Bernard Stepien:

Bernard Stepien holds a master's degree in ecomonics from University of Montpellier, France. He has been a senior research assistant with University of Ottawa, Canada since 1978. He has been a consultant for Bell Canada, Nortel Networks and the Federal Government of Canada. In the specialized domain of TTCN-3 ,he has been a visiting scientist with Fraunhofer FOKUS from 1993 to 2005 and a TTCN-3 consultant for Telcordia Technologies and Research In Motion (Blackberry). He has been researching the domain of managing access control policies logic. He is currently leading a CRIAQ research project on the usability of TTCN-3 for testing avionics.

Myths and Realities of the Economics of Testing

Choosing a testing strategy is not as straight forward as it might seem. One would like to make a straight-forward cost/benefit analysis as one would with any business decision, but this can be difficult due to the lack of tangible elements to perform a valid cost/benefit analysis. The economics of the situation is not as simple as computing costs and evaluating benefits to verify the potential profit. Like the economics of a country, the economics of testing is a living thing, highly experimental, intuitive and driven by antagonistic forces that distort the real perception of both costs and benefits. Choosing the appropriate testing strategy in terms of skills, tools and methodologies is complex and inevitably contains a share of risk that will influence the quality of testing which in turn can produce risks for the product being tested. This talk will make an inventory of testing strategies and categorize the factors that influence their functioning and explain their various degrees of success or failure.