U-QASAR poster was presented at the Helsinki Testing Days 2013 conference which gathered over 400 software testing professionals to Aalto University School of Science. Held for the first time in the capital region, the event brought together computer scientists and students from Aalto University Department of Computer Science and Engineering, testing organisations and software companies to learn from one another in order to create top quality software.
The requirements of the software industry often diverge from the goals and issues of academic research. Hence the software industry expects universities to alleviate the disputes between contrasting views and practices in testing.
– Conflicts and dissent provide for us an opportunity to learn because there is no definitive method for software testing, sums up Aalto University Department of Computer Science and Engineering researcher Mika Mäntylä the motivation behind the conference.
The problems that companies face are more often than not more wide-ranging than the ones in the tight frames of scientific research.
– The gap between them is borne out of lack of cooperation and of the slight neglect in science of the issues most relevant for industry. Combining industrial interest and academically rigorous research is by no means easy, thinks Mäntylä.
In Finland and in the Nordic countries the culture of collaboration is fortunately more open than in the rest of Europe or in the USA. In Finland the professional networks of researchers and industry experts spread across the two worlds.
– We have traditionally had both universities and industry in close quarters. Academics and experts in companies know each other.
– Industry is also for us to learn from, to constantly provide research with new issues and insight, Mäntylä remarks.
The speakers at Testing Days also underscored the social and managerial aspects in software design and engineering. Prime quality software is more than just algorithms, it incorporates also people as key components.
– Computer science has for long been algorithm-driven. Here we have heard talks about people, management and teamwork, alongside algorithms and tools. Problems with software development are complex and never solely technical, reminds Mäntylä.
In the Test Lab professionals and scientists learn from each other – and from lego robots
The heart of the conference beat in the Test Lab, a problem-solving workshop put together with the joint effort of collaborating non-profit organisations and companies. In the Lab researchers and testing professionals got their hands into the practical testing problems and into the latest tools in security testing, cloud testing, performance testing and also in team work. Everything from toy lego robots to small group exercise shops was up for grabs.
– In the Lab we had all kinds of exercises in programme testing and bug detection. The same issues were tested both manually and with tools and learnt about how to decide in a group when a piece of work is finished. We also explored the latest in open source testing software, summarises Maaret Pyhäjärvi, General Chair of the conference.
Testing Days 2013 was jointly organised by Aalto University Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Finnish Association of Software Testing TestauOSY and Agile Finland.
Mika Mäntylä, D.Sc.
Aalto University School of Science
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Agile Finland: http://confluence.agilefinland.com/display/af/Home