The Venerable Triangle Redux

William Rollison, Microsoft Corporation

Jerry Weinberg's venerable triangle problem has been around since 1966 and was popularized in Glenford Myers' book The Art of Software Testing. To assess a tester's effectiveness, many software companies have used the triangle problem as an interview question. But, past studies indicate testers' effectiveness at solving the problem is relatively low. Recent studies by noted experts indicate that a significant number of testers in the industry lack formal training in software testing techniques. Over a three-year period Microsoft conducted several experiments to accurately quantify the effectiveness of testers with different years of experience and skill. In this presentation, BJ Rollison details the findings of his team's study, provides an objective analysis of the results, discusses changes at Microsoft designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their testing effort, and provides suggestions how other testing professionals can learn from their lessons.

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