Sunday, December 11, 2011

Five angles to look at everything

Test must be looked at both science and art. There must be some structured way to test and there must be ways that are beyond imaginations.

When we want to test any object, look at it from 5 different aspects.

  1. Configuration. This means the physical presence of a part in its right place. If this itself is not satisfied, how can we expect the parts to work in the right way? Imagine the brake and accelerator (gas pedal) are interchanged in their positions! Imagine the steering wheel is fixed so low that touches your knee! So the first visual checks ensure, things are in right place.
  2. Security. Any system must ensure the safety of its operator or user. Before operating any item or system or machinery, the severity features must be tested, to see if those safety measures work. Before lighting a gas stove check there is no gas smell in the room. Before using the lift, ensure that there is an alarm bell in place. Before connecting a new CD player to power plug, ensure that the adapter is the right one to connect to 110 V or 220 V. See if the keypad lock is fine in a mobile phone.
  3. Functionality. This is nothing but the operational feature of any system or item or machinery. Every operation of the system must be tested. When we press the close door button in a list, it must close the door. When we press the ^ button for channels, the TV must switch to the next listener channel.
  4. Performance. Speed, consumption and capacity fall under performance. This is also one kind of functionality, but a special one. What would be the speed of the lift (elevator) when it goes up with full load? What is the fuel consumption of a car, when driven at 70mph? This is a key measure that ensuresthe system can cater to a large set of users, to handle large set of information and to run for a longer time.
  5. Environment. The behavior of a system may vary, depending on the surroundings. Some features of the system affected by some environmental parameters. The behavior of the tennis prayer changes from grass court to clay court. The performance of a runner changes when he runs on a flat surface and when he runs on a slope (uphill).

If we think from the above 5 angle , any object or system can be judged for its quality. As an exercise, list what you can test in

1) a Vending machine

2) TV and Remote control

3) Instant messenger

List at least 5 points in each category discuss among yourselves.

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