Why Is Testing Taking So Long? (Part 2)

Yesterday I set up a thought experiment in which we divided our day of testing into three 90-minute sessions. I also made a simplifying assumption that bursts of testing activity representing some equivalent amount of test coverage (I called it a micro-session, or just a “test”) take two minutes. Investigating and reporting a bug that we find costs an additional eight minutes, so a test on its own would take … Read more

Why Is Testing Taking So Long? (Part 1)

If you’re a tester, you’ve probably been asked, “Why is testing taking so long?” Maybe you’ve had a ready answer; maybe you haven’t. Here’s a model that might help you deal with the kind of manager who asks such questions. Let’s suppose that we divide our day of testing into three sessions, each session being, on average, 90 minutes of chartered, uninterrupted testing time. That’s four and a half hours … Read more

Two Futures of Software Testing (STAR Tester Interview, post EuroSTAR 2009)

At the EuroSTAR 2008 conference, I gave a talk entitled, “Two Futures of Software Testing” which was rated as the highest-scoring track session at the conference. Conference attendees also chose the talk as the winning entry for the CapGemini Award for Innovation. Here I provide a number of answers to questions that people have asked since the presentation. Q: How can we predict the future of software testing?A: Well, we … Read more

“Merely” Checking or “Merely” Testing

The distinction between testing vs. checking got a big boost recently from James Bach at the Øredev conference in Malmö, Sweden. But a recent tweet by Brian Marick, and a recent conversation with a colleague have highlighted an issue that I should probably address. My colleague suggested that somehow I may have underplayed the significance or importance or the worth of checking. Brian’s tweet said, “I think the trendy distinction … Read more

Testing, Checking, and Convincing the Boss to Explore

How is it useful to make the distinction between testing and checking? One colleague (let’s call him Andrew) recently found it very useful indeed. I’ve been asked not to reveal his real name or his company, but he has very generously permitted me to tell this story. He works for a large, globally distributed company, which produces goods and services in a sector not always known for its nimbleness. He’s … Read more