In most software-development organizations, the testing program functions as the final “quality gate” for an application, allowing or preventing the move from the comfort of the software-engineering environment into the real world. With this role comes a large responsibility: The success of an application, and possibly of the organization, can rest on the quality of the software product.

A multitude of small tasks must be performed and managed by the testing team—so many, in fact, that it is tempting to focus purely on the mechanics of testing a software application and pay little attention to the surrounding tasks required of a testing program. Issues such as the acquisition of proper test data, testability of the application's requirements ...

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