Luis Fernández, an Associate professor at Universidad de Alcala is conducting a survey of software testers to gather data relating to, e.g., "Why isn't software testing conducted as efficiently and effectively as it should be?" and "What factors lead to software testing being 'under-appreciated' as a potential career path?"
His survey (as of March, 2010) is listed [here].(http://www.cc.uah.es/encuestas/index.php?sid=28392&lang=en)
Personally, I agree that the following two issues (identified in his survey) are significant causes of inefficiency in software testing:
1) "People tend to execute testing in an uncontrolled manner until the total expenditure of resources in the belief that if we test a lot, in the end, we will cover or control all the system." (Or, at least, given the relatively undisciplined test case selection methods prevalent in the industry, my experience in analyzing manually selected test scenarios is that testers generally believe (a) they are covering a higher proportion of an application's possible combinations than they actually are and (b) they underestimate the amount of time that is spent during test execution unproductively repeating steps that they have previously tested)
2) "Many managers did not receive appropriate training on software testing so they do not appreciate its interest or potential for efficiency and quality."
It is unfortunate, but true, that many testing managers do not have any background whatsoever in combinatorial testing methods that (a) dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to select and document test cases, and (b) will simultaneously improve test execution efficiency when applied correctly. See, for example, this
Please consider taking Fernández's short survey. It takes only 5-10 minutes to complete.
By: Justin Hunter on Mar 1, 2010