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Computer Interview Questions Answers

Testing Interview Questions Answers

Question - 1 : - What's the role of documentation in QA?

Answer - 1 : - Critical. (Note that documentation can be electronic, not necessarily paper.) QA practices should be documented such that they are repeatable. Specifications, designs, business rules, inspection reports, configurations, code changes, test plans, test cases, bug reports, user manuals, etc. should all be documented. There should ideally be a system for easily finding and obtaining documents and determining what documentation will have a particular piece of information. Change management for documentation should be used if possible.

Question - 2 : - What can be done if requirements are changing continuously?

Answer - 2 : - 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).

Question - 3 : - What's the big deal about 'requirements'?

Answer - 3 : - One of the most reliable methods of insuring problems, or failure, in a complex software project is to have poorly documented requirements specifications. Requirements are the details describing an application's externally-perceived functionality and properties. Requirements should be clear, complete, reasonably detailed, cohesive, attainable, and testable. A non-testable requirement would be, for example, 'user-friendly' (too subjective). A testable requirement would be something like 'the user must enter their previously-assigned password to access the application'. Determining and organizing requirements details in a useful and efficient way can be a difficult effort; different methods are available depending on the particular project. Many books are available that describe various approaches to this task. (See the Bookstore section's 'Software Requirements Engineering' category for books on Software Requirements.) Care should be taken to involve ALL of a project's significant 'customers' in the requirements process. 'Customers' could be in-house personnel or out, and could include end-users, customer acceptance testers, customer contract officers, customer management, future software maintenance engineers, salespeople, etc. Anyone who could later derail the project if their expectations aren't met should be included if possible. Organizations vary considerably in their handling of requirements specifications. Ideally, the requirements are spelled out in a document with statements such as 'The product shall.....'. 'Design' specifications should not be confused with 'requirements'; design specifications should be traceable back to the requirements. In some organizations requirements may end up in high level project plans, functional specification documents, in design documents, or in other documents at various levels of detail. No matter what they are called, some type of documentation with detailed requirements will be needed by testers in order to properly plan and execute tests. Without such documentation, there will be no clear-cut way to determine if a software application is performing correctly. 'Agile' methods such as XP use methods requiring close interaction and cooperation between programmers and customers/end-users to iteratively develop requirements. The programmer uses 'Test first' development to first create automated unit testing code, which essentially embodies the requirements. <

Question - 4 : - What should be done after a bug is found?

Answer - 4 : - The bug needs to be communicated and assigned to developers that can fix it. After the problem is resolved, fixes should be re-tested, and determinations made regarding requirements for regression testing to check that fixes didn't create problems elsewhere. If a problem-tracking system is in place, it should encapsulate these processes. A variety of commercial problem-tracking/management software tools are available (see the 'Tools' section for web resources with listings of such tools). The following are items to consider in the tracking process: • Complete information such that developers can understand the bug, get an idea of it's severity, and reproduce it if necessary. • Bug identifier (number, ID, etc.) • Current bug status (e.g., 'Released for Retest', 'New', etc.) • The application name or identifier and version • The function, module, feature, object, screen, etc. where the bug occurred • Environment specifics, system, platform, relevant hardware specifics • Test case name/number/identifier • One-line bug description • Full bug description • Description of steps needed to reproduce the bug if not covered by a test case or if the developer doesn't have easy access to the test case/test script/test tool • Names and/or descriptions of file/data/messages/etc. used in test • File excerpts/error messages/log file excerpts/screen shots/test tool logs that would be helpful in finding the cause of the problem • Severity estimate (a 5-level range such as 1-5 or 'critical'-to-'low' is common) • Was the bug reproducible? • Tester name • Test date • Bug reporting date • Name of developer/group/organization the problem is assigned to • Description of problem cause • Description of fix • Code section/file/module/class/method that was fixed • Date of fix • Application version that contains the fix • Tester responsible for retest • Retest date • Retest results • Regression testing requirements • Tester responsible for regression tests • Regression testing results A reporting or tracking process should enable notification of appropriate personnel at various stages. Fo

Question - 5 : - What's a 'test plan'?

Answer - 5 : - A software project test plan is a document that describes the objectives, scope, approach, and focus of a software testing effort. The process of preparing a test plan is a useful way to think through the efforts needed to validate the acceptability of a software product. The completed document will help people outside the test group understand the 'why' and 'how' of product validation. It should be thorough enough to be useful but not so thorough that no one outside the test group will read it. The following are some of the items that might be included in a test plan, depending on the particular project: • Title • Identification of software including version/release numbers • Revision history of document including authors, dates, approvals • Table of Contents • Purpose of document, intended audience • Objective of testing effort • Software product overview • Relevant related document list, such as requirements, design documents, other test plans, etc. • Relevant standards or legal requirements • Traceability requirements • Relevant naming conventions and identifier conventions • Overall software project organization and personnel/contact-info/responsibilties • Test organization and personnel/contact-info/responsibilities • Assumptions and dependencies • Project risk analysis • Testing priorities and focus • Scope and limitations of testing • Test outline - a decomposition of the test approach by test type, feature, functionality, process, system, module, etc. as applicable • Outline of data input equivalence classes, boundary value analysis, error classes • Test environment - hardware, operating systems, other required software, data configurations, interfaces to other systems • Test environment validity analysis - differences between the test and production systems and their impact on test validity. • Test environment setup and configuration issues • Software migration processes • Software CM processes • Test data setup requirements • Database setup requirements • Outline of system-logging/error-logging/other capabilities, and tools such as screen capture software, that will be used to help

Question - 6 : - What is Extreme Programming and what's it got to do with testing?

Answer - 6 : - Extreme Programming (XP) is a software development approach for small teams on risk-prone projects with unstable requirements. It was created by Kent Beck who described the approach in his book 'Extreme Programming Explained' (See the Softwareqatest.com Books page.). Testing ('extreme testing') is a core aspect of Extreme Programming. Programmers are expected to write unit and functional test code first - before the application is developed. Test code is under source control along with the rest of the code. Customers are expected to be an integral part of the project team and to help develope scenarios for acceptance/black box testing. Acceptance tests are preferably automated, and are modified and rerun for each of the frequent development iterations. QA and test personnel are also required to be an integral part of the project team. Detailed requirements documentation is not used, and frequent re-scheduling, re-estimating, and re-prioritizing is expected. For more info see the XP-related listings in the Softwareqatest.com 'Other Resources' section

Question - 7 : - What are 5 common solutions to software development problems?

Answer - 7 : - • 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 - 8 : - What is software 'quality'?

Answer - 8 : - Quality software is reasonably bug-free, delivered on time and within budget, meets requirements and/or expectations, and is maintainable. However, quality is obviously a subjective term. It will depend on who the 'customer' is and their overall influence in the scheme of things. A wide-angle view of the 'customers' of a software development project might include end-users, customer acceptance testers, customer contract officers, customer management, the development organization's management/accountants/testers/salespeople, future software maintenance engineers, stockholders, magazine columnists, etc. Each type of 'customer' will have their own slant on 'quality' - the accounting department might define quality in terms of profits while an end-user might define quality as user-friendly and bug-free.

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 steps are needed to develop and run software tests?

Answer - 10 : - The following are some of the steps to consider: • Obtain requirements, functional design, and internal design specifications and other necessary documents • Obtain budget and schedule requirements • Determine project-related personnel and their responsibilities, reporting requirements, required standards and processes (such as release processes, change processes, etc.) • Identify application's higher-risk aspects, set priorities, and determine scope and limitations of tests • Determine test approaches and methods - unit, integration, functional, system, load, usability tests, etc. • Determine test environment requirements (hardware, software, communications, etc.) • Determine testware requirements (record/playback tools, coverage analyzers, test tracking, problem/bug tracking, etc.) • Determine test input data requirements • Identify tasks, those responsible for tasks, and labor requirements • Set schedule estimates, timelines, milestones • Determine input equivalence classes, boundary value analyses, error classes • Prepare test plan document and have needed reviews/approvals • Write test cases • Have needed reviews/inspections/approvals of test cases • Prepare test environment and testware, obtain needed user manuals/reference documents/configuration guides/installation guides, set up test tracking processes, set up logging and archiving processes, set up or obtain test input data • Obtain and install software releases • Perform tests • Evaluate and report results • Track problems/bugs and fixes • Retest as needed • Maintain and update test plans, test cases, test environment, and testware through life cycle

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