Words From a Purple Mind

Input on the important topics …to me of course

Testing Challenge. Are you up for it?

Creative Chaos has come up with a very interesting testing challenge. The challenge lists out a variety of products and laws. You as a tester need to determine what would you test & why would you test those items.

Here’s the details of the challenge:

Picture It: Maryland, 1982. You’ve been hired as an auditor to check to see if Weiss’s Grocery Store in Frederick is enforcing the sale laws correctly. You turn on your Plymouth Horizon and leave Middletown, taking Route 40 east, over Braddock Heights – in the distance you can just barely make out the famous clustered spires of Frederick.

… and then you’re turning into the Weiss’s parking lot. Before entering the store, you grab your clip-board and review the rules:

Weiss’s five basic types of products:
A) Staples – Break, Milk, Cheese, Water, Flour, Sugar, Juice
B) Non-Staple Food such as Soda Pop, Ice Cream, Frozen Food, Candy Bars, Everything else
C) Alcoholic Beverages like Wine and Beer
D) Cigarettes
E) Other items like toys, magazines, pencils, paper cooking supplies, and so on

The following laws apply:
1) Maryland State Sales Tax of 5% applies to all items except staples
2) Only food items (staples and non-staples) can be sold on Sundays
3) All times must have a white tag that lists the price of the item; that price must be correctly charged by the cashier
4) Listed prices in the weekly ‘sale’ circular must be displayed with a yellow that; that price must be correctly charged by the cashier
5) You must be twenty-one years of age to purchase alcoholic beverages; the cashier should card you if you appear to be under thirty-five
6) Alcoholic Beverages cannot be sold between 10PM and 6AM
7) You must be eighteen years of age to purchase cigarettes; the cashier should request identification if you appear to be under thirty

Your job is to ensure that the correct laws and taxes are applied, and items are sold for the correct amount. (If you really want to be testing software, imagine that the rules must be applied through self-service checkout stations.)

Dilbert User Interface

Here are my questions/tests I have come up with:

– Can I make purchases with a credit card, debit card, check, money order, etc?
– Is there an extra fee for not paying a certain way?
– Can I split my payment of the purchase in half?
– Are the items in the store categorized the same as stated in the challenged?
– What should happen to products that are in betweeners? (EX: Would non alcoholic beer be under product category B or C?)
– What is the correct price list for the day I am in store?
– What is the sales tax for product A?
– Buy a variety of products and see if the sales tax adds up to 5%
– What day am I testing/visiting the store? If it’s Sunday that I should not be able buy products C, D or E
– If it’s Sunday attempt to purchase products C, D or E if they are on sale
– Is it 10PM-6AM based off of the register, store clock, clerk watch or my iPhone?
– If it’s 2 seconds before 10 pm can I still buy product C?
– What is the price for products that have a different color tag?
– What is the price for products that don’t have a tag?
– What day does the sale circular come out and how long does the sale last?
– If I purchase alcoholic beverages & cigarettes but look older than thirty and younger than thirty-five does the cashier only have to card me for the alcoholic beverages?
– If I purchase alcoholic beverages & cigarettes and look younger than thirty does the cashier only have to card me twice?
– If I buy three products and say never mind to a product does the sales tax change?
– Are there any “sales” for buy 1 get 1 free?
– Are there any discounts/sales on buying in bulk?
– Just thought of another one: If the rules must be applied at “self-service checkout” how can the cashier card me?

Now that you’ve seen the challenge and my tests/questions what questions/tests would you come up with? Do you agree/disagree with any of my questions/tests?


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