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In our last episode, The UML Guy showed Evil Tester how he could use UML to define new test cases with ease. Now The UML Guy wonders what sort of monster he created... (Click picture for a larger image.)

Episode 19

When you're a kid, and somebody famous shares your name, it opens your eyes to possibility. It gives you a sense that Hey! That could be me!

You Johns had Wayne (the ultimate tough guy) and Cash (the incredible musician). You Jims had Stewart and Cagney and Garner. You Robs had Redford.

We had Feldman. Is it any wonder we have a twisted way of viewing the world?

(And yes, I still love that fireplace! Some day I'm going to do an entire Episode consisting of nothing but shots of the fireplace. Well, maybe not...)

If there's a team I feel most underutilizes UML, it's the testers. If the analysts and the architects and the designers actually draw the diagrams (hey, I'm doing my best to convince them, but ya gotta give me more time!), it's like they're giving you a map of what's in their heads. Long before they get to code that you can test, you can start planning your tests. How will you test the different scenarios? What range of test data will you need for each scenario? Will you need tools or special setups for a given test?

And you can also play an early and active role in the requirements analysis. If you can't test it, neither can the user, so how will the user know when it's time to sign the check?

Some tests clearly can't be automated. If you're building, say, motorcycle diagnostic tools, sooner or later you have to hook up to a real motorcycle. And darn it, those things just don't like to be automated!

But we can automate a lot more tests than we sometimes expect. There are some great testing tools out there. Commercial products from companies like Microsoft and IBM and Compuware and HP (among others) will do a lot to automate your tests. They cost a lot, but they save a lot more.

And when I recommend Enterprise Architect (which I do often), one of the features I cite is their test management tools. These don't automate testing, but they automate test tracking.

And then there are free tools like JUnit and  NUnit. These automated unit testing tools will help Testing Coder (or is it Coding Tester?) to build tests of individual units of the code.

Of course, it would be even better if the programmers used good unit testing tools before the code reached the Evil Tester. That would wipe that smug look off his face! Heck, they could plan their unit tests before they even wrote the code! Why, they could even define their functional requirements in the form of tests they must pass in order to function correctly!

Nah, that's too radical. Nobody would ever do that...

No, this Episode has nothing to do with this film. But that was a good feint, huh?

And I want to point out again that mine was not the first Evil Tester comic!

Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008 5:06 PM Ulterior Motive Lounge | Back to top

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