Category Archives: Week 9

B9: Rubbing Elbows

          The “Rubbing Elbows” pattern is described as a way be able to branch out and meet other developers instead of working alone. The book talks about how productivity and learning can understandable plateau if you constantly work alone. The best learning experiences come from balancing private learning with team learning whether that be in a large team or simply coding with another person. It allows you to learn things that can only be understood when you and another person have a shared goal in mind. There are little quirks that you can pick up when working with someone that a mentor may leave out or find trivial to teach due to the small scope of learning it provides but over time these quirks can add up. This being said, there are also negative effects of this pattern to watch out for. An example would be to not pick up bad habits that your partner may develop or have. Another example is to make sure to not fall behind on your part of the work because it then hinders your partners learning progress as well if he has to pick up the pieces behind you.

          I found this pattern to be understanding of solo programmers and shows them a way to learn more through working in teams. It showed that working in groups and teams can build communication skills and increases exposure to several coding styles. I found that when the book mentioned pair programming as an example, I got much more interested in the topic. The idea of switching off coding seems very interesting to me and makes me want to learn more for an experience programmer. I want to incorporate this mindset in my work environment to learn better from my peers. The pattern did a good job on the negatives as well by going into subconsciously learning habits that aren’t good for you. This can be helpful to keep me mindful that some habits should be avoided or corrected to increase proficiency at the language. I agree with this pattern very much as it has taught me to value pair programming much more and has instilled a new interest to find a coding buddy to learn off of.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Student To Scholar by kumarcomputerscience and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Journey into Dig Deeper (An Individual Apprenticeship Pattern)

On this Software Development Capstone journey part of my assignment is to choose 10 Individual Apprenticeship Patterns out of 35 patterns among Chapters 2-6 from the book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsmanby Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye. For my sixth individual Apprenticeship pattern I have chosen “Dig Deeper”.

Summary

Lets say you have a superficial knowledge in a programming language, a problem you’re not even aware of until someone puts you on the spot. This is also a problem because you will have trouble maintaining whatever issues you may come across.  This pattern is an encouragement and gives strategies for you to dig deeper and have a better understanding on your programming knowledge. The way it does this is by telling you to… “Learn to dig deep into tools, technologies, and techniques. Acquire the depths of knowledge to the point that you know why things are the way they are. Depth means understanding the forces that led to a design rather than just the details of a design.”. This approach in learning is important because it gives you a deeper understanding on a topic which can lead you to have confidence that will help guide you to have the strength you’ll need to guide you in new areas. “Another advantage of digging deep into a technology is that you can actually explain what’s going on beneath the surface of the systems you work on. In interviews, this understanding will distinguish you from other candidates who can’t describe the software they’ve helped build in a meaningful way because all they understand is one little portion.” Having deep understanding is an advantage because it will differentiate you from those who are just building rubble to those who are building cathedrals, which will open up many doors for you. In order to be considered a cathedral builder you must really know how to debug, reverse-engineer and be willing to “read the specification, RFC, or standards for the technologies you use”. An action to take will be to find books, open source resources, and anything else that will help you gain a deeper understanding.

My Reaction

This pattern stresses the importance of digging deep in order to have a deeper technological understanding of your programming language that would help you stand out in your team. I agree with this idea. I found this pattern interesting but also useful and thought-provoking. This pattern has definitely changed the way I think about my profession and the way I think because it has made me realize that I need to dig deeper in order to be beneficial to my team.

Thank you for your time. This has been YessyMer in the World Of Computer Science, until next time.

From the blog cs@Worcester – YessyMer In the world of Computer Science by yesmercedes and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Some Notes on JUnit 5 Annotations

I think it is extremely cool that with a simple tag at the beginning of an individual Junit test, the entire execution of the entire collection of unit tests in a given source file. When reading about tags such as @BeforeEach and @BeforeAll after going over it briefly in class, I came across an article which describes the most common tags used for Junit tests, found here: https://www.testingexcellence.com/junit-5-annotations/.

Some of these tags are repeats from what we have discussed in lectures, but I find it helpful to rephrase the functions of each tag so that I better understand what each of them does.

@Test – This is a broad tag which simply denotes the presence of a Junit test method to be executed. There are no parameters for this tag.

@ParameterizedTest – This tag specifies that the test being executed must be run multiple times, but with different arguments each time. The test method is defined in the same way it would be under a @Test tag. However, along with the switch to a @ParameterizedTest tag at the beginning of the method, the tag @ValueSource is also used below this initial header. The attributes for this ValueSource tag denote the different arguments to be used and consumed by the test method.

@RepeatedTest – This tag describes a test method being executed a given number of times, specified in the attribute field of the tag. The difference between this tag and the @ParameterizedTest tag is that the same arguments are used for the @RepeatedTest.

@DisplayName – This tag allows the given test method to have a custom display name, which is shown by test reports and during runs. The name (as a string) is the single argument of the tag.

The next few tags affect the order that test methods are executed. Each of them are pretty self-explanatory.

@BeforeEach – With this tag, the specified method will be executed before each of the other test methods.

@AfterEach – Likewise, the method with this tag will be executed after each of the other test methods.

@BeforeAll – This tag denotes a test method being executed first in the order of all of the test methods.

@AfterAll – This tag denotes a method being executed last in the order of all of the test methods.

@Tag – This tag allows filtering or grouping of test methods by adding a custom tag name for its argument.

@Disabled – This tag causes its test method to be skipped.

While there are certainly more annotations in these Junit tests, I’m glad to learn the common tags for further testing in my Software Testing course.

 

 

From the blog CS@Worcester – Hi, I'm Kat. by Kat Law and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Round Earth, Round Testing

As class has progressed this semester, we have learned several testing methods and strategies. While perusing the internet, I found another intriguing test strategy not discussed in class called the Round Earth Test Strategy. This testing strategy turns the test automation pyramid on its head by adding spheres to the triangle.

At the core of these spheres is the Earth, that classic blue sphere we all know and love. We then add concentric spheres around the Earth sphere representing the different levels of testing. Add in some static and dynamic elements such as data and from this we can then take a big slice and lay it out, giving us our Round Earth Test Strategy. One will notice that it does, in fact, turn the test automation pyramid on its head as the base of the triangle is now on top. This maintains that during testing our attention must be towards the surface and the user experience. It also takes our attention away from the lower part of the pyramid which represents the lowest level of the technology, something we rarely test or even can test for that matter. The Round Earth analogy lends itself to good analogies and to deep reasoning as the analogy greases the mental wheels gets the gears turning. The presence of data in the test strategy reminds the testers about data and the model can show testing problems that can occur at multiple levels. Lastly, the model reminds the testers about testability.

The first thing that struck me about this model is that it keeps the user in the forefront of the testing. The author reminds the reader that the worst person to test a program is the developer themselves. The “curse of expertise” puts the developer in the “underground” of the model while the users are living on the surface of the model, a different world compared to the world the developers are in.

Another interesting thing that struck me was that the model puts an emphasis on data. Just recently, in class, we did some work with a half-finished program and tested it using dummy data. What strikes me was that while testing there was little to no concern for what the data actually meant and we only cared in the program compiled and passed the tests, and the Round Earth method puts emphasis towards that data.

The last bit that struck me was that this model lends itself well to the analogy and that makes it easier for people to understand. While this isn’t necessarily helpful for a good model it is always helpful when trying to explain it to your colleagues for a second opinion!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Computer Science Discovery at WSU by mesitecsblog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Journey into the top software testing technique & tools for building software

As I take another step towards Software Quality Assurance Testing. I dive into the blog I found for this week blog post “Top Software Testing Techniques & Tools For Building Working Software” by Ekaterina Novoseltseva.  In this blog I learn about the 4  top testing techniques and tools for building working software. Software testing is very important for program development because it helps reduce the risk, time, and cost that comes with developing a new software.

Top 4 testing techniques important for building software

  1. Unit Testing
    • Is used to test each small part of the software system to make sure it is working properly and does what is expected. “The goal of unit testing is to analyze each small part of the code and test that is working correctly.” as put in the blog I am summarizing. The following are a few of unit testing tools:
  2. Integrated Testing
    • Is the act of combining unit test with each other in order to test the program until it is possible the majority of the program together. The way it works is by integrating more than one unit test that leads to a component and as it keeps adding to it becomes an even larger part of the program in order to see how well each unit runs together and how the software program will function. Another thing to note about integrated testing is “that integration test is also about testing units with databases or other external third-party libraries.” as dictated by the blog I am talking about. The following are a few of integration testing tools:
  3. Functional Testing
    • Is important for testing the quality of the software program and making sure it does what it is intended to do and function the way it should when ever the program is used by its users. “Testing is used to verify that your designed application, website, software executes its functions through a proper response to user commands, a consistent user interface, integration with other systems and business processes, and proper handling of data and searches.” As put by the blog I am blogging about. The following are the functional testing tools:
  4. Performance Testing
    • Is the testing process that test how well the software program performs under a certain workload by testing how well it respond and checks the software program stability. It also test the quality of the software by reassuring that the system not only perform as intended but that it’s reliable as well. The following are a couple of performance testing tools:

This wrapps up the 4 top testing techniques and tools for building software. For more information on this read the blog  “Top Software Testing Techniques & Tools For Building Working Software” by Ekaterina Novoseltseva. This has been YessyMer in the World Of Computer Science, until next time. Thank you for your time.

From the blog cs@Worcester – YessyMer In the world of Computer Science by yesmercedes and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Sanity Testing

Sanity Testing

As a follow, up to my Regression testing post a few weeks ago, Sanity testing is almost a subset of it because it is performed when we do not have enough time to do the testing. It is used to carry out the checking on whether the bugs reported in the previous build are fixed with regression being introduced to fix these issues not breaking any of the previously working functionality. Sanity checks to see if the functionality is working as intended/expected instead of doing the entirety of regression testing. The test helps avoid wasting time and cost involved if the build has failed. After the regression introduction has been completed Sanity starts to kick into full swing. With it checking the defeat fixes and changes done to the software application without breaking the core functionality. It is usually a narrow and deep approach to testing, needing to concentrate limited and main features of testing in detail. Sanity testing is usually non-scripted helping to identify the dependent missing functionalities. It is used to determine if sections of the application are still working after minor changes.  The objective of this testing is to not verify thoroughly the new functionality but rather to determine if that the developer has applied some rationality while producing the software. For example, if your scientific calculator gives the result of 2+2 = t! then there is no point in testing the advanced functionalities like sin 30 + cos 50. Sanity testing is usually compared to Smoke Testing which is used after software building is completed to ascertain the critical functionalities of the program is working fine. But smoke testing is for another topic for another day. All and all the website I looked at was very insightful into what sanity testing is and what it does.

https://www.guru99.com/smoke-sanity-testing.html

From the blog CS@Worcester – Matt's Blog by mattyd99 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Let’s Put It to Rest: What is REST?

We’re preparing for a month-long final project in our Software Design, Construction, and Architecture class, which involves a static web app that utilizes a REST API. We’ve been going over what a REST API entails in some of our lectures, but I also wanted to read more about it so we are more ready for our project to begin. The tutorial that I used can be found at https://restfulapi.net/.

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer, and it essentially defines a set of guidelines, or constraints, that a system must follow in order to denote a “scalable, fault-tolerant, and easily extendable system” (from http://restcookbook.com/Miscellaneous/rest-and-http/). So, a REST API can successfully handle client server requests and subsequent server responses by following 6 guidelines that are part of a RESTful system.

  1. Client-Server – This is associated with the separation between client interface operations and server storage operations without them knowing about each other. This improves scalability of the system and flexibility of the client interface across different platforms.
  2. Stateless – This means that the client and the server can still successfully communicate without taking advantage of any context outside of each request. In other words, both the client and the server do not need any prior requests or responses to still properly complete communications.
  3. Cache-able – Data in a response from the server can be labelled as cache-able or non-cache-able; when cache-able, data from the response can be reused in other requests.
  4. Uniform Interface – This simplifies the architecture of the system by separating its services into independent components: identification of resources (which requires each request to specify which resources, or data, it needs; this is done through the endpoint of a URL), resource manipulation through representation (which ensures that enough information is provided in the request to modify the resources presented), self-descriptive messages (which gives a message to the server that describes how to process the request), and hypermedia as the engine of application state (which provides information about navigating to each resource provided in each response from the server; for example, a link to the localhost may be displayed when returning a response about a local resource).
  5. Layered System – This presents various services of the system in a hierarchical manner so that each component in distinct layers can only see the layers they immediately interact with.
  6. Optional Code on Demand – This optional constraint allows the server to extend functionality of the client by responding with executable code to be run by the client, such as a JavaScript file or Flash application.

This article definitely helped me understand more about how the communication between a local client and a remote server works. I’m very excited for our final project to begin, especially now that I know more about the process behind it!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Hi, I'm Kat. by Kat Law and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

The Testing (Automation) Pyramid

The Testing Automation Pyramid (sometimes just called the “Testing Pyramid”) is an Agile methodology that involves a heavy reliance on Unit Tests as opposed to UI-based testing. It’s referred to as a “pyramid” because the width of the layers in the pyramid refers to the ideal number of tests per layer. The bottom, widest layer is Unit Testing, the middle layer consists of service-related tests, and the tip of the pyramid represents UI Tests. A picture of the structure is shown below, sourced from Martin Fowler’s blog.

test-pyramid
Moving up the pyramid, the type of testing done costs more resources to execute and more time to assess.

Part of the reason why UI testing takes significantly more resources is because it involves interacting with and logging the operations of the interface in order to see where something may go wrong. Running through the operations of the UI to see where it breaks takes a very long time, as there are so many levels of abstraction between the UI and the underlying infrastructure, and so much functionality within User Interfaces. On top of this, as the product is updated and refactored, tests derived from the original UI interface becomes obsolete, making the lifespan of higher-level tests shorter than those aimed towards the low-level structure of the system.

This is why Unit Tests are so good. They’re a cheaper (in terms of both resources and time) alternative, and they provide a means of testing the actual root of the issue. Unit Tests are preventative and they ensure that a bug presenting itself in the UI level stays fixed, rather than allowing the bug to manifest itself in a variety of different ways.

There is quite a bit of criticism of this model, as if it goes unchecked it ends up as the so called “Ice Cream Cone” anti-pattern, where a small layer of exploratory manual testing above the UI testing layer ends up becoming mandatory manual testing, which becomes both a resource and a time sink. This is far better explained by viewing Alister Scott’s blog post on it over at his blog, WatirMelon.

Martin Fowler, whose blog I found this concept on and referenced earlier, summed it all up in a pretty wonderful way: “If you get a failure in a high level test, not just do you have a bug in your functional code, you also have a missing or incorrect unit test.” Martin’s blog post elaborates on the idea much better than I’m able to, and his blog is extremely readable and has really great content. I’ll definitely be using it as a resource in the future.

From the blog CS@Worcester – James Blash by jwblash and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Summary of an Agile Frameworks Post

http://thetesteye.com/blog/?utm_source=fuel&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=lrfuel

This week I read the introductory blog post from The Test Eye, written by Martin Jansson in 2017 as a description of the authors goals and intentions as he writes further posts. In the post linked above, Jansson describes the pros and cons to agile frameworks in his opinion as a professional tester.

Firstly, Jansson states that a main advantage in an agile organization is that no single person bears the blame for the overall quality of the final product, if it happens to fail or come short of expectations. It takes a team where the result is everybody contributing their own level of effort into the project, which is a very good concept for a team building environment. However, Jansson believes there can still be improvements within the framework.

Jansson expresses that these frameworks are meant to be altered and changed dynamically to fit the specific situation appropriately. If the agile transformation is followed exactly, there will be circumstances where it will fail since they have limitations, so its important to be flexible in that way with this kind of environment.

He continues by explaining that coaching in an agile organization also proves difficult fundamentally, since no one person can be an expert in all necessary fields. Rather, its more efficient for this expertise to come from within each department to guide implementation. This approach is supported by the fundamental concepts of an agile framework, where change and improvement over time are stressed.

Jansson then critically assesses the inclusion of testing in frameworks such as SAFe. He believes they could improve by including more various testing material, since currently there isn’t much of any content about testing. He also shares that testing is undervalued currently and is misrepresented as something “everyone is expected to work with.”

Although he has these criticisms, Jansson still admires many good ideas and material laced throughout the frameworks. His goal is to suggest improvements and adjust them as agile transformation continues into the future. I will continue to follow these posts since the writing style is interesting and informative, I suggest to The Test Eye to anybody who hasn’t heard of it already.

From the blog CS@Worcester – CS Mikes Way by CSmikesway and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Choices

This week I read a post of Joel Spolsky, the CEO of Stack Overflow. This post talks about choices or options that software designers give users during they are using programs to accomplish their tasks.  Pull up the Tools | Options dialog box and you will see a history of arguments that the software designers had about the design of the product. Some programs ask users to make so many choices. Even most users don’t understand much about or see it unnecessary to make some of the choices; as a result, users will be distracted or confused. Asking the user to make a decision isn’t in itself a bad thing. Freedom of choice can be wonderful. People love to order espresso-based beverages at Starbucks because they get to make so many choices. The problem is that you ask users to make a choice that they don’t care about. Actually, users care about a lot less things than a software designer might think. They are using your software to accomplish a task. They care about the task and really want to accomplish it. If it’s a graphics program, they probably want to be able to control every pixel to the finest level of detail. If it’s a tool to build a web site, you can bet that they are obsessive about getting the web site to look exactly the way they want it to look. They do not, however, care one whit if the program’s own toolbar is on the top or the bottom of the window, or how the help file is indexed. They don’t care about a lot of things, and it is the designers’ responsibility to make these choices for them so that they don’t have to. Sometimes, it is very hard to make a choice between conflicting requirements and the designer couldn’t think hard enough to decide which option is really better. Therefore, designers try to abdicate their responsibility by forcing the user to decide something, they’re probably not doing their job. Someone else will make an easier program that accomplishes the same task with less intrusions, and most users will love it.

A major rule of user interface design: “Every time you provide an option, you’re asking the user to make a decision.” That means users will have to think about something and decide about it. User’s option is not necessarily a bad thing, but, in general, you should always try to minimize the number of decisions that users have to make. This doesn’t mean eliminate all choice. There are enough choices that users will have to make anyway: the way their document will look, the way their web site will behave, or anything else that is integral to the work that the user is doing and really cares about.

Article: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/04/12/choices/

From the blog CS@Worcester – ThanhTruong by ttruong9 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.