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Testability is the mother of ability

By Jean-Louis Letouzey on déc 02nd, 2012, no comment

Among the particularities of the SQALE method, there is one whose importance is not always well understood. I’ll try to explain it in this post.

The SQALE Quality Model identifies quality characteristics and put them in a chronological order. It appears that the first one at the bottom is Testability.

This means that even before you look at the reliability of your code, its performance, its safety, its maintainability by third parties etc… You must first look at its testability and fulfill the associated requirements.
If your code is not testable (that means it is too much complex, too much coupled …), you will not be able to test it adequately before delivery. You won’t be able to check and improve its reliability and safety.  Also later, when you will make changes and corrective maintenance on your application, you won’t be able to test and check correctly your work.

This leads to the conclusion that testability is the foundation upon which all the other quality characteristics rely. This does not appear in standards such as ISO 25010 and it does not help to raise the importance of this characteristic.

Because all other abilities depend on testability, if you want to improve the overall quality of an application, you must start by improving its testability. That means refactoring its architecture and its internal structure in order to make it completely testable.

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