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Testing Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : How can it be known when to stop testing?

Answer 1 : This can be difficult to determine. Many modern software applications are so complex, and run in such an interdependent environment, that complete testing can never be done. Common factors in deciding when to stop are: • Deadlines (release deadlines, testing deadlines, etc.) • Test cases completed with certain percentage passed • Test budget depleted • Coverage of code/functionality/requirements reaches a specified point • Bug rate falls below a certain level • Beta or alpha testing period ends

Question 2 : How can new Software QA processes be introduced in an existing organization?

Answer 2 : • A lot depends on the size of the organization and the risks involved. For large organizations with high-risk (in terms of lives or property) projects, serious management buy-in is required and a formalized QA process is necessary. • Where the risk is lower, management and organizational buy-in and QA implementation may be a slower, step-at-a-time process. QA processes should be balanced with productivity so as to keep bureaucracy from getting out of hand. • For small groups or projects, a more ad-hoc process may be appropriate, depending on the type of customers and projects. A lot will depend on team leads or managers, feedback to developers, and ensuring adequate communications among customers, managers, developers, and testers. • The most value for effort will be in (a) requirements management processes, with a goal of clear, complete, testable requirement specifications embodied in requirements or design documentation and (b) design inspections and code inspections.

Question 3 : How can Software QA processes be implemented without stifling productivity?

Answer 3 : By implementing QA processes slowly over time, using consensus to reach agreement on processes, and adjusting and experimenting as an organization grows and matures, productivity will be improved instead of stifled. Problem prevention will lessen the need for problem detection, panics and burn-out will decrease, and there will be improved focus and less wasted effort. At the same time, attempts should be made to keep processes simple and efficient, minimize paperwork, promote computer-based processes and automated tracking and reporting, minimize time required in meetings, and promote training as part of the QA process. However, no one - especially talented technical types - likes rules or bureacracy, and in the short run things may slow down a bit. A typical scenario would be that more days of planning and development will be needed, but less time will be required for late-night bug-fixing and calming of irate customers.

Question 4 : How can World Wide Web sites be tested?

Answer 4 : Web sites are essentially client/server applications - with web servers and 'browser' clients. Consideration should be given to the interactions between html pages, TCP/IP communications, Internet connections, firewalls, applications that run in web pages (such as applets, javascript, plug-in applications), and applications that run on the server side (such as cgi scripts, database interfaces, logging applications, dynamic page generators, asp, etc.). Additionally, there are a wide variety of servers and browsers, various versions of each, small but sometimes significant differences between them, variations in connection speeds, rapidly changing technologies, and multiple standards and protocols. The end result is that testing for web sites can become a major ongoing effort. Other considerations might include: • What are the expected loads on the server (e.g., number of hits per unit time?), and what kind of performance is required under such loads (such as web server response time, database query response times). What kinds of tools will be needed for performance testing (such as web load testing tools, other tools already in house that can be adapted, web robot downloading tools, etc.)? • Who is the target audience? What kind of browsers will they be using? What kind of connection speeds will they by using? Are they intra- organization (thus with likely high connection speeds and similar browsers) or Internet-wide (thus with a wide variety of connection speeds and browser types)? • What kind of performance is expected on the client side (e.g., how fast should pages appear, how fast should animations, applets, etc. load and run)? • Will down time for server and content maintenance/upgrades be allowed? how much? • What kinds of security (firewalls, encryptions, passwords, etc.) will be required and what is it expected to do? How can it be tested? • How reliable are the site's Internet connections required to be? And how does that affect backup system or redundant connection requirements and testing? • What processes will be required to manage updates to the web site's content, and what are the requirements for maintaining, tracking, and controlling page content, graphics, links, etc.? • Which HTML specification will be adhered to? How strictly? What variations will be allowed for targeted browsers? • Will there be any s

Question 5 : How does a client/server environment affect testing?

Answer 5 : Client/server applications can be quite complex due to the multiple dependencies among clients, data communications, hardware, and servers. Thus testing requirements can be extensive. When time is limited (as it usually is) the focus should be on integration and system testing. Additionally, load/stress/performance testing may be useful in determining client/server application limitations and capabilities. There are commercial tools to assist with such testing. (See the 'Tools' section for web resources with listings that include these kinds of test tools.)

Question 6 : How is testing affected by object-oriented designs?

Answer 6 : Well-engineered object-oriented design can make it easier to trace from code to internal design to functional design to requirements. While there will be little affect on black box testing (where an understanding of the internal design of the application is unnecessary), white-box testing can be oriented to the application's objects. If the application was well-designed this can simplify test design.

Question 7 : What are 5 common problems in the software development process?

Answer 7 : • poor requirements - if requirements are unclear, incomplete, too general, or not testable, there will be problems. • unrealistic schedule - if too much work is crammed in too little time, problems are inevitable. • inadequate testing - no one will know whether or not the program is any good until the customer complains or systems crash. • featuritis - requests to pile on new features after development is underway; extremely common. • miscommunication - if developers don't know what's needed or customer's have erroneous expectations, problems are guaranteed.

Question 8 : What are 5 common solutions to software development problems?

Answer 8 : • solid requirements - clear, complete, detailed, cohesive, attainable, testable requirements that are agreed to by all players. Use prototypes to help nail down requirements. • realistic schedules - allow adequate time for planning, design, testing, bug fixing, re-testing, changes, and documentation; personnel should be able to complete the project without burning out. • adequate testing - start testing early on, re-test after fixes or changes, plan for adequate time for testing and bug-fixing. • stick to initial requirements as much as possible - be prepared to defend against changes and additions once development has begun, and be prepared to explain consequences. If changes are necessary, they should be adequately reflected in related schedule changes. If possible, use rapid prototyping during the design phase so that customers can see what to expect. This will provide them a higher comfort level with their requirements decisions and minimize changes later on. • communication - require walkthroughs and inspections when appropriate; make extensive use of group communication tools - e-mail, groupware, networked bug-tracking tools and change management tools, intranet capabilities, etc.; insure that documentation is available and up-to-date - preferably electronic, not paper; promote teamwork and cooperation; use protoypes early on so that customers' expectations are clarified.

Question 9 : What are some recent major computer system failures caused by software bugs?

Answer 9 : • A major U.S. retailer was reportedly hit with a large government fine in October of 2003 due to web site errors that enabled customers to view one anothers' online orders. • News stories in the fall of 2003 stated that a manufacturing company recalled all their transportation products in order to fix a software problem causing instability in certain circumstances. The company found and reported the bug itself and initiated the recall procedure in which a software upgrade fixed the problems. • In August of 2003 a U.S. court ruled that a lawsuit against a large online brokerage company could proceed; the lawsuit reportedly involved claims that the company was not fixing system problems that sometimes resulted in failed stock trades, based on the experiences of 4 plaintiffs during an 8-month period. A previous lower court's ruling that "...six miscues out of more than 400 trades does not indicate negligence." was invalidated. • In April of 2003 it was announced that the largest student loan company in the U.S. made a software error in calculating the monthly payments on 800,000 loans. Although borrowers were to be notified of an increase in their required payments, the company will still reportedly lose $8 million in interest. The error was uncovered when borrowers began reporting inconsistencies in their bills. • News reports in February of 2003 revealed that the U.S. Treasury Department mailed 50,000 Social Security checks without any beneficiary names. A spokesperson indicated that the missing names were due to an error in a software change. Replacement checks were subsequently mailed out with the problem corrected, and recipients were then able to cash their Social Security checks. • In March of 2002 it was reported that software bugs in Britain's national tax system resulted in more than 100,000 erroneous tax overcharges. The problem was partly attibuted to the difficulty of testing the integration of multiple systems. • A newspaper columnist reported in July 2001 that a serious flaw was found in off-the-shelf software that had long been used in systems for tracking certain U.S. nuclear materials. The same software had been recently donated to another country to be used in tracking their own nuclear materials, and it was not until scientists in that country discovered the problem, and shared the information, that U.S. officials became aware o

Question 10 : What can be done if requirements are changing continuously?

Answer 10 : A common problem and a major headache. • Work with the project's stakeholders early on to understand how requirements might change so that alternate test plans and strategies can be worked out in advance, if possible. • It's helpful if the application's initial design allows for some adaptability so that later changes do not require redoing the application from scratch. • If the code is well-commented and well-documented this makes changes easier for the developers. • Use rapid prototyping whenever possible to help customers feel sure of their requirements and minimize changes. • The project's initial schedule should allow for some extra time commensurate with the possibility of changes. • Try to move new requirements to a 'Phase 2' version of an application, while using the original requirements for the 'Phase 1' version. • Negotiate to allow only easily-implemented new requirements into the project, while moving more difficult new requirements into future versions of the application. • Be sure that customers and management understand the scheduling impacts, inherent risks, and costs of significant requirements changes. Then let management or the customers (not the developers or testers) decide if the changes are warranted - after all, that's their job. • Balance the effort put into setting up automated testing with the expected effort required to re-do them to deal with changes. • Try to design some flexibility into automated test scripts. • Focus initial automated testing on application aspects that are most likely to remain unchanged. • Devote appropriate effort to risk analysis of changes to minimize regression testing needs. • Design some flexibility into test cases (this is not easily done; the best bet might be to minimize the detail in the test cases, or set up only higher-level generic-type test plans) • Focus less on detailed test plans and test cases and more on ad hoc testing (with an understanding of the added risk that this entails).

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