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Quality of Testing in Test Driven Development
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IS)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8009-9052
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IS)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5269-3900
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5032-2310
2012 (English)In: 2012 8th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology, QUATIC 2012: Proceedings, IEEE , 2012, p. 266-271Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Test-driven development is an essential part of eXtreme Programming approach with the preference of being followed in other Agile methods as well. For several years, researchers are performing empirical investigations to evaluate quality improvements in the resulting code when test-driven development is being used. However, very little had been reported into investigating the quality of the testing performed in conjunction with test-driven development. In this paper we present results from an experiment specifically designed to evaluate the quality of test cases created by developers who used the test-first and the traditional test-last approaches. On an average, the quality of testing in test-driven development was almost the same as the quality of testing using test-last approach. However, detailed analysis of test cases, created by test-driven development group, revealed that 29% of test cases were "negative" test cases (based on non-specified requirements) but contributing as much as 65% to the overall tests quality score of test-first developers. We are currently investigating the possibility of extending test-driven development to facilitate non-specified requirements to a higher extent and thus minimise the impact of a potentially inherent effect of positive test bias.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE , 2012. p. 266-271
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-17339DOI: 10.1109/QUATIC.2012.49ISI: 000319880600043Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84878829241ISBN: 978-076954777-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-17339DiVA, id: diva2:579670
Conference
8th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology (QUATIC), Lisbon, Portugal, 3-6 September 2012
Available from: 2012-12-20 Created: 2012-12-20 Last updated: 2013-12-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Quality of Test Design in Test Driven Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality of Test Design in Test Driven Development
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the most emphasised software testing activities in an Agile environment is the usage of the Test Driven Development (TDD) approach. TDD is a development activity where test cases are created by developers before writing the code, and all for the purpose of guiding the actual development process. In other words, test cases created when following TDD could be considered as a by-product of software development. However, TDD is not fully adopted by the industry, as indicated by respondents from our industrial survey who pointed out that TDD is the most preferred but least practised activity.

Our further research identified seven potentially limiting factors for industrial adoption of TDD, out of which one of the prominent factor was lack of developers’ testing skills. We subsequently defined and categorised appropriate quality attributes which describe the quality of test case design when following TDD. Through a number of empirical studies, we have clearly established the effect of “positive test bias”, where the participants focused mainly on the functionality while generating test cases. In other words, there existed less number of “negative test cases” exercising the system beyond the specified functionality, which is an important requirement for high reliability systems. On an average, in our studies, around 70% of test cases created by the participants were positive while only 30% were negative. However, when measuring defect detecting ability of those sets of test cases, an opposite ratio was observed. Defect detecting ability of negative test cases were above 70% while positive test cases contributed only by 30%.

We propose a TDDHQ concept as an approach for achieving higher quality testing in TDD by using combinations of quality improvement aspects and test design techniques to facilitate consideration of unspecified requirements during the development to a higher extent and thus minimise the impact of potentially inherent positive test bias in TDD. This way developers do not necessarily focus only on verifying functionality, but they can as well increase security, robustness, performance and many other quality improvement aspects for the given software product. An additional empirical study, evaluating this method, showed a noticeable improvement in the quality of test cases created by developers utilising TDDHQ concept. Our research findings are expected to pave way for further enhancements to the way of performing TDD, eventually resulting in better adoption of it by the industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2013. p. 224
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 140
Keywords
agile, software testing, test driven development, quality of tests, developer testing, test design quality
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-18773 (URN)978-91-7485-108-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-06-11, Gamma, Högskoleplan 1, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-29 Created: 2013-04-26 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Causevic, AdnanPunnekkat, SasikumarSundmark, Daniel

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