GOAL: Making software testing more sexy

I finished a Phd in formal methods back in 2000. During that time we would quote Dijkstra in all our papers: “testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, not their absence”. Need to show their absence? Use formal methods! You cannot do without them. After my PhD I moved to Spain and worked in a technological institute that needed to do industrial research. After a year I had to give up on my formal methods and think of something else. These companies did not even test!? How would I ever be able to make them write a formal specification?

So, I started with introducing testing. At least we could show the presence of bugs! More than 20 years later I am still in testing and now I can claim 20 years of experience on the topic. What have I learned? Testing is even less sexy than formal methods. Companies only start doing it seriously after they had problems with customers due to untested failures. And students? They do not understand why do all the extra work? It compiles and it works!

Working in various international projects on test automation, coordinating the R&D related to the TESTAR tool and teaching students, I have one overarching aim: How to make software testing more sexy, such that students are anxious to learn about it, and we will, on the long term, create consciousness on quality that will make everybody understand why a tool as TESTAR is a must have.

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