Peer group testing in software engineering projects

Nicole Clark

Abstract


Testing is important if you want to produce a quality product, but generally speaking student programmers have little enthusiasm for testing. Students perform a certain level of testing on any assignment work before submission but this is mainly superficial. There is no denying that testing is a crucial part of the software engineering process and this is why testing experience is a real skill needed by employers.

Over the last six years students in the Software Engineering Project course at the University of Tasmania have undertaken projects in teams with four or five members. Each team is collaborating with a different member of the IT industry to produce a unique piece of software. Since the year 2000, the students have conducted peer group testing sessions. The critique that the testers perform helps the development team to identify problems before assessment, hence increasing the quality of the work submitted. The testing sessions are also providing many different, but valuable, benefits such as serving as milestones, increasing learning, and increasing collaboration between teams.

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