A replicated survey of software testing practices in the Canadian province of Alberta: What has changed from 2004 to 2009?

Vahid Garousi*, Tan Varma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Software organizations have typically de-emphasized the importance of software testing. In an earlier study in 2004, our colleagues reported the results of an Alberta-wide regional survey of software testing techniques in practice. Five years after that first study, the authors felt it is time to replicate the survey and analyze what has changed and what not from 2004 to 2009. This study was conducted during the summer of 2009 by surveying software organizations in the Canadian province of Alberta. The survey results reveal important and interesting findings about software testing practices in Alberta, and point out what has changed from 2004 to 2009 and what not. Note that although our study is conducted in the province of Alberta, we have compared the results to few international similar studies, such as the ones conducted in the US, Turkey, Hong Kong and Australia, The study should thus be of interest to all testing professionals world-wide. Among the findings are the followings: (1) almost all companies perform unit and system testing with a slight increase since 2004, (2) automation of unit, integration and systems tests has increased sharply since 2004, (3) more organization are using observations and expert opinion to conduct usability testing, (4) the choices of test-case generation mechanisms have not changed much from 2004, (5) JUnit and IBM Rational tools are the most widely used test tools, (6) Alberta companies still face approximately the same defect-related economic issues as do companies in other jurisdictions, (7) Alberta software firms have improved their test automation capability since 2004, but there is still some room for improvement, and (8) compared to 2004, more companies are spending more effort on pre-release testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2251-2262
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Canada
  • Software testing practices
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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