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Automated Reliability Testing Using Hardware Interfaces

Reading Time: 1 minute

Bryan Bakker discusses the automating testing for medical devices, an area with stringent quality requirements and difficulties in accessing the software embedded in devices such as X-ray machines. Bakker and his team’s starting point was simple tests that assessed reliability; functional testing came later. The automation was developed in increments of increasing functionality.

In this eBook Bryan Bakker shares interesting observations about management’s changing views toward the automation (e.g., management was surprised when the testers found a lot of new bugs, even though “finding bugs” is what management expected of them). The team developed a good abstraction layer, interfacing through the hardware, and were even able to detect hardware issues such as the machines overheating. The results in the test logs were analyzed with in-house tools. The reliability testing paid for itself with the first bug it prevented from being released—and, in all, 10 bugs were discovered. Subsequent functional testing was smoother, resulting in cutting the number of test cycles from 15 to 5. This story is from the Netherlands, and the project had excellent success using commercial and in-house tools with just two people as test automators.

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