Updated with a link to Richard’s post.
Mark Winteringham (@2bittester) and Dan Ashby (@DanAshby04) had come to this wonderful idea of sharing their experience and knowledge with testers who are new and experienced. This is also a good playground for the experienced to gain mentoring skills.
I went in as a student as I think I still need to learn a lot and I was right.
Mark, Dan and Tony Bruce (@tonybruce77) discussed about what is testing. Everyone’s input went on to the board.
If the list is not readable the items as follow,
• Asserting expectations
• Ensuring quality
• Assuring quality
• Understanding objectives
• Making sure it works
• Finding / preventing bugs
• Discovering software behavior
• Test scripts
• Avoiding blame
• Analyse risks
• Making sure product meets objectives
• Meeting requirements
We discussed few items from the board such as,
• Assuring quality
Question was how we can assure quality. It is a vague task depend on the person, environment and various other facts. Quality is a responsibility of the whole team. If someone gives list of things that needs to be attain to assure the quality, still there be issues as things change.
Can tester be Gatekeepers? If we say No, the product release be stopped or the management decide to go ahead? If so, why they need a gatekeeper? To fingerprint if something goes wrong. All testers can do is to point the risks and let the management to take the decision.
• Test scripts
Test scripts / Test cases can be manual or automated. Testing done only using the test scripts/cases. No. Why do we need test scripts? Mostly for the repeating tasks that can followed systematically sounds like automation. Test scripts changes with the functionality changes manual or automate. Maintenance is necessary and it is costly. If you need someone to learn the system test scripts not the right way to follow. Encourage them to do exploratory testing.
Then Mark explained how he would explain testing. He explained how testing is always stay between Expectations and Actual product whereas testers we should try to keep the gap minimal.
Unfortunately, I could not take a picture of his diagram. Sorry Mark.
Dan explained testing with the diagram below.
Information is in focus. Information can be about product design, product idea, requirements, processors etc. Information is the centre of all of it.
Testing is uncovering more information via exploration or investigation. Uncovering information be done by asking questions, explore requirements, explore designs, and join in with discussions. The information that are uncover will inform new test ideas to explore.
Information enable many checking activities and regression checks one of them. When new features introduce to ensure the existing is not broken. Checks done in a script format that can followed either by a person or by an automated process. The output from checks inform the broken tests as well as it can inform what not tested as well. If we have passing checks that can prove that the information are behaving as it required.
Tony explained how information be used for decision making.
Information gathering will lead to experiments, learning and explorations. Results of that can be collated. This collated information helps the software intelligent. With the software intelligent the business intelligence can be supported which lead to decision making.
This can be going in loop. When business require information to make a decision same process happens again from the beginning.
So the original list of “what is testing” updated.
Practical session taken place afterwards to go through http://www.drawastickman.com.
Richard Bradshaw (@Friendlytester) was kindly agreed to mentor 3 of us.
This site we have not seen before and had no knowledge. Therefore, we spent about 5 minutes exploring the site to understand its functionality. We came to following conclusions.
- It’s a game
- Works in mobile / different browsers
- Have an app in app store
- It is interactive
- Possible bug
- Etc (Shame I didn’t take a photo of that list!!!!)
Richard was advising us to,
- Select an interesting area or feature to start test
- Explore the feature
- Always take notes, so if we deviate from the original path we always can come back
- Use screen recording tools if required
- If we feel our brain had exhausted from thinking
- Try a common heuristics
- If it’s a public app, then go to Twitter and/or app store to get customer feedback
- Use the test ideas card pack by Karen Johnson (http://karennicolejohnson.com/2012/07/testing-mnemonics-as-a-card-deck/, http://karennicolejohnson.com/2012/07/testing-mnemonics-as-a-card-deck-v2/)
Richard had written a Mentor Experience Report and you can access the post from here.
I am sure I have missed some, as I was not fast enough to note them all.
At the end, all teams came together and discussed the learning. Following are some.
- Don’t come to a conclusion without knowing enough information
- Build a practice / discipline as a tester and do not change because of the project.
- Note taking/ mind mapping
- Go through social media to gather testing ideas
- If you are not happy using the product so will your customers
- Explore test ideas
So that’s a wrap! Until next time…