7.8. Case Study

In the course of various projects, I've had the opportunity to see a number of medium-to large-sized hardware and software test labs. In the next few paragraphs and figures, I'll describe and sketch some common layouts for test labs, including some key features, pros, and cons of each layout. To keep the figures simple, I've omitted the furniture, facilities, and other details shown in Figure 7.1. The dimensions are fairly arbitrary, so please don't use these as floor plans for your test lab without making sure the layouts make sense for you.

Figure 7.7 shows a software test lab layout that would be fairly typical for an independent test lab that was organized based on technology areas. The main lab areas are classified by the type of testing that goes on in each location: Windows, Unix, and Networking. The test engineers and technicians work in one of these labs, depending on the skills and assignments. (Chapter 8, "Staffing and Managing a Test Team," will discuss tester skills and ways of organizing test teams.) I also have shown a dedicated lab for one client. Clients often request dedicated labs when they will have ongoing testing happening and need a secure, separate space, away from the potentially prying eyes of competitors visiting the company (see Chapter 10). The overall space also includes some work areas for visiting clients and for the salespeople, who might need private spaces to meet with clients or have conference calls. The reception area will ...

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