What is the Cucumber Testing Tool?

what is the cucumber testing tool? Cucumber is one of the most popular tools for behavior driven development testing.  Cucumber enables the creation of automated behavior driven development acceptance tests leveraging the Gherkin framework.  Cucumber is open-source so you don’t need to worry about paying expensive licensing fees.  Cucumber testing tool is written in the Ruby programming language.

What is Behavior Driven Development?

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a software development process within Agile that Cucumber was designed to support.  It is one of the leading BDD testing tools on the market today.

BDD enables:

  • Open communication and collaboration across roles
  • Work in small iterations increasing feedback and creating business value
  • Producing documentation that enables automation of user acceptance tests

BDD does not replace the Agile process but rather enhances the overall process.

Cucumber Testing Tool Benefits

  • Testers will be able to write automated tests without needing in depth understanding of a programming language
  • Cucumber supports multiple programming languages
  • There is a high degree of reusable code
  • Cucumber is quick and easy to setup
  • Cucumber allows integration with Selenium, Watir, Spring, Ruby on Rails and many more

Cucumber Installation

If you are looking for information on how to install Cucumber you can go to the main website located here.  Cucumber is widely used so there are many programming languages across multiple platforms.  It is always a good idea to install the one that closely matches your application.  Some of the most common programming languages used with Cucumber are: Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, and Perl.

What is Test Driven Development (TDD)?

what is test driven developmentThere has been a lot of information shared over the past few years about Test Driven Development.  Initially it might seem complicated and counter to logical thinking but it actually makes a lot of sense.  Test Driven Development is defined as: a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle.  Requirements are turned into very specific test cases and the software is modified in order to get those tests to pass.  In the normal process of software development, code is written first and then tested to make sure that it works.

 

 

 

 

What is the origin of Test Driven Development?

The origin of TDD traces back to the late 1990’s when extreme programming started.  It because more mainstream when Agile came around.  By 2006 it had matured and resulted in additional innovations to the process with ATDD or BDD.

What are the steps for Test Driven Development?

Here are the basis steps for TDD:

  1. Write a new test
  2. Check and make sure the test fails
  3. Write code to pass the test
  4. Verify the test passes
  5. Refactor code to make it more efficient
  6. Repeat steps again

What is the purpose of Test Driven Development?

TDD is a process of modifying code in order to pass a test which was designed prior to code being written.  There is more emphasis on writing production code than designing test cases.  This includes refactoring and helps to have cleaner and simpler code.  It helps to find defects much sooner and eliminates the need of rework.

What is Agile Test Driven Development?

All the teams today that use Test Driven Development follow Agile or some form of it like Scrum.

Who is responsible for Test Driven Development?

Typically the person who is writing the code will be the person to write the test cases.  I have seen some situations where there is a slight variation and a test engineer writes them but that is not a common practice.

What are the benefits of Test Driven Development?

  1.  The primary benefit of TDD is that it helps to eliminate writing duplication of code
  2. Allows developers to capture defects much sooner in the lifecycle
  3. Software is better designed and results in more maintainable code
  4. Helps with teamwork.  More people can work on code together.
  5. Less time is spending on debugging code
  6. Helps with code refactoring
  7. Eliminates a significant number of defects
  8. Often results in projects getting completed faster than original timelines

What are the pitfalls of Test Driven Development?

Here are some common pitfalls of TDD:

  1. Forgetting to run the tests
  2. Writing too many tests
  3. Writing tests that are too large
  4. Writing tests that are too simple
  5. Writing tests that are too complicated

Test Driven Development Skill Levels

There are different skill levels for TDD which include:

  • Beginner
    • Someone who can write a unit test prior to code creation
    • Someone who can get a failing test to pass by writing code
  • Intermediate
    • Someone who can write a test case for a defect that has been found
    • Someone who can take a previous test driven development test and further break it down to simpler tests
    • Someone who can factor reusable elements
  • Expert
    • someone who can create a test driven development roadmap
    • someone who can provide additional guidance and direction to beginner or intermediate levels

I hope this information has been helpful.  You might want to also learn more about Behavior Driven Development.

What is Behavior Driven Development (BDD) Testing?

behavior driven developmentThere has been a lot of information published about Behavior Driven Development or BDD.  It is counter to what most people are used to so it causes a lot of confusion.  It is very popular and a lot of organizations have started to embrace this methodology which results in great success to those who can consistently apply some basic principles.  Behavior Driven Development allows companies to shift further left and identify issues much earlier in the process than using the traditional waterfall methodology.

What is BDD?

Behavior-Driven Development is an extension of Test-Driven Development or TDD.  Behavior-Driven Development is an approach to build features based upon user stories.  You will typically have a product owner that will communicate the expectations for the software in form of a user story.  That information will be stated in terms of business objectives or goals.  Both the developer and the tester will use this information to both develop and test if these features meet the expectation of the product owner.  While BDD is a process, just like any process it requires great communication between all members.  What does the product owner want to see?  How can that be translated into software features?  Are those features really needed or are there other features that might meet business needs.  Behavior-Driven Development heavily relies on communication and collaboration which are also one of the key tenants of Agile.

BDD Testing

Behavior Driven Development premise is that the tests are written before the code is developed.  In basic terms it tells you how a piece of code needs to be tested.  You want to test the behavior of a given feature.  It is extremely important to do this first so that you will have a high degree of testing coverage.  BDD requires the person who is creating the tests to think about the business scenario.  As you build code, you are building a very large repository of tests which can be executed over and over again using tools such as Jenkins.  Now you might wonder if the developers are writing all these tests, why are testers needed?  Well testers are needed more than ever.  Developers are often focused on a small module or piece of code and don’t have an overall understanding of how the system works as a whole.  Testers typically have a broader understanding and are usually business subject matter experts.  It is important for testers to understand the broader context of the what and why of software and the business intended use.

Three Best Practices of BDD

  1. Discover: The first best practice is the most important one in my opinion.  Created a shared understanding across the business and the Agile team of what the requirements are through collaboration.  This is a critical step, and one that most Agile teams will overlook and rush to build tests and code.  This collaboration needs to occur through structured conversations using specific rules and examples.
  2. Define:  The second best practice is to use real world business scenarios and document how the system should behave.  This documentation reinforces best practice 1 and 3.  The most commonly used framework for defining scenarios is Gerkin.
  3. Automation:  The third best practice is to automate the documentation.  This will allow the documentation to grow and become dynamic.  This process will verify that the system works as expected and verifies best practice 1 and 2.  Most teams today use Cucumber to automate BDD tests.

BDD Framework Process

Here is a sample flow of how things work within the BDD framework:

  1. Create a user story with high level functionality
  2. Hold a requirements session and further define functionality with business examples
  3. Define business scenario using Gerkin
  4. Automate the scenario using Cucumber
  5. Write code so that the test scenario will pass
  6. Run additional tests including regression, performance, etc.
  7. Release code into production

I hope this information has been helpful and has provided you with some great information about Behavior Driven Development

 

 

 

7 Great Reasons to Write Detailed Test Cases

AI in software testingLet’s face it, writing detailed test cases takes a lot of time and effort.  As a tester, I know this is very tedious work.  However, I know first hand there are some tremendous benefits that far outweigh the time involved.  It certainly is not easy, but if planned out properly can be done extremely efficiently.  You will probably get some push back in certain areas and using certain methodologies but it is extremely important in my opinion.  Agile for example, is not in favor over detailed documentation.

 

 

Here are 7 Great Reasons to Write Detailed Test Cases

  1. Planning:  It is important to write detailed test cases because it helps you to think through what needs to be tested. Writing detailed test cases takes planning.  That planning will result in accelerating the testing timeline and identifying more defects.  You need to be able to organize your testing in a way that is most optimal.  Documenting all the different flows and combinations will help you identify potential areas that might otherwise be missed.
  2. Offshore:  If you have an offshore team, you know how challenging that can be.  It is really important to write everything out in detail when you communicate offshore so that everyone understands.  It is critical to write detailed test cases is no different.  Without those details, the offshore team will really struggle to understand what needs to be tested.  Getting clarifications on a test case can often take a few days of back and forth and that is extremely time consuming and frustrating.
  3. Automation:  If you are considering automating test cases, it is really important to have all the details documented.  Automation engineers are highly technical but they might not understand all the flows of the application, especially if they have not automated that application before.  Without the details, there is a high possibility that steps will get missed and perhaps that will cause the automation scripts to not be written properly.
  4. Performance:  The performance engineers must also write performance test scripts.  They also are more technical in nature, but they really struggle to get the right amount of information needed.  It really helps the performance test engineers to have document test case steps so that they will be able to create their performance test scripts a lot faster.
  5. Audit:  I have had the experience in testing applications that fall within domains which require regulatory compliance such as telecommunications and insurance.  These domains require internal and external audit teams to review all testing activities.  It is important to have the teams write detailed test cases so that audit will have a solid understanding of what is tested and will minimize the amount of questions that will eventually come back to the testing team.
  6. Development:  I have found that having detailed test cases will help the development team, especially when there are defects, to provide additional guidance and direction.  This helps to accelerate the fix time and thus the ability to retest and close those defects.
  7. Training: I have found that it is extremely helpful to have detailed test cases in order to train new testing resources.  I typically will have the new employees start understanding how things work by executing the functional test cases.  This will help them come up to speed a lot faster than they would be able to otherwise.

As you can see, there is valid justification to write detailed test cases.  I am sure if I spend more time, I will be able to come up with another 7 great reasons.  I hope this information is helpful and will encourage you to write more detailed test cases in the future.

Creating Predictive Analytics for Quality Engineering

predictive analytics Creating Predictive Analytics for Quality Engineering

If you are in the IT profession, you know that metrics are extremely important in helping to make decisions.  This is also especially true for Quality Engineering teams.  10-15 years ago, testing was primarily conducted by software quality analysts and test cases were executed manually.  Most software testing teams were small, and they would run a limited number of test cases to ensure things worked.  Using this approach, it was relatively easy to know if there software was ready for production, and that QA manager could pull the team into a room and determine if the software was ready to be deployed.  Those times have drastically changed.

Here are a few reasons why software testing has evolved:

  • There is a lot of software testing tools that enable status reporting
  • Automation and Performance testing tools are widely utilized
  • Applications are more complex and tightly integrated using interfaces across multiple technologies
  • There is tremendous pressure to deploy products quickly to market
  • Testing applications earlier in the lifecycle (shift left)
  • Distributed teams

There is a need based upon this evolution to have software testing metrics in order to make better decisions.  This data needs to be consistently captured and analyzed.  It is important to create predictive analytics so that you will be able to determine the current state of the quality engineering effort and accurately predict what would happen in production.

Quality is required. 

Speed is required. 

Resources and time is limited. 

Decisions must be made. 

Software must be deployed to production.  

In order for these things to happen data analytics must be performed.  A base set of data is needed.  Some of those data elements include:

Sprint Velocity

Planned/Executed test cases

Manual vs Automated tests

Defects

Root Cause Analysis

Defect Leakage

Once this data has been identified, it needs to be captured and segregated.  When that information is gathered, you will be able to start and see trends.  If you are testing a certain application, you will be able to predict how long it will take to perform testing, how many defects you plan to identify, and most likely how many defects will make it do production.  Predictive analytics will evolve over a period of years.  Many companies have started using AI/Machine Learning in helping perform this analysis.

This is also a continuous process.  It is something that is not done once and completed.  Additional metrics and more information will be needed.  Those metrics will have to be captured and predictive analytics models will need to be created or modified.

Digital transformation requires that quality engineering teams transform how testing is planned, executed, and measured.  The key to digital transformation is a focus on the customer.  This requires that the quality engineering teams truly understand the business, and more importantly can accurately predict customer behavior.  Issues such as usability, compatibility, performance, and security are extremely crucial.  Provided these issues are tested, and the results are acceptable, this will create a really positive customer experience.  For example, if a mobile application is slow, the customer is not going to have patience and will quit using it.

Predictive analytics can be used for defects.  Here is some helpful information that will improve quality:

  • Type of defect
  • What phase was the defect identified
  • What is the root cause of the issue
  • What changes need to be made so that defect will not make it into production
  • Is the defect reproducible?

Once this is understood, changes can be made to prevent similar issues from occurring.  Using these predictive analytics, overall quality will greatly improve and speed to market will accelerate.  It is important to have the right amount of data so that predictive decisions can be made.

 

 

ISTQB Agile Tester Certification

ISTQB agile testing certification ISTQB Agile Tester Certification

If you are an interested in obtaining more information about the ISTQB Agile Tester Certification, you have come to the right place.  Most projects today have moved from Waterfall to Agile, so it is important that you have the right information to leverage best practices when testing on an Agile project.  Once you understand Agile concepts and how testing should really be done, you can provide some tremendous education to your peers and other agile team members.

The certification for ISTQB Agile Tester Certification is designed for professionals who are working within Agile.  It is also for professionals who are planning to start implementing Agile methods in the near future, or are working within companies that plan to do so, The certification provides an advantage for those who would like to know the required Agile activities, roles, methods, and methodologies specific to their role.

The ISTQB Agile Tester Certification qualification is aimed at four main groups of professionals:

1. Professionals who have achieved in-depth testing experience in traditional methods and would like to get an Agile Tester Certificate.

2. Junior professional testers who are just starting in the testing profession, have received the Foundation Level certificate, and would like to know more about the tester’s role in an Agile environment.

3. Professionals who are relatively new to testing and are required to implement test approaches, methods and techniques in their day to day job in Agile projects.

4. Professionals who are experienced in their role (including unit testing) and need more understanding and knowledge about how to perform and manage testing on all levels in Agile projects.

These professionals include people who are in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers, and software developers. This ISTQB Agile Tester Certification may also be appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of software testing in the Agile world, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors, and management consultants

Prerequisite:  You must have the ISTQB CTFL Foundation Level certification

Exam: 1 hour with 40 multiple choice questions

Pass Rate: 65%

Exam Registration:  Click here to register for the ISTQB Agile Tester Certification exam.

Exam Cost: $199 USD

Recommended Book:  Agile Testing Foundations: An ISTQB Foundation Level Agile Tester guide

Syllabus:  In order to pass the exam, you must study the syllabus and understand the material.  Click here to download the syllabus.

Sample Exam:  It is always a great idea to review the sample exams so that you can get familiar with the types of questions that you will see on the test.  The more questions you can review, the more confident and prepared you will be for your exam.  Click here for sample questions and click here for sample answers.

Outline:  Here is a basic outline of the material you must know in order to successfully pass the ISTQB Agile Tester Certification exam.

Chapter 1: Agile Software Development

 The tester should remember the basic concept of Agile software development based on the Agile Manifesto.

 The tester should understand the advantages of the whole-team approach and the benefits of early and frequent feedback.

 The tester should recall Agile software development approaches.

 The tester should be able to write testable user stories in collaboration with developers and business representatives.

 The tester should understand how retrospectives can be used as a mechanism for process improvement in Agile projects.

 The tester should understand the use and purpose of continuous integration.

 The tester should know the differences between iteration and release planning, and how a tester adds value in each of these activities.

Chapter 2: Fundamental Agile Testing Principles, Practices, and Processes

 The tester should be able to describe the differences between testing activities in Agile projects and non-Agile projects.

 The tester should be able to describe how development and testing activities are integrated in Agile projects.

 The tester should be able to describe the role of independent testing in Agile projects.

 The tester should be able to describe the tools and techniques used to communicate the status of testing in an Agile project, including test progress and product quality.

 The tester should be able to describe the process of evolving tests across multiple iterations and explain why test automation is important to manage regression risk in Agile projects.

 The tester should understand the skills (people, domain, and testing) of a tester in an Agile team.

 The tester should be able to understand the role of a tester within an Agile team.

Chapter 3: Agile Testing Methods, Techniques, and Tools

 The tester should be able to recall the concepts of test-driven development, acceptance testdriven development, and behavior-driven development.

 The tester should be able to recall the concepts of the test pyramid.

 The tester should be able to summarize the testing quadrants and their relationships with testing levels and testing types.

 For a given Agile project, the tester should be able to work as a tester in a Scrum team.

 The tester should be able to assess quality risks within an Agile project.

 The tester should be able to estimate testing effort based on iteration content and quality risks.

 The tester should be able to interpret relevant information to support testing activities.

 The tester should be able to explain to business stakeholders how to define testable acceptance criteria.

 Given a user story, the tester should be able to write acceptance test-driven development test cases.

 For both functional and non-functional behavior, the tester should be able to write test cases using black box test design techniques based on given user stories.

 The tester should be able to perform exploratory testing to support the testing of an Agile project.

 The tester should be able to recall different tools available to testers according to their purpose and to activities in Agile projects.

I hope this information has been helpful.  I wish you the best of luck as you prepare and pass your ISTQB Agile Tester Certification!