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Should Whitebox testers be involved in the software design process and why?

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migrated from Mar 8 '11 at 7:39

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Yes, (whitebox) testers should be involved in the software design process in order to ensure that the software is designed in a way that can be easily tested. (Design for testability)

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I would say yes even for black-box testers. Design for testability is one thing, but there i something more. While whole team usually focuses on how to make things work, Tester will be focusing, how it can break, what one can do break it, what inconsistencies there are, what not precise.

Anyway if you are not sure, pick one tester that is available for you (and you know/heard he is good), and invite him to design sessions. See for yourself if it will be working out for you.

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+1 expertise what and how to break – k3b Mar 8 '11 at 9:12
If black-box testers are involved too much, however, they will have an understanding of the design and implementation, and won't be able to effectively carry out black box testing. – Thomas Owens Mar 8 '11 at 13:14
I agree, that for black-box tester this 'fresh pair of yes' is important. But still you can try to get tester, that won't be involved later in this project. If your place has its own QA team you could always ask someone to help. – yoosiba Mar 8 '11 at 15:14

In my opinion - YES. By the vary nature of White Box Testing - it tests the internal structure or workings of an application. The design process is when you will be determining the structure, components etc for the application - which makes perfect case for a White Box Tester to be present so that he/she can write the test cases with greater details and much usefulness. In later part of the cycle - they will also be able to make informed descisions as opposed to guessing how the internal structure is designed.

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Testers can provide more than just validating that the design is testable. Bringing in testers at the design phase - which I've done on a number of projects, and with both White and Black box testers - helps to validate that the design satisfies the requirements.

That's a tester's job, after all: to find out whether a product meets its requirements. If you think your design does what the customer needs, and another person thinks it doesn't, then either:

  1. The requirements are ambiguous, and need clarification
  2. The designer is wrong, and the design needs a change
  3. The tester is wrong, and the test case should not be applied to the software product

It's always cheapest to find out any of these three issues early in the project.

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