results show that defect reports are very valuable. User manuals and problem reports are equally important, because they represent real usage of the software and serve testers as an input for realistic test cases. In addition, our results show the influence of an independent testing team on test process characteristics.
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