Tuesday, 1 March 2011

me smash! me break!

I've been thinking about testing to make sure the bits that work actually work the way they should, testing the overall design, rather than just taking the 'me smash! me break!' testing approach.

In my experience, more testing and questioning of the spec before we get started vastly reduces the number of 'oh, we didn't think that bit through' occurences later on.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy as a tester to get in on the action at the spec stage, and we are often considered as an annoyance rather than a vital part of the team when we try to get involved. There are vague discussions about the spec, but nothing concrete, nothing written down, and then suddenly the software engineers have started coding, and yeah, the spec will be along in a bit.

So if anyone has any ideas about how to get in there sooner, and to be taken seriously at the concept stage, I would love some advice.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Taking the Testosterone out of Testing

Nah... I don't really mean that. Sincere apologies to anyone who might be offended by my sexist title. I thought it sounded snappy :)

I don't think men & women test in different ways, but I definitely think that there's a big difference in the way that different people test. Where I work, we have quite a large group of testers, and the approaches my colleagues take are noticably different. If we all tested the same piece of software independantly, I'm sure we'd all find things the others did not find. It would be interesting to put that to the test, on one of those Testing Challenges you see around.

I think there are 3 main breeds of tester, although most people belong to more than one of the testing ethnic groups:

Very Technically Minded: particularly good at spotting potential issues at the planning stage and with integration, due to excellent understanding of the software. Sometimes mistaken for a computer.

List Maker: very thorough, as long as the spec they are working from is complete and correct. Sometimes inadvertantly adds details of shopping to list. Uses different coloured pens.

Wild Tester: has a basic plan to work from, but veers off wherever their instinct takes them to chase down a bug. Occasionally found roaming the fields outside the office block, carrying a large butterfly net.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Hello World

Well, this is a bit daunting. I had a few topics ready in my head, but now I've gone shy and think I'll make do with just saying hello, and adding some nice links to my blog.

Hello, Testing World!