Very Short Blog Posts (15): “Manual” and “Automated” Testers

“Help Wanted. Established scientific research lab seeks Intermediate Level Manual Scientist. Role is intended to complement our team of Automated and Semi-Automated Scientists. The successful candidate will perform research and scientific experiments without any use of tools (including computer hardware or software). Requires good communication skills and knowledge of the Hypothesis Development Life Cycle. Bachelor’s degree or five years of experience in manual science preferred.” Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It … Read more

What Exploratory Testing Is Not (Part 3): Tool-Free Testing

People often make a distinction between “automated” and “exploratory” testing. This is like the distinction between “red” cars and “family” cars. That is, “red” (colour) and “family” (some notion of purpose) are in orthogonal categories. A car can be one colour or another irrespective of its purpose, and a car can be used for a particular purpose irrespective of its colour. Testing, whether exploratory or not, can make heavy or … Read more

Can Exploratory Testing Be Automated?

In a comment on the previous post, Rahul asks, One doubt which is lingering in my mind for quite sometime now, “Can exploratory testing be automated?” There are (at least) two ways to interpret and answer that question. Let’s look first at answering the literal version of the question, by looking at Cem Kaner’s definition of exploratory testing: Exploratory software testing is a style of software testing that emphasizes the … Read more

Questions from Listeners (2): Is Unit Testing Automated?

On April 19, 2010, I was interviewed by Gil Broza.  In preparation for that interview, we solicited questions from the listeners, and I promised to answer them either in the interview or in my blog.  Here’s the second one. Unit testing is automated. When functional, integration, and system test cannot be automated, how to handle regression testing without exploding the manual test with each iteration? This question provides a great … Read more

Heuristics and Leadership

In a recent blog post, James Bach discusses the essence of heuristics. A heuristic is a fallible method for solving a problem or making a decision. When used as an adjective, “heuristic” means fallible and conducive to learning. James ends the post by introducing a number of questions in order to test whether someone is teaching you a heuristic effectively. Meeta Prakash, in the comments, remarks “Your questions sound so … Read more

I Update My Blog and Discover Testing Tools

For the last few weeks, I’ve been updating my blog and my Web site.  This was inspired largely by Blogger’s decision to drop support for blog publishing via FTP.  That would mean moving the blog to a site, or to a custom domain that wouldn’t be or a subdomain of it (later:  not a subdomain, but a subfolder of  Ugh. Many of my colleagues have taken to … 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

Heuristics of GUI Automation Tools

A correspondent on the Agile Testing mailing list asked recently Shall automated acceptance tests use the GUI the app provides? My reply sat in my drafts folder for a while, and I just found it. Too late for the conversation, really, so I’ll post it here. My thought, as usual, is that automated acceptance tests checks should or should not use the GUI depending on the questions you want to … Read more