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TESTING ALL THE WAY
DOWN, AND OTHER
DIRECTIONS
James Thomas
@qahiccupps
CEWT #3. 6th November 2016
Tested = Checked + Explored
you need a test strategy that
answers two core questions:
1. Does the software behave
as inten...
Some Things I was Thinking
Tested = Checked + Explored.
Values? Units? What operation is “+”?
Do we really always need bot...
But was I Testing?
I was reading, re-reading, skim-reading,
searching, cataloguing, note-taking,
cross-referencing, correl...
But was I Testing?
I criticised the definition,
I challenged my model of the definition,
I analysed Elisabeth’s answers,
I...
But was I Testing?
Well, I was
… exploring
… a definition of testing
… using techniques from that definition
… which would...
What is Testing?
Testing is the process of executing a
program with the intent of finding
errors.
Source: Arborosa
Testing...
Testing is Recursive
Testing is simple: you
understand what is important and
then you test it.
as each flaw ... is discove...
Testing a sub-sub-feature Testing a sub-sub-feature
Testing a sub-feature
Testing a feature
TESTING ALL THE WAY
DOWN
Testing a sub-sub-feature
Testing a sub-feature
Testing a feature
Testing the model
Testing the PO’s view
Testing the link...
TESTING ALL THE
OTHER DIRECTIONS
So What is Testing for Me?
Testing is the pursuit of actual or potential incongruity.
Selected Credits
• Explore It!: https://pragprog.com/book/ehxta/explore-it
• Rikard Edgren: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ri...
Testing All the Way Down, and Other Directions
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Testing All the Way Down, and Other Directions

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Slides from my talk at CEWT #3, http://qahiccupps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/testing-all-way-down-and-other.html

The idea that testing is or can be a recursive activity - or even fractal - has some currency. In that view, a test or experiment generates some data, which suggests new experiments, which generate some data, which suggest new experiments and so on. The kinds of activities being done at each stage will be self-similar and testing is used as a kind of microscope to focus in on some aspect of the system under test. Testing all the way down.

In this talk, I'll instead view testing as a number of different instruments that can be used in an arbitrary number of dimensions. Further, I'll suggest that testing can be applied not only to a system, but to descriptions of that system, to models of that system, to abstractions of that system, to a system which is testing that system, and to a system which is testing the system which is testing that system. And so on. It's testing all the way round.

I'll finish by proposing a definition of testing that I think might capture this wide applicability.

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Testing All the Way Down, and Other Directions

  1. 1. TESTING ALL THE WAY DOWN, AND OTHER DIRECTIONS James Thomas @qahiccupps CEWT #3. 6th November 2016
  2. 2. Tested = Checked + Explored you need a test strategy that answers two core questions: 1. Does the software behave as intended …? 2. Are there any other risks? Neither checking nor exploring is sufficient on its own.
  3. 3. Some Things I was Thinking Tested = Checked + Explored. Values? Units? What operation is “+”? Do we really always need both checking and exploration? Always? Past tense brings together both testing and finishing testing. "Oh!" he exclaimed. "I get it. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. I am testing the requirements ..." Testing: “[to] interact with the software or system, observe its actual behavior, and compare that to your expectations" Can this definition apply outside software?
  4. 4. But was I Testing? I was reading, re-reading, skim-reading, searching, cataloguing, note-taking, cross-referencing, correlating, sense- making, model-building, consistency- seeking, comparing, reflecting, filtering, factoring, experimenting, evaluating, being sceptical, thinking critically, thinking laterally, …
  5. 5. But was I Testing? I criticised the definition, I challenged my model of the definition, I analysed Elisabeth’s answers, I reflected on the way I asked questions, I wondered at why I cared about this, I sought justification for all the above, …
  6. 6. But was I Testing? Well, I was … exploring … a definition of testing … using techniques from that definition … which wouldn’t class my actions as testing And it felt like testing, to me…
  7. 7. What is Testing? Testing is the process of executing a program with the intent of finding errors. Source: Arborosa Testing is the process of evaluating a product by learning about it through exploration and experimentation …
  8. 8. Testing is Recursive Testing is simple: you understand what is important and then you test it. as each flaw ... is discovered ... [a] mini exploration will result in a more targeted testing exploration around this feature area Adam Knight, Fractal Exploratory Testing Rikard Edgren, EuroSTAR 2015
  9. 9. Testing a sub-sub-feature Testing a sub-sub-feature Testing a sub-feature Testing a feature
  10. 10. TESTING ALL THE WAY DOWN
  11. 11. Testing a sub-sub-feature Testing a sub-feature Testing a feature Testing the model Testing the PO’s view Testing the links between features Testing another feature Testing PO’s expression of their view Testing the way I’m talking to the PO Testing whether the PO is the best person to talk to Testing the end user need Testing the feature testing Testing the reason for testing
  12. 12. TESTING ALL THE OTHER DIRECTIONS
  13. 13. So What is Testing for Me? Testing is the pursuit of actual or potential incongruity.
  14. 14. Selected Credits • Explore It!: https://pragprog.com/book/ehxta/explore-it • Rikard Edgren: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rikard-edgren- 6bb4612,http://qahiccupps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/testing -is-simple-and-complicated.html • Adam Knight: http://www.a-sisyphean- task.com/2013/01/fractal-exploratory-testing.html • Arborosa: https://arborosa.org/2015/06/14/what-is-testing/ • The Art of Software Testing: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Software-Testing-Glenford- Myers/dp/1118031962 • Bolton, Bach: http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/856

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