State of the Practice in Software Testing Teaching in Four European Countries


Software testing is an indispensable component of software development, yet it often receives insufficient attention. The lack of a robust testing culture within computer science and informatics curricula contributes to a shortage of testing expertise in the software industry. Addressing this problem at its root —education— is paramount. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive mapping review of software testing courses, elucidating their core attributes and shedding light on prevalent subjects and instructional methodologies. We mapped 117 courses offered by Computer Science (and related) degrees in 49 academic institutions from four Western European countries, namely Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The testing subjects were mapped against the conceptual framework provided by the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 standard on software testing. Among the results, the study showed that dedicated software testing courses are offered by only 39% of the analysed universities, whereas the basics of software testing are taught in at least one course at every university. The analysis of the software testing topics highlights the gaps that need to be filled in order to better align the current academic offerings with the real industry needs.

In 17th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST) 2024.
Alexandra Mendes
Assistant Professor

My research focuses on encouraging a wider adoption of software verification by creating tools and methods that hide the complexities of verifying software. Recently, I started work on usable security, in particular on the impact of formal verification on the use and adoption of formally verified security software products. Much of my most recent work overlaps with the area of software engineering. For more details, see selected publications and some of my projects. Follow me on Twitter or add me on LinkedIn.