System Testing

More than two years ago I was invited to a System Tester job interview in Motorola. As usual, I wanted to prepare as well as possible and by simple googling, I made a surprising discovery. In the world where almost everything has detailed descriptions available for free, there is serious lack of reliable resources about ‘system testing’. For example, on Amazon, there is only one sensible hit -> check it. Trust me, by implementing processes described in this book you will end up broken. This means that you can become a bestselling author. Just write a professional and concise book about system testing with lots of practical examples.

According to ISTQB glossary, system testing is the process of testing an integrated system to verify that it meets specified requirements. That’s too general description. In my opinion:

System testing in the time & budget-limited process which ensures that:

  • the system meets specified requirements
  • all system elements integrate correctly making desired *ility levels

It’s fashionable to analyze what Apple does, so let’s check scraps of information we can find online. Before launching iPhone 6 Apple opened the testing center in Cupertino for the press. I managed to find an absolutely fascinating picture-rich article about iPhone testing (click). Unfortunately, those are only hardware tests. If you use Apple products you probably agree that the usability levels are very high. It looks like they hire Human Factor Engineers (click). However, this looks the most interesting (click) - is it iPhone System Tester? Those are job requirements:

  • Testing of mobile devices and cellular technologies (GSM/GPRS/CDMA/LTE/etc)
  • Scripting skills in any of the following: Python, Perl, Shell, or JavaScript
  • Good understanding of SQA methodologies & practices
  • Comfortable with working on hardware and in supporting engineering in debugging and reproducing user case scenario
  • Demonstrated ability to own a complete functional area of an application or product
  • Thrive in a collaborative environment and can clearly communicate while confidently driving multiple projects across many teams
  • Obsessively passionate and inquisitive, and seek to solve everyday problems in innovative ways
  • Laser-focused on the smallest details that are meaningful to our customers

Hopefully one day a brilliant writer will answer millions of system testing questions - how to test a pacemaker? How to test a space shuttle? When to start integration? When to start performance testing? Which test types to rely on? And so it goes!