The Four Fallacies of Software Testing

Ministry of Testing launched a LinkedIn newsletter at the start of 2023. Each newsletter article has got a lot of attention which is awesome. Each one celebrates someone in the community who has produced something that’s been published on the MoT platform. Written by me or Sarah Deery – based on our own interpretations and experiences.

So I thought, why not bring them onto The Club to spark conversations, share ideas, celebrate and debate?

Software testing is a craft that’s often misunderstood. And these misconceptions can lead to miscommunication, blame and resentment. It doesn’t have to be that way if we acknowledge and question such misunderstandings. The four fallacies of software testing are a good place to start.

1. Testing is boring
You just press a few buttons and see what happens, right? Far from it. Testing is an incredible discipline which requires curiosity, courage and patience. There is limitless space to learn and practice the craft of testing.

2. Testers break software
You broke it or was it already broken? Testers are great at revealing useful information about risks – the things that threaten the value of the product or service. Testers don’t break software.

3. Testing can be automated
Take a test case and program that computer to do it for you. Sure, yet what about all the information related to unknown unknowns we’re yet to discover? How do you automate something from nothing? Hmm. Automation in Testing supports testing efforts, it doesn’t replace testing.

4. Testing happens at the end
We’ve developed everything, can we do some testing now? Too late! Testing happens all the time whenever a question is asked. There is an abundance of opportunities to do software testing from product ideation to release & monitoring and back again.

Want to dig deeper into this topic? Check out Ten Misconceptions About Software Testing - That Non-Testers Share by the brilliant @katepaulk.

And what fallacies about testing have you experienced in your career? And how might we help address such fallacies?