Testing sucks by James Whittaker

Bet that got your attention. It's true, but let me qualify it: Running test cases over and over in the hope that bugs will manifest sucks. It’s boring, uncreative work and since half the world thinks that is all testing is about, it is no great wonder few people covet testing positions. Testing is either too tedious and repetitive or it’s downright too hard. Either way, who would want to stay in such a position? ... For the hard parts of the testing process like deciding what to test and determining test completeness, user scenarios and so forth we have another creative and interesting task. Testers who spend time categorizing tests and developing strategy (the interesting part) are more focused on testing and thus spend less time running tests (the boring part). ... So all the managers out there need to ask themselves what they've done lately to make their testers more creative. If you don't have an answer, then testing isn't the only thing that sucks.

One of the great benefits of Hexawise is that it takes care of figuring out the best test plan to provide the coverage is needed. The software test planer needs to use their knowledge, experience and creativity to determine what factors and parameters are critical to test. Then Hexawise generates a test plan that provides maximum coverage with the fewest possible tests. If people try to manually create test plans to address interaction between factors to be tested it is not only extremely time consuming, not very fun and it is essentially impossible to do well.

Some things are just so complex or so effectively handled with well designed software people cannot compete. Designing software test plan coverage is one of those areas.

Hexawise also lets the software tester easily tune the test coverage based on what is most important. Certain factors can be emphasized, others can be de-emphasised. Knowledge is needed to decide what factors are most important, but after that designing a test plan based on that knowledge shouldn't take up staff time, good software can take care of that time consuming and difficult task.

Another nice feature included with Hexawise is automated detailed tester instructions are generated. And you can easily provide customized text to assure the test instructions and the expected outcomes are clear and complete.

Hexawise greatly reduces the number of test that need to be run by creating powerful test plans that provide more coverage with fewer tests. This again, frees up tester time to focus on value added activities.

Allowing testers to focus on adding value is a key aim of ours. We strive to automate what we can and allow testers to apply their knowledge, experience and creativity to helping create great software. Hexawise grew out of the work of George Box, William Hunter (the founders father) and W. Edwards Deming, they sought to use statistical tools to free people to focus on creative tasks. For example read: Managing Our Way to Economic Success, Two Untapped Resources by William G. Hunter - "Two resources, largely untapped in American organizations, are potential information and employee creativity."

Hexawise includes sample test plans that let you see the benefits above in action. Sign up today to try it out (free trial).


Related: Cem Kaner: Testing Checklists = Good / Testing Scripts = Bad? - A Faster Way to Enter Test Inputs – the “Bulk Add” Option - Practical Ways to Respect People

By: John Hunter on Nov 11, 2012

Categories: Context-Driven Testing, Testing Strategies