How Good Are My Tests?

Bowes, David and Hall, Tracy and Petrić, Jean and Shippey, Thomas and Turhan, Burak (2017) How Good Are My Tests? In: 2017 IEEE/ACM 8th Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Metrics (WETSoM). 2017 IEEE/ACM 8th Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Metrics (WETSoM) . IEEE Computer Society, ARG, pp. 9-14. ISBN 9781538628072

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Background: Test quality is a prerequisite for achieving production system quality. While the concept of quality is multidimensional, most of the effort in testing context hasbeen channelled towards measuring test effectiveness. Objective: While effectiveness of tests is certainly important, we aim to identify a core list of testing principles that also address other quality facets of testing, and to discuss how they can be quantified as indicators of test quality. Method: We have conducted a two-day workshop with our industry partners to come up with a list of relevant principles and best practices expected to result in high quality tests. We then utilised our academic and industrial training materials together with recommendations in practitioner oriented testing books to refine the list. We surveyed existing literature for potential metrics to quantify identified principles. Results: We have identified a list of 15 testing principles to capture the essence of testing goals and best practices from quality perspective. Eight principles do not map toexisting test smells and we propose metrics for six of those. Further, we have identified additional potential metrics for the seven principles that partially map to test smells. Conclusion: We provide a core list of testing principles along with a discussion of possible ways to quantify them for assessing goodness of tests. We believe that our work would be useful for practitioners in assessing the quality of their tests from multiple perspectives including but not limited to maintainability, comprehension and simplicity.

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11 Sep 2018 14:54
Last Modified:
18 Oct 2023 00:19