More of What Testers Find, Part II

As a followup to “More of What Testers Find“, here are some more ideas inspired by James Bach’s blog post, What Testers Find. Today we’ll talk about risk. James noted that… Testers also find risks. We notice situations that seem likely to produce bugs. We notice behaviors of the product that look likely to go wrong in important ways, even if we haven’t yet seen that happen. Example: A web … Read more

More of What Testers Find

Damn that James Bach, for publishing his ideas before I had a chance to publish his ideas! Now I’ll have to do even more work! A couple of weeks back, James introduced a few ideas to me about things that testers find in addition to bugs.  He enumerated issues, artifacts, and curios.  The other day I was delighted to find an elaboration of these ideas (to which he added risks … Read more

Why Do Some Testers Find The Critical Problems?

Today, someone on Twitter pointed to an interesting blog post by Alan Page of Microsoft. He says: “How do testers determine if a bug is a bug anyone would care about vs. a bug that directly impacts quality (or the customers perception of quality)? (or something in between?) Of course, testers should report anything that may annoy a user, but learning to differentiate between an ‘it could be better’ bug … Read more

Context-Free Questions for Testing

In Jerry Weinberg and Don Gause’s Exploring Requirements, there’s a set of context-free questions to ask about a product or service. The authors call them context-free questions, but to me, many of them are more like context-revealing questions. In the Rapid Software Testing class, the participants and the instructors make discoveries courtesy of our exercises and conversations. Here’s a list of questions that come up fairly consistently, or that we … Read more

Statistician or Journalist?

Eric Jacobson has a problem, which he thoughtfully relates on his thoughtful blog in a post called “How Can I Tell Users What Testers Did?”. In this post, I’ll try to answer his question, so you might want to read his original post for context. I see something interesting here: Eric tells a clear story to relate to his readers some problem that he’s having with explaining his work to … Read more

Transpection Transpected

Part of the joy of producing this blog is in seeing what happens when other people pick up the ideas and run with them.  That happened when I posted a scenario on management mistakes a few weeks ago, and Markus Gärtner responded with far more energy and thought than I would have expected. Thanks, Markus. Last week I posted a transcript of a transpection session between me and James Bach.  … Read more

Why We Do Scenario Testing

Last night I booked a hotel room using a Web-based discount travel service. The service’s particular shtick is that, in exchange for a heavy discount, you don’t get to know the name of the airline, hotel, or car company until you pay for the reservation. (Apparently the vendors are loath to admit that they’re offering these huge discounts—until they’ve received the cash; then they’re okay with the secret getting out.) … Read more

A Letter To The Programmer

This is a letter that I would not show to a programmer in a real-life situation. I’ve often thought of bits of it at a time, and those bits come up in conversation occasionally, but not all at once. This is based on an observation of the chat window in Skype Dear Programmer, I discovered a bug today. I’ll tell you how I found it. It’s pretty easy to … Read more

What Should A Test Plan Contain?

In response to this posting, Clive asks, “So in your opinion what should a test plan contain?” First, Clive, thank you for asking. Let’s consider first what we might mean by “plan”. The way James Bach and I talk about planning (and the way we teach it the Rapid Software Testing course) is that a plan is the sum or intersection of strategy and logistics. Strategy is the set of … Read more