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Critical Testing Processes: Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect by Rex Black

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Chapter 10. Archimedes' Bathtub: Design and Implement Test Systems

Legend has it that Greek King Hieron commanded the inventor and mathematician Archimedes to come up with a method for determining the quality of his crown. For the king, quality meant the presence of a single satisfying attribute, pure gold, and the absence of many dissatisfying attributes, baser metals. Archimedes was at a loss until one day, as he settled into his bathtub, he observed water spilling over the rim. Discovering the principle of buoyancy—which would allow him to determine the quality of the crown—he exclaimed, “Eureka!” As testers, perhaps we should step into Archimedes' bathtub, too, since we must design and implement an effective and efficient test system that ...

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