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Beautiful Testing by Adam Goucher, Tim Riley

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Chapter 6. Bug Management and Test Case Effectiveness

Emily Chen

Brian Nitz

I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple.

Albert Einstein

Why should a quality assurance (QA) engineer care how “beautiful” a test and bug management system is? Although no one understands exactly what beauty is, there does seem to be a useful relationship between beauty, simplicity, and truth. When this relationship is applied in mathematics and the physical sciences, it is often known as Occam’s Razor. It assumes that beautiful and simple explanations of natural phenomena are more likely to be true than ugly and convoluted ones. Sir Isaac Newton put it this way: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.” Although we can find examples of this principle being applied in structured programming, object-oriented design (OOD), and design patterns, beauty and simplicity aren’t yet common considerations in bug management or QA test design. In this chapter we discuss how to manage bugs and measure test case effectiveness. We hope you will find this approach to be more beautiful, simple, and true than the more common haphazard QA approaches, which often stray from the scientific method and rely a bit too much on luck.

Bug Management

The following sections explain bug management.

The First Bug Found

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has part of an engineering notebook on display. The ...

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