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What is Testing?

Some keywords for discussions around testing. Mostly based on material by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Michael Bolton

Geir Gulbrandsen

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of What is Testing?

What is Testing?
Why do we test?
How do we test?
Testing is questioning a product
in order to evaluate it.
Software testing is a technical investigation
for the purpose of revealing the quality
of a software product
on behalf of stakeholders.
If you don't have an understanding and an agreement on what is the mission of your testing, how can you know what to look for?

What information is important?
What is Quality?
Quality is "value to some person(s)"
- Jerry Weinberg
"...who matter."
- James Bach and Michael Bolton
Who matters?
Testers provide a service
A bug is anything that threatens this value
Checking vs. Testing
Checking (should|could) be automated
Quality Assurance?

I don't think so.
Automation is quick and precise...
... humans, not so much.
Sapient Testing
Requires a thinking human
Not just repeatable, but adaptable
Not just Pass or Fail, but "is there a problem here?"
Takes skill and knowledge
Testers = Skilled Investigators!
(Think CSI... without the Armani suits)
An oracle is the principle or mechanism by which you recognize a problem.
True oracles are too complex (if at all possible).
Heuristic oracles are fallible methods for solving
a problem or making a decision.
Project : CIDTESTD
Product : SFDEPOT
Quality : CRUSSPIC
Development : STMPL

Investigative reporters and journalists
- What's actually going on? What's the story?
- What do people in the real world do?
- What can we learn from the past?
Field botanists
- Why does this thrive over here, but not over there?
- What do we know?
- How do we know we know it?
Film critics
- Will this movie appeal to its intended audience?
Critical Thinking
General Systems Thinking
Design of Experiments
Visualization & Presentation
Rapid Learning
Risk Analysis
Cognitive Psychology
The material used for this presentation is mainly taken from the RST slides by James Bach and Michael Bolton, its appendices, and the presentation "Testers: get Out of the Quality Assurance Business". For the whole, and better picture you better go to the source:
Full transcript