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Design and Implementation of a Software Testing Training Course

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Continuing Professional Development Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.453.1 - 26.453.12



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Paper Authors


Gustavo Lopez Universidad de Costa Rica

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Gustavo Lopez is a researcher at the University of Costa Rica's Research Center on Information and Communication Technologies (CITIC), where he has worked since 2012. He has contributed to several research projects on software testing and human-computer interaction, and he has also designed and taught training courses on topics related to software testing. He received his B.Sc. in 2011 and his M. Sc in Computer and Information Science in 2015 both from University of Costa Rica. His research interests include in software testing, human-computer interaction, and computer science education.

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Francisco Cocozza CITIC


Alexandra Martinez Universidad de Costa Rica

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Alexandra Martinez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Informatics at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), where she has worked since 2009. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Databases, Software Testing, and Bioinformatics. She has done applied research in software testing, software quality and bioinformatics at the university’s Research Center on Information and Communication Technologies (CITIC). Previously, she worked as a Software Design Engineer in Test at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA, and as a Software Engineer at ArtinSoft in San Jose, Costa Rica. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida in 2007, her M.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida in 2006, and her B.S. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Costa Rica in 2000. She also received a scholarship to study in the Pre-Doctoral Program in Computer Science at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, from 2001 to 2002.

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Marcelo Jenkins University of Costa Rica

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Design and Implementation of a Software Testing Training CoursePurpose & ContextThis paper presents the design and implementation of a software testing training course forsoftware developers with little or no background on software testing. The design of thistraining course is modular, so that it can be adapted to different industry needs. The firstmodule is a theoretical course that comprises the fundamentals of software testing andquality, as well as testing types, levels and design techniques. The second module is apractical hands-on workshop where students apply the theoretical concepts from the firstmodule using a specialized test tool that supports the entire testing process. Each of thesemodules consists of 18 hours, for a total of 36 training hours.The training was given to a small group of developers who work in a software developmentunit at our university. For the first module there were eigth participants and one instructor;for the second module there were nine participants and two instructors. Mandatoryattendance was required to successfully complete the training.Assessment MethodsOur design and implementation of the training course was assessed from three differentpoints of view: the trainer’s, the trainee’s, and the manager’s. The trainer’s perspective takesinto account the views of the three training instructors. A qualitative assessment of thetraining based on the observed strengths and limitations was performed, as well as anassessment of the importance (usefulness) of the main topics in the training. The trainee’sperspective includes a self assessment of the trainee’s capability (level of expertise acquired)in each of the training topics, as well as an assessment of the importance they give to thethese topics. The manager’s perspective was gathered through an interview with themanager of software development unit that received the training.FindingsOne of our findings is that the use of an active learning approach for the theoretical moduleengages trainees to actively participate in class. Another finding is that the idea of creatingself-explanatory lab guides turned out to be very useful in the context of our training sincesome trainees ocasionally arrived quite late at the sessions but they were still able to catchup at their own pace without interfering with the rest of the group.Some of the recommendations trainees provided for improving the training included: asmaller separation between the theoretical and practical modules, more training hours andmore opportunities for discussion.Value of the PaperOur experience might help educational institutions and college professors in designing andimplementing software testing training courses for the industry.ReferencesF. T. Chan, W. H. Tang, and T. Y. Chen. Software Testing Education and Training in HongKong. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Quality Software, pages313–316, Washington, DC, USA, 2005. IEEE Computer Society.M. Jenkins, A. Martinez, J. Rodriguez, and E. Rojas. Designing a Blended Software TestingCourse for Embedded C Software Engineers. In Proceedings of the Computers andAdvanced Technology in Education. Acta Press, 2011.C. Kaner and S. Padmanabhan. Practice and Transfer of Learning in the Teaching ofSoftware Testing. In Proceedings of the 20th Conference on Software EngineeringEducation & Training, pages 157–166, Washington, DC, USA, 2007. IEEE ComputerSociety.T. Xie, J. de Halleux, N. Tillmann, and W. Schulte. Teaching and Training Developer-Testing Techniques and Tool Support. In Proceedings of the ACM international conferencecompanion on Object oriented programming systems languages and applicationscompanion, pages 175–182, New York, NY, USA, 2010. ACM.

Lopez, G., & Cocozza, F., & Martinez, A., & Jenkins, M. (2015, June), Design and Implementation of a Software Testing Training Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23791

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