How do Students Test Software Units?

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We gained insight into ideas and beliefs on testing of students who finished an introductory course on programming without any formal education on testing. We asked students to fill in a small survey, to do four exercises and to fill in a second survey. We interviewed eleven of these students in semi-structured interviews, to obtain more in-depth insight. The main outcome is that students do not test systematically, while most of them think they do test systematically. One of the misconceptions we found is that most students can only think of test cases based on programming code. Even if no code was provided (black-box testing), students try to come up with code to base their test cases on.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE/ACM 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering Education and Training (ICSE-SEET)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780738133201
ISBN (Print)9781665401388
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Event2021 IEEE/ACM 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training - Online, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 25 May 202128 May 2021


Conference2021 IEEE/ACM 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering
Abbreviated titleICSE-SEET
Internet address


  • education
  • software engineering
  • software testing


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