Kathleen Poulsen spoke on using Combinatorial Software Testing at Fidelity Investments during the StarEAST conference last year.

Hexawise sponsored an evening gathering with short talks on software testing by various experts. Kathleen discussed the use of Hexawise at Fidelity Investments, as seen in this video.

We hope you enjoy this video. We plan on added several more from the speakers at the evening sessions.

Quote by Kathleen, in the video:

We had more than 20,000 less than 30,000 test cases that were in place. 95% of them were redundant; either with the integration layer below them or themselves because people would come on board for 6 months and they would quit and go somewhere else and someone else would come along and reinvent exactly the same test.

I could see that now. When we went with in Hexawise we could see how many tests it actually took and just so small compared to what we had been testing. The first time I ran the full suite of [new Hexawise designed] tests I went back an hour later and I told the manager "we're done you can move ahead you're all right now." By "move ahead" I meant promote to a new environment. And he said, "what, I thought I would see you again in 2 weeks", but it was the same day.

That's the kind of difference it is making.

The complexity of managing testing over time on complex software is a serious challenge. There are many ways in which Hexawise makes that process more effective and less burdensome.

Our core competency here should not be around how to use a tool. And the problems that I have had with some of the open source tools is they took a heck of a lot of effort just to use them. And Hexawise was a lot simplier.

Related: Examples of the Benefits of Using Hexawise at a Large Bank QA Department - How Do You Know You are Executing the Right software Tests? - Hexawise Test Plan Revisions

By: John Hunter on Jan 23, 2018

Categories: Business Case, Customer Success, Hexawise, Software Testing, Software Testing Efficiency, Software Testing Presentations, Testing Case Studies

Carrie Puterbaugh's presentation at the Twin Cities Quality Assurance Association on using Hexawise to improve software testing at her organization (a large bank).

In one example she discusses in the video Carrie's team used Hexawise to create an optimized test suite and provided that to the software vendor to have them run it prior to delivering the software to her bank. In this example historically they vendor was finding 67% of the defects and Carrie's bank was finding 33%. Now that the vendor is using the Hexawise test suite the vendor is finding 98.5% of the defects and fixing them prior to delivering the software to Carrie's bank.

Based on these results her team was able to move staff off of testing this application and onto other testing needs of the organization. They are saving 90% of what they used to spend on QA on this project.

Another project she talked about was a high priority and high risk release that they used Hexawise on and achieved the highest quality software release they have ever had.

It was great... We were able to go to management and say "we reduced the amount of test cases we ran and we got a better quality application.

Carrie discussed how valuable Hexawise was to improving the regression testing they must do on their large number of applications. She also mentioned how much value Hexawise added by presenting software testing plan information in an easy to visualize way that greatly improved the discussions between her (as the software testing manager) and the business executives she interacts with.

Related: Large Benefits = Happy Hexawise Clients and Happy Colleagues - Kathleen Poulsen of Fidelity Investments on Using Hexawise to Improve Software Testing Results - How to Pack More Coverage Into Fewer Software Tests

By: John Hunter on Oct 3, 2017

Categories: Business Case, Customer Success, Hexawise, Pairwise Testing, ROI, Software Testing Presentations, Testing Case Studies

Kathleen Poulsen of Fidelity Investments gave a presentation at STAREAST 2017 sharing her experience using Hexawise to improve their software testing performance. Watch a 10 minute video with highlights of that talk:

We didn't really have what I'd call a scientific methodology to approaching the tests...

Our regression test suites were continuously expanding... We found there was a repition of tests.

We had 3 different projects that I will talk about that I feel like combinatorial or pairwise testing was the key to answering all of those problems.

Hexawise allows you to harness the power of combinatorial software testing with test plans designed to provide thourogh testing of interaction impacts on the software being testing. Hexawise provides more coverage with fewer tests.

All the teams that are using Hexawise can use that same file, they can talk to each other. [Another] thing I liked about Hexawise was the coverage chart... I go back to my business partners and say I am not running these tests. If they are important to you I add them back in with the click of a button. I love that... it was a game changer for me.

Using the Hexawise exporting options

the tests that we produced were converted into the given then when type scenarios automatically and when they are exported into excel you can use them to drive the Sellenium test automation framework. No additional work from us involved.

Using Hexawise's ability to create highly optimized test plans Fidelity was able to greatly reduce the number of tests while also greatly improving coverage.

We were able to reduce from 12,000 tests down to 600.

This type of result sounds amazing, and it is. But it is also what we find consisently from clients over and over. There are certain things people just cannot do well and designing test plans to cover incredible large numbers of interactions between test values and conditions is one of those things. Using highly optimized alogorithms to create test plans to cover these interactions in order to reliably create software customers will love is key. This also frees people to do what they do best.

Kathleen also discussed the significant improvement in communication within Fidelity that was brought about by using Hexawise.

The common language has become the test plan that comes out of Hexawise today.

Improving communiction is an area many organization see as important but finding concrete ways to achieve better communication is often difficult. We have designed Hexwise to aid the communication between stakeholders, including: software developers, software testers, product owners, help desk support staff and senior management.

The simplicity of this tool along with the way you can enter your parameters using the mind map tool, getting that coverage chart automatically out of it, having it export your data into a pretty commonly usable format - those are things that were teribly important to me. They gave me real value... I love that.

I can accomodate many differnt types of testing. We are testing at the class method level, at the services interface level, at the UI level...

Related: 84% of Software Defects Found in Production Could Have Been Found Using Pairwise Testing - Create a Risk-based Testing Plan With Extra Coverage on Higher Priority Areas - 2 Minute Introduction to Hexawise Software Testing Solution

By: John Hunter on Jun 9, 2017

Categories: Combinatorial Software Testing, Combinatorial Testing, Efficiency, Hexawise, Hexawise test case generating tool, Multi-variate Testing, Pairwise Software Testing, Pairwise Testing, Recommended Tool, Software Testing, Software Testing Presentations, Software Testing Efficiency, Testing Case Studies, User Experience

We have created a new site to highlight Hexawise videos on combinatorial, pairwise + orthogonal array software testing. We have posted videos on a variety of software testing topics including: selecting appropriate test inputs for pairwise and combinatorial software test design, how to select the proper inputs to create a pairwise test plan, using value expansions for values in the same equivalence classes.

Here is a video with an introduction to Hexawise:



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By: John Hunter on Nov 20, 2013

Categories: Combinatorial Testing, Hexawise test case generating tool, Multi-variate Testing, Pairwise Testing, Software Testing Presentations, Testing Case Studies, Testing Strategies, Training, Hexawise tips

I'll be talking at QAI's 12th Annual International Software Testing Conference on Dec 6th in Bangalore, India.

Topic: Conquering the Single Largest Challenge Facing Testers Today

"There's too much to test and not enough time to test it all." According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Sabourin, this is the single largest challenge facing test managers today. And this challenge clearly won't go away any time soon. Software is becoming increasingly complex and time pressures put on testing teams are becoming ever more extreme.

To survive and thrive as testers, we need to find ways to learn more in the limited time we have. This talk addresses:

  • Proven test design methods to learn as much as possible about a System Under Test as quickly as possible

  • How these methods were originally developed and refined in other (non-IT) industries over the last 80 years

    • How the recent Apple Maps disaster could have been easily avoided by implementing these methods
  • Real world case studies: these methods sound nice on paper, but do they actually work?

  • Reasons why these methods are being used at more than 100 Fortune 500 firms today

    • What does the future hold?


Attendees will learn about valuable testing strategies that are being used today by more than 100 Fortune 500 firms. In particular, attendees will hear about:

  • Practical test design approaches that they can begin implementing after the conference at their firms to:

    • Reduce the amount of time spent selecting and documenting test scripts
    • Reduce the amount of tests needed for execution by creating unusually powerful tests
    • Increase the thoroughness of software test suites


Related: Efficient and Effective Test Design - A Fun Presentation on a Powerful Software Test Design Approach - Maximize Test Coverage Efficiency And Minimize the Number of Tests Needed

By: Justin Hunter on Nov 22, 2012

Categories: Combinatorial Testing, Efficiency, Pairwise Testing, Software Testing Efficiency, Software Testing Presentations