Appendix A

Hardware Testing Fundamentals: An Introduction for Software Testing Professionals

Many people involved in computer hardware testing, myself included, fell into that role as part of testing systems that consist of both hardware and software, while having primarily a software background. While I did take some electrical, electronics, circuit, and engineering courses in college, I certainly don't consider myself a computer hardware or electronics engineer. However, I've found that, armed with a few basic concepts, those of us with extensive software test management experience can usually manage hardware testing as well, provided the right people are put in charge of the actual testing. The following brief introduction will give you some ideas of what to look for in a competently executed hardware testing effort. If you need to become a competent hardware tester yourself, I recommend that you read O'Connor's Practical Reliability Engineering and Ishikawa's Guide to Quality Control as a starting point.

Test Management

From a purely test management point of view, the same tools I introduced in the last 12 chapters will work for a test project that involves both hardware and software. You still have to track tests and bugs, assemble a test environment and team, get releases into the test environment, and possibly work with a distributed test team. That doesn't go away.

However, if you are a big test automation buff, know that many of these tools won't help you in the hardware ...

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