What is a software testing mind map

So the first Software Testing Clinic meetup for 2017, kicked off with understanding what software testing is all about.

Ever the teacher/mentor, both Dan and Mark decided that those who were present (students and mentors), should share their understanding on what is Software Testing.

This understanding was then visually represented in the form of a mind map.

Just want to say thanks to everyone who was there for a great session.


Thank you, Stephen for posting this.

There were a lot of great ideas from Students that I think help show that Testing isn’t just about ‘checking things work’ or ‘pressing buttons’ and definitely that Testing isn’t an easy activity to do.

I wonder if there are any bits missing within this mind map that others might feel should be added?

It seems to me that “evaluating the product” and “discovering problems that threaten the value of the product” would be worthy additions.

I’m also curious about “fixing things”. Lots of people fix things, of course—lots of things are broken, after all. Yet it seems to me that when we’re fixing things (in the product) or “improving software” we are not doing testing work, however valuable it might be to fix or improve stuff.

I make this point because there’s a difference between what software testing is and what somebody called “software tester” might do. The other stuff—the stuff that doesn’t involve learning about the product and the context of its use—interrupts the testing work; learning about the product by exploring and experimenting with it, with a special focus on finding problems. Interrupting the testing work with other stuff is fine, too, as long as nobody harbours any illusions that the product is being tested while the tester is fixing things.

To give a parallel: a researcher might be a lecturer from time to time. But when a researcher is in the middle of delivering lectures, it’s important to note that research work isn’t getting done. It’s not a bad thing to do lectures! It’s good for researchers to do lectures! But let’s remember that when a researcher is standing in front of an audience delivering a talk, no research is happening. And that’s fine too, as long as nobody harbours any illusions that lab work is being done while the researcher is on tour.

—Michael B.