Tutorial G

Condition-oriented Test Case Design with ECT and MCDC

Rik Marselis

09:30-13:00 CEST Tuesday 28th September

Test case design is one of the core competences of the testing profession. Which test design techniques do you use? And is this effective and efficient?

Suppose you must test the entry-check of the new Wuthering Heights Rollercoaster in the QualityLand amusement park. Every person must be at least 120 cm tall to be allowed in the rollercoaster. What technique would you use? Boundary Value Analysis, right? That’s not a tough choice.

But now the marketing department of QualityLand has a special offer for Halloween. To be allowed with the special discount-rate, a person must still be at least 120 cm tall, but must also wear a Halloween outfit and needs to be at the gate on 31 October (that’s a decision with 3 conditions). On top of this, if the person has bought a ticket online, and paid 10% extra, they may skip the line (that’s another decision, with 2 conditions). So, all in all you have 2 decision points, with together 5 conditions.

Now what test case design technique do you use? There are a couple of dozen different test design techniques. TMAP has classified them in four groups: Process-oriented, Condition-oriented, Data-oriented, and Appearance-oriented test design. In the above example (with 5 conditions) choose a condition-oriented test design technique. But which? Probably you know Decision Table Testing. Applying this technique would lead to 2 to the power of 5 = 32 test cases. That’s a bit too much to call this an efficient test set.

My advice is to use the Elementary Comparison Test (ECT) design technique, together with Modified Condition Decision Coverage (MCDC). This way, with only 6 (!!) test cases you can guarantee that EVERY condition has contributed to trigger EVERY outcome of the entry-check of the rollercoaster. So, it is both effective and efficient!

Have you never heard of ECT before? Well, even though it exists for decades, I can imagine, because ISTQB doesn’t teach you this. But we do 🙂 This EuroSTAR conference you will get your chance to learn all about ECT & MCDC!

Join me in this half-day tutorial and I will make sure that you will get hands-on experience. Since it is an online tutorial, we will use an easy-to-use Excel-template for multiple exercises. At the end of the tutorial you will feel confident to apply this elegant, efficient, and effective test design technique in your daily testing work!!