Thursday, 27 January 2011 00:00

Design Driven Testing: Acceptance Testing - Expanding Use Cases using Structured Scenarios

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Here is Chapter 7 of Design Driven Testing. This chapter focuses on Acceptance Testing, and leverages Enterprise Architect's Structured Scenario editor heavily to accomplish something we call "use case thread expansion" where all of the sunny day / rainy day permutations of a use case are expanded out into a complete set of tests.

In "test driven" approaches to development, unit testing often gets most of the attention.  However, unit testing is generally most useful in discovering "errors of Commission" (more poetically, "whoops, I coded that wrong").  Unit testing is of much less help in discovering "errors of Omission" (more poetically, "whoops, I didn't think of that").  In general errors of Omission are much trickier to detect, and there is very little automated support for detecting them.  We worked very closely with the development team at Sparx as they developed the "use case thread expander", and it brings a very unique and useful capability to the industry.

As you read this chapter, make sure you don't miss the discussion at the end of the chapter called "And the moral of the story is..." where we describe some actual "errors of Omission" that were caught and fixed before the release of our mapping software using these acceptance testing techniques, and how fixing these errors improved the user experience.

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doug rosenberg

doug rosenberg

Parallel Agile, Inc. (Founder, Chief Technology Officer) - formerly ICONIX (CEO)
After running ICONIX for 35 years and writing 7 books on UML, use cases, and agile software development, Doug discovered a new way to improve productivity by leveragng parallel development, and founded Parallel Agile ( in 2018 after 4 years of test projects at the USC Center for Software and Systems Engineering, where he's been working with Prof. Barry Boehm.   A new book "Parallel Agile - Faster Delivery, Fewer Defects, Lower Cost" is mostly written and will be released during 2019.   We're also developing a Parallel Agile Add-In for Enterprise Architect and are available for training and consulting.  
In his previous lifetime...
Doug Rosenberg founded ICONIX in his living room in 1984 and began training companies in object-oriented analysis and design around 1990. ICONIX specializes in JumpStart training for UML and SysML, and offers both onsite and open-enrollment courses.
Doug developed a Unified Booch/Rumbaugh/Jacobson approach to modeling in 1993, several years before the advent of UML, and began writing books around 1995. Design Driven Testing is his 6th book on software engineering. He’s also authored numerous multimedia tutorials (including Enterprise Architect for Power Users) and several eBooks, including Embedded Systems Development with SysML.
Doug has spent the last few years doing "deep dive" consulting into cutting-edge technology including cross-platform mobile app development, REST APIs, and NoSQL databases, and gaining first-hand experience on some "hardcore agile" projects of varying sizes.  He's also been working with dozens of graduate students at the University of Southern California Center for Systems and Software Engineering (USC CSSE), managing Directed Research projects and developing/piloting the Parallel Agile process.
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