Past Meetup

May: Automated Developer Testing: Achievements and Challenges

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Developer testing, a common step in software development, involves generating sufficient test inputs and checking the behavior of the program under test during the execution of the test inputs. Complicated logics inside a method make generating appropriate arguments difficult. In testing object-oriented programs, generating method sequences to put the receiver object or argument objects into appropriate states further complicates test-input generation. After the generated test inputs are executed, program crashes or uncaught exceptions can be used to indicate program problems, especially robustness problems. However, some program problems such as producing wrong program outputs do not crash the program.

In this talk, the speaker will present an overview of achievements and challenges in improving automation in developer testing, especially on test-input generation (i.e., generating sufficient test inputs) and test oracles (i.e., checking the behavior of the program under test).

About the speaker:

Tao Xie ( is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 2005. Before that, he received an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 2002, an M.S. in Computer Science from Peking University in 2000, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Fudan University in 1997. He worked as a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond and Microsoft Research Asia.

His research interests are in software engineering, focusing on automated software testing and mining software engineering data. He has published more than 100 research papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings in the area of software engineering. Besides doing research, he has contributed to understanding the software engineering research community.

He has served as the ACM SIGSOFT History Liaison in the SIGSOFT Executive Committee as well as serving in the ACM History Committee. He received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2009. He received 2008, 2009, and 2010 IBM Faculty Awards and a 2008 IBM Jazz Innovation Award. He received 2010 North Carolina State University Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award. He received the ASE 2009 Best Paper Award and an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award. He was Program Co-Chair of 2009 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM) and is Program Co-Chair of 2011 and 2012 International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR).