As usual, a very simple program is only able to add two-digit numbers. But sometimes there can be an overwhelming size of possible input data for running such a program. To fully examine this program, it is necessary to carry out a wide variety of tests.
You Should Check all the valid input values
Even a simple program must correctly handle the 39 601 different pairs of numbers. If it were able to add four-digit numbers, this number would increase to 399 960 001. In practice, most programs work with much bigger numbers. How all this can be tested?
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You Should Check Any Invalid Input Values
You should check how the program handles not only valid input data, but also all data that the user can type out on the keyboard. These can be letters and key combinations and combinations of letters and numbers, and other characters such as a question mark. You need to know how the program responds to any user action, no matter what program data he enters.
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You Should Check All The Ways to Modify The Input Data
If software allows you to edit the numbers to be entered, you need to make sure that it does this job right. Now check if you can change any character entered. Test re-editing function: enter a number, change it, and then change it again. How many times should you do this? To answer this question, take a look at an interesting example.
An operator using intelligent terminal is constantly being distracted from his work. However, he is inattentive to his duty. He presses the numeric key, then <BackSpace>, then again the numeric key, and again <BackSpace>, etc. The terminal displays and clears numbers on the screen, but keeps using the entire sequence of keystrokes in the keyboard input buffer. Finally, the user enters what he wanted, and presses <Enter>. The terminal sends the entire contents of the buffer to the host. The computer terminal does not expect the terminal to give it such a number of input data at a time. Its input buffer becomes full, the system fails.
This is nothing else but a true error, and also very common one at that: both developers and testers are well aware that programs’ failures are often caused by an unexpected event. You can test an editing block of input data as many times as you want but you will never be completely sure of its reliable work.
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