There were a few points spoken about in last night’s Belfast Software Testing Clinic that I think go well with this topic:
Last night’s session was on Exploratory Testing (ET). Folks were asking when should we do ET and what should we do next. That prompted me to remember a belief that I let go of: in testing there are absolute right answers. Sometimes ET may be one step in the bigger process, sometimes it alone may be sufficient testing … it’s all about making the assessment based on the situation.
There is no correlation between the volume of testing artifacts produced during ET, or any other testing, and the value of the testing, the example spoken about last night, and I used to think this way when working for a large corporation, was that artifacts are important as they prove we have performed testing.
Further to the above point, it was suggested that there could arguably be inverse correlation between the creation of voluminous quantities of test artifacts and the value of the testing. This could come about as the time spent generating artifacts has reduced the time available to perform actual testing.
Based on the above I recalled another belief that I have let go of: production of test cases == testing. As was mentioned last night and the above point, inverse correlation can apply to this. The example given was that a test manager may prefer to assess the value of testing by looking at, e.g. mind maps that were produced during brainstorming/ET rather than wading through low level test cases.
A few of my own as well:
Testing is a fixed skillset, i.e. once you have tools in your tester toolbox, you’re done. I’ve come to appreciate that a continuous learning ethic applies to testing perhaps as much as it does to software development
Automation is the holy grail. I’ve come to appreciate that it definitely adds a lot of value, but it doesn’t do this automagically when we just approach it at an operational level, i.e. good strategy and tactics really help
- There is not a lot of difference between a good and a great tester
By doing ‘x’ you’re doing agile. I now think agile is much more something you judge based on how you feel
- Testing is easy