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VISTACON Updates for the EuroSTAR Blog Readers by Ajay Balamurugadas

  • 20/09/2010
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

First Day at VISTACon 2010 [Vietnam International Software Testing And Automation Conference]

Date: 20th September, 2010.

Venue: White Palace Convention, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


The registration process was very simple. I presented the printout of the conference ticket and they asked for my passport. Then, they gave me my conference badge with my name printed and a welcome kit. The welcome kit has a CD full of information about the conference, a book which has all the presentations of all the tutorials. A copy of the PC World magazine(in Vietnamese language) is also present.

There are two rooms for the concurrent tutorial sessions. The sessions start at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The first session is of two hours duration and the second session is of three hours duration. Lunch would be served at 12 noon till 1:00 p.m. The schedule is as follows:

Morning Session:

Room 1: Effective Test Automation (Part 1) by Hans Buwalda

Room 2: Combinatorial Testing by BJ Rollison

Afternoon Session:

Room 1: Effective Test Automation (Part 2) by Hans Buwalda

Room 2: Unifying industrial and academic approaches to domain testing

I attended the tutorials by BJ Rollison and Dr.Cem Kaner.

Combinatorial Testing

BJ Rollison, Principal Test Architect started the session with a brief introduction on the infinite tests for a simple application. With an overview of ‘Combinatorial Testing’, BJ started describing how the parameters affect the choice of Combinatorial Testing.

The outline of the session was:

1. Combinatorial testing overview.
2. Defining input parameters and modelling inputs.
3. Making sure important values are tested.
4. Increasing coverage of highly probable values.
5. Testing complex interactions.
6. Empirical evaluation.


BJ explained the Combinatorial Testing concept using a custom window. The window had three radio buttons – one each for a font type, two checkboxes each for the font style and font effects.

It was a command line tool. Once the tester prepares the list of parameters to consider, the output file is created. On running the command line tool, the tests are run in less than a minute and the results are ready for evaluation.


Advantages of Combinatorial Testing:

• Increased defect detection effectiveness.
· Increased code coverage.
· Easy to incorporate into data-driven automation.
· Increased efficiency.


One of the points which I liked the most was: ‘The output of the tool is based on the tester’s input… it’s only a tool.’

And finally if you feel that you have missed out a particular combination, include it. One could also seed the inputs.

Lunch: 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Unifying industrial and academic approaches to domain testing

Dr.Cem Kaner started the session with questions on domain testing, specifications, structure of the table to analyze the different variables involved. He highlighted the importance of testing the output variables in addition to the input variables.

Four central questions in domain testing are:

1.  What domain are we testing?
2. How do we determine how to group values of a variable(s) into equivalence classes?
3. How do we determine which members of each class to test?
4. How do we determine whether the program passed or failed the test

The session was filled with multiple exercises for the audience and a detailed de-brief of the exercises. The exercises concentrated on identifying the valid case equivalence class, invalid class equivalence class, boundaries & special cases. Once you finish the analysis, you had to pass the sheet to the person next to you for their feedback.

With the audience geared up with enough practice, Dr.Cem introduced the ‘Structure for domain testing’. The Structure for domain testing included a list of tasks that people often did as part of a domain test. The session was very interactive and Dr.Cem answered all the audience questions.

For live tweets on the sessions, please follow

See you tomorrow with updates on Day 2 of VISTACON.


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