Action Figures

You can make a model for just about anything: systems, business processes, organizations, the universe, and so on. A model is an abstraction; it usually serves to represent only the aspects of interest, while leaving out everything else. A model can be a picture, a set of mathematical expressions, a simulation program in a language like Modula, or even a toy car.

Models can be an invaluable testing tool. Unfortunately, they are often difficult to automate -- requiring specialized model-based software and advanced programming skills. One solution is to have testers use action words, or action-based testing, to express models, enabling them to design action-based models that can then be easily automated by a programming expert. When a tester designs the test and a programmer creates the automation, each person is performing the role he is most comfortable with, resulting in well-designed, automated tests.

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