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04+-+Testing+and+Function+Pointers - Five Steps in Testing...

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9/20/2009 1 Testing and Function Pointers EECS 280 Programming and Introductory Data Structures Five Steps in Testing circle5 To test some piece of code (either a component or a whole piece): 1. Understand the specification 2. Identify the required behaviors 3. Write specific tests 4. Know the answers in advance 5. Include stress tests Five Steps in Testing 1. Understand the specification circle5 For an entire assignment, read through the specification very carefully, and make a note of everything it says you have to do – and stay away from the computer circle5 Since you then have to break down the solution into its (smaller) constituent parts, you must write most of those specifications. circle5 This makes your job quite a bit harder, as there is no external source to tell you what is “supposed” to happen. circle5 Sometimes your program as a whole may not work correctly because your specification is incorrect (e.g. you misunderstood the definition of standard deviation). Five Steps in Testing 2. Identify the required behaviors circle5 For any specification, it is possible to boil the specification down to a list of things that must and must not happen. circle5 These are the “required behaviors” and a correct implementation must exhibit all of them . circle5 Note that a required behavior is really a “class” of behaviors. circle5 For example, a program that adds two numbers only has one behavior – add the numbers correctly. circle5 The list of behaviors is not adding 1 and 1 and getting 2, adding 1 and 2 and getting 3, etc… circle5 Try this for project 1. For example, what happens if a payment is less than 0? Five Steps in Testing 3. Write specific tests circle5 For each of your required behaviors, write one or more test cases that check them. circle5 To the extent possible, the test case should check exactly one behavior – no more! circle5 That way, if the case fails, you know where to start looking. Five Steps in Testing 3. Write specific tests circle5 There are three classes of test cases that make sense: circle5 Simple inputs circle5 Boundary conditions circle5 Nonsense circle5 Simple cases are those that are “expected” or “normal” for the problem at hand. circle5 “Boundary” cases are at the edges of what is expected, or formed to exploit some detail of implementation. circle5 “Nonsense” cases are those that are clearly unexpected. circle5 What are examples of these cases for project 1?
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9/20/2009 2 Five Steps in Testing 4. Know the answers in advance circle5 Instead of quickly running test cases and glancing at the output: circle5 Write down what you expect a correct answer to be first.
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