Looking for tester who can create Unit Tests – What?

In the blog Functional/System testing with Visual Studio/Test Manager we talked about unit testing. Testers in the near future are going to need unit testing skills. Now that is a very scary statement given 70% of testing is done manually. Now is the time to start learning by taking programming courses, unit testing courses, pairing with developers to learn and searching the web.

In the Visual Studio magazine Jeff Levinson article Take Unit Testing to the Next Level talks about how to add unit tests to requirements to show test coverage. Jeff supplies code you can download and instructions on creating simple unit tests then how to link them to requirements. If you have Visual Studio give it a try.

Thanks Jeff

 Testa Smile 

Agile book pre order deal – Software in 30 Days

New Agile book by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland can be pre-ordered at Amazon for a great discounted price.

About the book from Amazon:

A radical approach to getting IT projects done faster and cheaper than anyone thinks possible

Software in 30 Days summarizes the Agile and Scrum software development method, which allows creation of game-changing software, in just 30 days. Projects that use it are three times more successful than those that don't. Software in 30 Days is for the business manager, the entrepreneur, the product development manager, or IT manager who wants to develop software better and faster than they now believe possible. Learn how this unorthodox process works, how to get started, and how to succeed. Control risk, manage projects, and have your people succeed with simple but profound shifts in the thinking.

The authors explain powerful concepts such as the art of the possible, bottom-up intelligence, and why it's good to fail early—all with no risk greater than thirty days.

I highly recommend reading this book.

Testa Smile


Requirements Traceability in Visual Studio

Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio(VS) excels when it comes to requirements traceability. Depending on what process you are using in TFS your stakeholders needs are documented in a work item called one of the following: requirements, user stories, use cases or backlog items. For this blog I am using the term requirement.

What is requirements traceability?

Continuous knowledge of the life of a requirement from conception to creation to design to development to verification to implementation and change. The ability to trace a requirements state and/or status at any time during a project.

First step in making requirements traceable.

In Visual Studio other work items are used to identify work that needs to be done to a requirement before it can be deemed done. There are different work item types depending on the process template you are using, however all contain the following: Task, Test Case, Shared Step, Bug. Additional work items can be added if not in your process template like Review, Issue, Change Request to name just a few. All these work items can be linked to the requirement they are helping to fulfill. Visual Studio 2010 introduced the concept of hierarchy by which a work item is linked to another work item using a linked type. The work item task is a child of a requirement, two requirements can be related, a test case tests a requirement. Work items like tasks may be linked to show predecessor or successor of another task. To learn more about choosing link types to effectively track your project click here MSDN Library.

Linked type listing:


Example of a requirement with linked work items:


What can be traced?

In Visual Studio during diagram modeling requirements and other work item types can be attached to objects in the model. During modeling you can either create or link requirements. This allows you to trace work items like requirements from a model diagram.

Example of a Use Case model with requirements linked:


Within the requirement work item I can see all other linked work items and information about them like state, assigned to. Knowing the state of work items linked to a requirement tells me the state and status of the actual requirement itself.

Development when checking in code to VS source control can be forced to associate what requirement or other work item their code relates too. Code check-ins create a Change Set that contains information about the check in and gets linked to the work item(s) associated during a check-in. When fixing bugs this is a nice feature.

In Visual Studio I can create queries to show any type of traceability report. Examples: Requirements to Tests Matrix, Requirements to Tasks, Requirements to Issues, Test Cases with Bugs to name just a few. Queries can also be exported or opened in excel, sent to someone thru email or opened in Microsoft Project. Queries exported to excel allows for adding additional excel reporting features like a Pivot Charts.

Requirements to Test Matrix – is there test cases for each requirement


Visual Studio comes with many reports that trace Requirements showing linked tasks and remaining work left, test case results state and many more scenario’s. Remember depending on what process template you are working with will determine the reports you see.



Checkout MSDN library for lots more information on Requirements Traceability in TFS & VS.

Testa Smile

Functional/System testing with Visual Studio/Test Manager

If your reading this blog you likely understand what functional testing and you may use the term system testing.

Wikipedia defines these terms as:

System testing of software or hardware is testing conducted on a complete, integrated system to evaluate the system's compliance with its specified requirements. System testing falls within the scope of black box testing, and as such, should require no knowledge of the inner design of the code or logic”

Functional testing is a type of black box testing that bases its test cases on the specifications of the software component under test. Functions are tested by feeding them input and examining the output, and internal program structure is rarely considered.”

If you have read Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio (by Sam Guckenheimer & Neno Loje) you will have heard about “reducing waste”. Identified as tasks that reduce waste are functional and system testing. These two tasks can be done during code development through unit tests reducing the cost of bug fixes, bug analysis, creating a suite of automated tests and automated regressions tests and reducing the number of people involved in testing and the bug. In some teams developers and testers have been testing the same thing one through unit tests and then again later by a testers. This is duplication of work effort that is a expensive waste.

In Visual Studio there are unit testing tools and third party add in tools that developers can use to create very robust unit tests. You maybe thinking “the developers do not test the same “stuff” that testers do”. Your right, I agree. However since the team is encouraged to make changes to reduce waste why don’t we testers help them. In Visual Studio we can create test cases that are associated to the requirement/user story work item that describes what needs tested. We can pair up with developers to help them write robust unit tests to cover all the testing including boundary, error and data testing.

There are people that believe the future of the “software testers” is about to make a big change. Testers will need to be able to write and execute unit tests themselves therefore requiring the basics of coding and the ability to add assertions (validation) to the unit tests. (Check out MSDN’s Verifying Code by Using Unit Tests topics. ) I believe this will be a reality in the future but I also believe it will evolve.  If you want to start now pair up with your developers to help them create unit tests that execute both the “happy path” and boundaries of an individual method, class or component. Help them to create system integration tests. Getting expose to how unit tests are designed and coded will help you move into the future. In addition having knowledge of what has been unit tested reduces test duplication later. TFS and Visual Studio help us with all this through work item traceability.

Example of work item traceability:


Example of a Test Case and Associated Automation:


Visual Studio has the tools that will help us move into the future with confidence and the security we’ll need. Humans in general are not adapt to change but change we must. I am one of those people that embraces change and excels in change but then I have had Visual Studio in my pocket!

- Kent Beck

The role of professional testing will inevitably change from “adult supervision” to something more closely resembling an amplifier for the communication between those who generally have a feeling for what the system must do and those who will make it do.

Kent Beck author of Test-Driven Development (Addison Wesley 2002), 86.

Visual Studio – my companion, my mentor, my stability, my aid, my reporter, my success

Testa Smile 

(stay tuned, next blog  I will show you how easy it is to create a unit test!)

Microsoft Test Manager–action recording bulk edit

A MSDN Blogger, Gautam Goenka is giving away the code to enable you to do bulk action recording edits. Click here

Thanks Gautam

Testa Smile

Microsoft Blogs – Canadian Solution Developer

If you are reading this blog you should check out bloggers, Susan Ibach and Jonathan Rozenblit. Microsoft developer evangelist who are the resident bloggers at Canadian Solution Developer. Susan and Jonathan are posting some very informative information on ALM, TFS, Visual Studio, testing, events coming, events happening now and in the past.

The most recent blog is about LinkedIn with some great tips on setting up a professional profile. What not to do and what is important to do. Click the link below to see what they have to say.

Microsoft Canadian Solution Developer blog

Testa Smile