We’re thrilled to have George Sherwood is a member of Quality
Testing. George Sherwood is CEO of Testcover.com.
Quality Testing interviewed him
recently, to discuss about Testcover.com and WSDL interface.
We hope that this interview will be useful for you.
QT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you
: I am a software engineer and entrepreneur. I live in New
Jersey in the US. My wife and I have three grown sons. I like to
learn how things work and to solve problems. My training is in
physics, but most of my career has been in engineering, first at
AT&T Bell Labs and now with Testcover.com
. About 20 years ago I wrote my
first combinatorial test tool, CATS. I was supervising a system
test team responsible for a family of local area network products.
The test job was large and labor intensive, with extensive
configuration requirements. We needed a way to reduce the number of
test configurations, and CATS was the result. I’ve been interested
in software test design ever since.
QT: How does your day start and how does your day end? What all
do you do in a day that corresponding to testing?
: Every day is different. Working in a small company I
have many roles. Much of my time is spent on operations – keeping
our service up and ready for use – and on consulting with customers
and partners. Because Testcover.com provides a test design service,
we maintain a lot of content on the site for testers. This material
gives examples and instructions for generating pairwise test
designs. In addition we have development projects of our own, to
extend and improve our service. Before we deploy a service upgrade,
much of my time is spent on being sure the upgrade is ready.
QT: How did you get the idea to develop your own product
: CATS got me interested in test design problems. I began
doing research on covering arrays, which are mathematical templates
for test cases. This work has led to improved designs with fewer
test cases. At the Labs I had worked in the IP Services Delivery
Division, which developed IP services for AT&T as well as for
major cable companies. The math research and the internet
development experience made founding Testcover.com a natural next
step. The research was fascinating to me, but to be relevant,
people have to use it and benefit from it. In the end it’s about
tools, giving testers what they need to work more effectively.
QT: Tell us briefly about Testcover.com and how it will be
useful for a Test Engineer?
: Testcover.com offers a pairwise (or all-pairs) automated
test case generator service. It improves test efficiency by
reducing the number of test cases and by improving the test cases'
ability to find defects. Customers can use the service without
buying, installing or maintaining software. It’s available on a
software as a service (SaaS) basis. Customers can save time and
money, and get the results they need to develop quality products
and services in less time. We do this with a simple HTML interface
to the service. We also have a web services description language
(WSDL) interface for integration with existing test tools.
QT: What is WSDL?
: WSDL (pronounced wiz-del) is a standard XML-based
language for web services. Our WSDL interface enables other test
tools to access the Testcover.com service and create test
QT: Why did Testcover.com develop its WSDL interface?
: There are so many ways to use pairwise testing, and so
many good test tools already in use, that it made the most sense
for testers. Customers already have invested in specialized tools
for test automation, database testing, embedded software testing,
and more. Developers of these tools can enhance their value by
including pairwise technology through the WSDL interface. At the
same time, the customer’s investment in current tools and training
QT: Is Testcover.com compatible with any test
: Yes. Because the service is based on the web, it is
accessible virtually anywhere, from a variety of browsers. There is
no need for installation and updates: You just submit a request
where and when you need to. Whether you want to specify physical
test configurations, manual test cases, or automated test cases,
the Testcover.com service is ready to support your need.
QT: Does the Testcover.com support Agile Development?
: Yes. The service is ideally suited to the incremental
development and frequent releases of agile development. As new
configurations or new features are proposed, corresponding test
configurations and test cases are quickly and easily generated.
Traditionally pairwise testing has been used in more formal
processes (like Six Sigma or CMMI). But the ease of use and rapid
response of the Testcover.com service make it practical for a broad
range of development processes.
QT: What are the greatest threats right now to the software
testing discipline? What are the greatest hopes for a brighter
: Our great success in developing new technologies and
making them available to more people is an unprecedented testing
challenge. Users increasingly depend on software for smart phones,
appliances, vehicles & traffic control systems, medical devices
& healthcare systems, online shopping and banking, virtual
offices with virtual meetings… The list goes on and on. We expect
rapid technological innovation with little room for error. (See The
RISKS Digest at http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/risks
for examples.) This challenge is only a “threat” if we don’t
recognize and address it. It is also an opportunity to test smarter
and more efficiently, to improve quality and limit risks. The best
testers I’ve known learn everything they can about the test system
and their tools. They think carefully about what test cases are
most important for the project’s goals and risks. They focus on the
priorities and collaborate with team members to insure the best
QT: Any message to Quality Testing (QT) Members?
: Effective software testing is essential to life in the
21st century, and it gets more important every day. I’m glad to see
Quality Testing is here to help.
Dear QT Members,
We wish him all the very best in professional and personal
Thanks & Regards,
Kiran Kumar | Founder | Quality Testing