The Sock Puppets of Formal Testing

Monday, July 21, 2014 20:22 PM

Formal testing is testing that must be done in a specific way, or to check specific facts. In the Rapid Software Testing methodology, we map the formality of testing on a continuum. Sometimes it’s important to do testing in a formal way, and sometimes it’s not so important. From Rapid Software Testing. See http://www.satisfice.com/rst.pdf People […]

How Models Change

Saturday, July 19, 2014 19:38 PM

Like software products, models change as we test them, gain experience with them, find bugs in them, realize that features are missing. We see opportunities for improving them, and revise them. A product coverage outline, in Rapid Testing parlance, is an artifact (a map, or list, or table…) that identifies the dimensions or elements of […]

Very Short Blog Posts (20): More About Testability

Monday, July 14, 2014 21:30 PM

A few weeks ago, I posted a Very Short Blog Post on the bare-bones basics of testability. Today, I saw a very good post from Adam Knight talking about telling the testability story. Adam focused, as I did, on intrinsic testability—things in the product itself that it more testable. But testability isn’t just a product […]

Scenarios Ain’t Just Use Cases

Thursday, May 15, 2014 17:45 PM

How do people use a software product? Some development groups model use through use cases. Typically use cases are expressed in terms of the user performing a set of step-by-step behaviours: 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5. In those groups, testers may create test cases that map directly onto the use cases. […]

Very Short Blog Posts (19): Testing By Percentages

Sunday, May 04, 2014 20:12 PM

Every now and then, in some forum or another, someone says something like “75% of the testing done on an Agile project is done by automation”. Whatever else might be wrong with that statement, it’s a very strange way to describe a complex, cognitive process of learning about a product through experimentation, and seeking to […]

Very Short Blog Posts (18): Ask for Testability

Saturday, May 03, 2014 10:09 AM

Whether you’re working in an Agile environment or not, one of the tester’s most important tasks is to ask and advocate for things that make a product more testable. Where to start? Think about visibility—in its simplest form, log files—and controllability in the form of scriptable application programming interfaces (APIs). Logs aren’t just for troubleshooting. […]

Very Short Blog Posts (17): Regression Obsession

Thursday, April 24, 2014 19:03 PM

Regression testing is focused on the risk that something that used to work in some way no longer works that way. A lot of organizations (Agile ones in particular) seem fascinated by regression testing (or checking) above all other testing activities. It’s a good idea to check for the risk of regression, but it’s also […]

A Tale of Four Projects

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 22:53 PM

Once upon time, in a high-tech business park far, far away, there were four companies, each working on a development project. In Project Blue, the testers created a suite of 250 test cases, based on 50 use cases, before development started. These cases remained static throughout the project. Each week saw incremental improvement in the […]

“In The Real World”

Monday, April 21, 2014 10:17 AM

In Rapid Software Testing, James Bach, our colleagues, and I advocate an approach that puts the skill set and the mindset of the individual tester—rather than some document or tool or test case or process modelY—at the centre of testing. We advocate an exploratory approach to testing so that we find not only the problems […]

Very Short Blog Posts (16): Usability Problems Are Probably Testability Problems Too

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 19:04 PM

Want to add ooomph to your reports of usability problems in your product? Consider that usability problems also tend to be testability problems. The design of the product may make it frustrating, inconsistent, slow, or difficult to learn. Poor affordances may conceal useful features and shortcuts. Missing help files could fail to address confusion; self-contradictory […]