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Agile, Iterative, or Waterfall? Automated, or Manual? Scripted, or Exploratory? Unit-level, or User-level? Scenario or Domain? Black-box, White-box, or Grey-box? This tool, that tool, or the other tool? These are just a few of the questions people ask when they are trying to improve their testing. It may surprise you to know that I start out by answering all of them with the same word… “Irrelevant.” That’s right, when it comes to improving the value and effectiveness of your testing, I believe those are completely irrelevant questions to start with. I believe the right questions to start with are:
What is my testing mission?
What about my testing is important to the managers and executives who are choosing to pay my salary (or consulting fee)?
How can I add value to the software, the project, and the business through testing?
When you start by figuring out the answers to these 3 questions, the answer to most of the other questions about processes, methods, tools, techniques, and procedures become obvious.
This session discussed how to determine what your testing mission really is, how to determine what testing brings real value to your project and your company, and ultimately how to increase your confidence that the testing you are doing at any moment during a project is valuable and will be valued by the stakeholders who matter most.