It has been a wonderful experience working towards this certification with your training program, and I would give a very high recommendation to any future users. 

-Kay Stanley, CivicPlus






April 2017

Newsletter Issue 57



Risk-based Mobile Testing



Risk-based testing is a long-standing best practice, but can you apply it to mobile testing? Absolutely! In this short article, we'll review what risk-based testing is, and then explain how it can be applied to testing mobile apps. Risk-based testing will help you focus on what to test, how much, and in what order on your mobile apps, which, given the timescales of mobile app testing, is more critical than ever before.


For any realistic-sized system, testing cannot reduce the risk of failure in production to zero, due to the impossibility of exhaustive testing. While testing does reduce the risk of failure in production, most approaches to testing reduce risk in a suboptimal and opaque fashion.


Risk-based testing allows you to select test conditions, allocate effort for each condition, and prioritize the conditions in such a way as to maximize the amount of risk reduction obtained for any given amount of testing. Further, risk based testing allows reporting of test results in terms of which risks have been mitigated and which risks have not.


Risk-based testing starts with a process of analyzing risk to the quality of the system. First, you work with your fellow project team members to identify what could go wrong with the system. These are the quality risks, or, to use another common name, the product risks. In risk-based testing, these quality risks are potential test conditions.  To determine which of the risks are test conditions, you and your colleagues assess the level of each risk. Important risks will be tested.  The effort of testing associated with each risk depends on its level of risk. The order in which a risk is tested depends on its level of risk, too.


To clarify terms a bit, we can informally define risk as a possible negative outcome.  The two key elements are possibility and negativity.  A risk is neither impossible nor certain. If a risk becomes an outcome, that outcome is undesirable.


Risks are of different levels, as we know from real life.  The easiest way to assess the level of risk is to use two factors: likelihood and impact.  Likelihood has to do with the odds of a risk becoming an outcome. Impact has to do with the financial, reputational, safety, mission, and business consequences if the risk does become an outcome. 


For example, people buy life insurance for premature death. As the saying goes, insurance is a bet that you want to lose. For all insurance, it's likely that you will pay more than you ever collect, and you're happy if that's the case.


Considering life insurance, premature death is unlikely, unless you engage in highly self-destructive lifestyle behaviors.  (Of course, in that case the life insurance companies won't insure you.)  So, premature death has a low likelihood. However, the impact can be very high. For example, suppose you are a primary breadwinner for your family, you have three kids, all under 18, and you die. Unless you have life insurance-or you had the good sense of being born with inherited wealth-that will be a devastating event for your family.


It can work the other way, too. For example, in many places in the world, going outside in the summer involves the risk of mosquito bites. The likelihood is very high. Usually-barring unusual disease outbreaks-the impact is very low. So, this is a risk managed through clothing, nets, and skin lotions, rather than insurance.


Testing software prior to release reduces the likelihood of undetected, serious bugs escaping into production; i.e., it reduces risk to overall system quality. Anything that could go wrong and reduce product quality, that's a quality risk. In addition to quality risks, there is another kind of risk, called project risks. Project risks are bad things that could happen that would affect your ability to carry out the project successfully.


Here are some examples of quality risks:


  • System responds too slowly to user input during log in
  • System calculates an incorrect total on the user's monthly bill
  • System crashes when users enter long names, addresses, or other information during account creation

Here are some examples of project risks:

  • Key project participant quits prior to the end of the project
  • Equipment needed for testing not delivered in time
  • Project sponsors cancel project funding during project

Let's summarize the risk-based software testing process. We analyze the quality risks, identifying the risks, and then assessing their level based on likelihood and impact. Based on the level of risk, we will determine what to test, how much, and in what order. By doing so, we will minimize the residual level of risk for the system as a whole. 

Copyright © 2017, RBCS, All Rights Reserved


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ISTQB has issued 500,000 certifications in over 110 countries worldwide



RBCS, Inc. has always been proud to be an ISTQB accredited training provider.  Recently, the ISTQB released news that over 500,000 certifications have been issued word-wide!  ISTQB is the de facto standard in the certification of software testing competences, as marked by the following figures, updated as of December 2016:

  • Number of exams administered: ~700,000
  • Number of certifications issued: 500,000+
  • Growth in exams (2016 vs 2015): +7.5%
  • Growth in Agile Tester certificates (2016 vs 2015): +44.4%
  • First Specialist certificates: 93
  • Number of member boards: 57
  • Number of countries directly covered by Member Boards: 81
  • World-wide geographic coverage thanks to e-exams administered by global exam providers
  • Number of countries in which ISTQB certification activities have taken place: 117
  • Partners in Industry Partner Program have crossed the 150 mark in 48 countries
  • Accredited training providers: 292 *





Complimentary Webinars


Did you miss the complimentary webinar, "One Key Idea: Code Coverage Demonstrated with gcov" on April 4, 2017? Check out what you missed!



Webinar attendees are automatically entered into a drawing to win their choice of one of our green e-learning courses. Congratulations, Carla Skipper, attendee of the April webinar, for being selected as the winner of an e-learning course. 


Register now for our next complimentary webinar, "Enterprise Challenges of Test Data" on May 16, 2017.


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RBCS Software Testing Training Schedule

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