Monday, July 20, 2009

Testing Tips 1 – Bug Reporting

Bug Reports are one of the most important work products, produced by a Tester. Many a times the client, management, developers and test team members judge a Tester’s skill from the Bug Reports he creates. So Bug Report is a very important document which affects the credibility of a Tester.

Here I would like to list down some of the vocabulary given/described by Cem Kaner, which would help Testers in writing better Bug Reports.

Error: An error (or fault) is a design flaw or deviation from a desired or intended state. For eg. -: This could be a Coding mistake or a missing code.

Symptom: This might be a characteristic of a failure which helps a Tester in recognizing that the program has failed. For example -: Your application slows down when a user performs certain operations, is a symptom.

Failure: The failure is the program’s actual incorrect or missing behavior under the error triggering conditions.

Critical Condition: The condition which would trigger a failure.

It would be useful for a Tester to distinguish between an Error, critical condition and failure while writing their bug reports. I would like to take an example from the Testing activity that I was doing to drive in these points. I was testing a Username and Password field of a Sign-in page of a website. It worked fine when I provided a correct username and password and I was able to login. Then I thought of checking the maximum allowed characters in each of these fields. I found that the maximum field length of both the Username and Password fields were not set. I was able to provide more than 3 lakh characters in each field and when I clicked on 'Go', it was trying to send these huge strings to the server and the Sign-in page hanged and did not respond for more than 25 mins and eventually I had to forcefully close the browser.

In the above scenario, the “missing code for setting the maximum field length of the Username and Password field’s” is an Error. The Critical Condition (or failure triggering condition) is the user giving more than 3 lakh characters as input in both Username and Password field’s and clicking on 'Go' button. And the Failure was the Sign-in page hanged for the Critical condition.

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