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32571 Enterprise Software Testing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Software
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Postgraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject teaches how to plan, specify, execute and manage testing of enterprise software systems. Students are introduced to a variety of strategies and situations that may require those strategies to ensure that the complex problem of testing large, complex enterprise software systems is accomplished in the best possible way given the circumstances. Case studies are used to illustrate many of the concepts. Class discussions and assignments exercise many of the skills taught. This subject is intended for the senior and experienced software developer who must solve enterprise software testing problems.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Explain the how the project and product context drives software testing
2. Think critically about software testing
3. Model a product in order to develop testing strategies
4. Test a software product effectively with proficiency in finding defects
5. Create informative and relevant test reports for testing stakeholders
6. Explain software testing and its relationship to other software development activities
7. work productively in groups
8. demonstrate written and oral communication skills

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Needs, context and systems - Engineering and IT take place within the larger context of society and the environment, which encompasses social, economic and sustainability needs. (A.0)
  • Problem solving and design - Engineering and IT practice focuses on problem-solving and design where artifacts are conceived, created, used, modified, maintained and retired. (B.0)
  • Communication and coordination - Engineering and IT practice involves the coordination of a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities to arrive at problem and design solutions. (E.0)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose. (E.1)
  • Work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams within a multi-level, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural setting (E.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

The material for this subject is provided through video lectures that may be viewed at the student's convenience. Quizzes are provided to enable students to check their understanding of the material.

This subject uses tutorial discussions and seminars to develop, explain and reinforce knowledge gained through self-study of recommended online lectures, presentations and written material. Topics are introduced separately, building the body of knowledge needed in modern professional software testing environments. Peer learning is encouraged through group investigations and peer reviews of each section an investigation. To ensure industry relevance the problem to be investigated is provided by an industry partner who also mentors student groups through their investigation. The investigation is formally presented to the client on completion.

Content (topics)

This subject will cover the following topics;

  1. Critical Thinking in Software Testing
  2. Test Strategy: Modelling
  3. Test Strategy: Coverage
  4. Exploratory and Scripted Testing
  5. Oracles
  6. Test Reporting
  7. Testability
  8. Communication

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Required topic quizzes

Intent:

This assessment is to ensure each student learns all of the basic topics of software testing.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

2

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.0

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%
Length:

As a guide, students are expected to spend 4 hours or less watching the lecture and attempting the quiz. Each lecture last about 1 hour and each quiz can be taken more than once. This provides an opportunity to re-watch the lecture and improve the quiz score.

Criteria:

Demonstrated understanding of the topics.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness 100 2 B.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Elective topic quizzes

Intent:

Demonstrate understanding of more advanced topics of software testing

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

2

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.0

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%
Criteria:

Demonstrated understanding of the topics.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness 100 2 B.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Peer reviews

Intent:

Provide an opportunity for each student to practice peer reviewing the work of colleagues in a familiar environment.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 2

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.0

Type: Demonstration
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 15%
Length:

As a guide, it should take 20 minutes or less to present a group's work and 20 minutes or less to discuss, clarify and review the work.

Criteria:

Feasible: Feasible solution is described.

Directed: Connection between objectives and proposed activities, solutions or outcomes is demonstrated.

Understanding: Deep understanding is demonstrated by discussion of alternative solutions or the effect of varying one or more constraints or objectives.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Feasible 50 1 B.0
Directed 25 2 B.0
Understanding 25 2 B.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Project proposal

Intent:

Clarify the project and align academic, customer and student expectations.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.0 and B.0

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 15%
Length:

Approximately 1000 - 2000 words can be taken as a guide.

Criteria:

Relevant: The proposal addresses the given problem.

Complete: The proposal considers all reasonable objectives, constraints and risks.

Informed: The proposal clearly connects the intended strategy and draft plan to the objectives, constraints and risks.

Justified: The proposed strategy and plan are demonstrated to be the best of any alternative.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Relevant 25 1 A.0
Complete 25 3 B.0
Informed 25 3 B.0
Justified 25 3 B.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 5: Major Project

Intent:

The objective of this assignment is to demonstrate how to perform a software testing task or investigate a software testing related problem and recommend a response.

This assignment gives an opportunity to experience software testing in a commercial environment. In that environment the testers must discover the commerial constraints then work within those constraints to deliver as much business value as possible.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 3, 4, 6 and 8

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.0, B.0 and E.0

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 35%
Length:

While there can be no definitive guide to the length of this assignment or hours likely to be required by any one student, the amount of work should be sufficient to demonstrate an understanding of the subject and competence in its application.

Criteria:

The project context is clearly described.

A testing strategy is described.

The proposed test strategy is implemented.

Connections between project objectives and project outcomes is described.

Project outcomes are analysed for potential improvements.

Project conclusions are presented.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Project context 15 1 A.0
Strategy 20 3 B.0
Implementation 20 4 B.0
Achieve objectives 20 6 B.0
Identify improvements 10 3 B.0
Clearly communicated 15 8 E.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 6: Project presentation

Intent:

To provide an opportunity to present recommendations to management for their review and approval in a realistic environment

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 3, 7 and 8

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.0, B.0, E.1 and E.2

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 10%
Length:

The presentation should be about 30 minutes. Questions from the audience will be limited to a further 10 minutes.

Criteria:

The presented material covers all the essential information in sufficient detail.

The presented material is well structured for the topic and available time.

Clarity and effectiveness of the presentation.

The presenting team controls the presentation and responds to questions.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Scope 25 1 A.0
Structure 25 3 B.0
Presentation 25 8 E.1
Conduct 25 7 E.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

References

There is no set or required text book for this subject, however the following texts have been used as a source of lecture material;

  • Kaner, C., Falk, J. and Nguyen, H. Q. (1993), Testing Computer Software, 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2nd ed
  • Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord. Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context Driven Approach John Wiley & Sons inc, 2002 ISBN 0471081124
  • Weinberg, G. M. (2001), Introduction to General Systems Thinking, Dorset House, New York, 3 ed originally published 1975
  • Black Box Software Testing course site at http://testingeducation.org/BBST/, last accessed January 2012.
  • Weinberg, G. M. (2008), Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing, Dorset House
  • Rapid Software Testing course at http://www.satisfice.com/rst.pdf

Other resources

Subject topics, assignment questions, discussion groups and other resources will be available through the subject folder on UTS Online (https://online.uts.edu.au).