Overall our approach to agile testing has been very successful. Figure shows the breakdown for who finds defects during the product life cycle. (When these figures were gathered, the component had been out in the field for over a year).
Nearly a third of all defects discovered are found by developer testing(compile, unit test, and BVT), which is when they are cheapest to resolve. Adding in the defects found by our functional test automation brings the percentage of defects found by automation to well over 50%.
After our first product release, I wanted to work out how successful our automated unit test strategy had been, so I did an analysis of the defects found by the test team and compared them to the code coverage figures of each of our subcomponent unit tests. The results are summarized in Figure
I believe this graph really shows the effectiveness of unit testing; the subcomponents that had the lowest automated unit test coverage had the highest number of defects found by the test team, and the subcomponents with the highest code coverage had the lowest number of defects.1 The total automation of our functional testing has also proved very successful as we now have an excellent regression capability, despite its initial high cost and the fear at one stage that it was going to devour all our resources.
Analysis of defects found by test team versus code coverage.
The introduction of laser-guided testing meant we were able to reduce our teamof regression testers(the team that was responsible for preparing the hardware,kicking off tests, and chasing test failures) by four people and move them into frontline testing.We were also able to reduce the cycle time of a complete regression run from ten days to only one day. The important thing to understand here is that, while we no longer run the entire regression suite, we believe what we do run is able to assess the quality of the build to the same extent but in a dramatically reduced timeframe.
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