by Joy Grieg
In the last blog we talked about timing as foundational—the secret—to sound testing. We also mentioned organization, logic, thoroughness, attention to detail, and clear communication. They all play their part in putting the quality in quality assurance.
Organization and Logic
Have you ever known someone who seems to flit from thought to thought or activity to activity with no real plan in mind…just going with the stream of consciousness or “shiny object, shiny object” approach? Sometimes it’s fun to watch, and through that sporadic creativity there may be some successes here and there, but there’s no march toward solid accomplishment.
So it is with testing. Successful testing requires orderliness—sound logic and organization of one’s thoughts toward the final goal of helping ensure a quality product is released. From the macro view, you’re asking questions like:
- “What is this software we’re testing trying to accomplish overall?”
- “What skills in planning the testing, analyzing the software under test and developing test cases do we need?”
- “How do I go about developing my tests in the most efficient andeffective way to achieve maximum test coverage?”And to be able to answer these key questions, logical, organized thought is key.
Leadership is responsible for answering the first two questions and planning the overall approach, from unit testing through system and user acceptance testing. Developers and test engineers then must clearly and successfully answer the first and third questions to achieve the quality testing workout of the software.
Once the big plan is in place, it becomes the responsibility of the individual testers to think clearly through the approach to the test cases and how best to write and group them for efficiency and effectiveness. Testers must ask themselves questions like:
- How does this software work overall?
- What are key behaviors of the software?
- What test tools can I apply?
- Particularly in black box testing, how might a user think, use the software—or accidentally use the software?