TITLE: Software Testing: And the Challenges (and Opportunities) Keep Coming!
Disruptive shifts in software application types and software development environments create challenges to software testing that need to be addressed to ensure software quality and reduce the cost of software development time. Over the years, the size and complexity of software have grown as well as the need for fast-changing codebases, fault detection strategies, and test case generation and selection. To meet these challenges, techniques such as regression testing, selection/prioritization, and fault localization have been developed as well as specialized testing techniques for GUIs, object-oriented software, mobile computing, and continuous evolution of software to name a few. This talk presents an overview of these challenges and solutions and references Mary Jean Harrold’s achievements in these areas. The talk then explores current challenges and opportunities that bring problems that cannot be solved by state of art techniques, including applications that are machine learning applications or use machine learning as part of a system where components interact and evolve. Other challenges that need to be explored involve autonomous systems, cloud applications, and data churn. As software becomes more autonomous, its operations and outputs become less predictable at test writing time; hence, the traditional nature of assert (Actual, Expected) test oracles does not work and needs to be addressed.
Mary Lou Soffa is the Owen R. Cheatham Professor of Sciences in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia, serving as the department chair from 2004 to 2012. Her research interests include software testing, program analysis, warehouse scale computing, software systems for multi-core architectures, and optimizing compilers. She has published over 175 articles and has directed 32 Ph.D. students to completion, half of whom are women and including Mary Jean Harrold. Soffa is an ACM and IEEE Fellow. Other notable awards include the Ken Kennedy Award for contributions to compiler technology, the IEEE Software Engineering Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Award, and the Anita Borg Technical Leadership Award. For her career-long dedication to diversity in computing, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring and Computing Research Association (CRA) Nico Habermann Award. She has served as conference chair, program chair, or program committee member for conferences in programming languages, architecture, and software engineering. She served on the ACM Publications Board and on the Computer Research Association Board (CRA). She co-founded the CRA-W Graduate Cohort for Women, the Cohort for Associate Professors and the Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities.