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Breaking Illusions: Testing is
your most valuable asset!
Maaret Pyhäjärvi
Email: <maaret@iki.fi> | Twitter: maaretp
Maaret...
Testing is about Feedback
Checking
• Machines can do with
algorithmic decision
rules
• Focuses on specific
facts
• Cmp. “c...
Context Matters – Expectations
Differ
• Testing in Production?
– Rolling releases: limit the extent of impact
– Product lo...
Testers don’t break your
code, they break your
illusions about the
code.
-- adapted from James Bach
Dispelling Illusions: Empirical
Evidence over Speculation
VALU
E
ILLUSIONS
The World Has Already
Changed
COMMODITY
TESTERS
• Manual checkers
• Tests are an artifact
SKILLED TESTERS
• Explorers of p...
Exploration Skills
Source: Adapted from James Bach, Jon Bach, Michael Bolton. Exploratory Testing
Dynamics. v.2.2. 2009
Se...
Things Can Look Different from
Different Perspectives
Culture of Feedback and
Experiments
• Illusions are meant to be broken
• Teams over individuals
– Diverse teams (personali...
Summary
1. TESTING is FEEDBACK and LEARNING. EMPIRICAL
supports learning over theoretical. FAST is better than
slower. Not...
BTDConf: Breaking Illusions: Testing is Your Most Valuable Asset
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BTDConf: Breaking Illusions: Testing is Your Most Valuable Asset

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Talk delivered at BTDConf 2015 21.5.2015.

Published in: Software
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BTDConf: Breaking Illusions: Testing is Your Most Valuable Asset

  1. 1. Breaking Illusions: Testing is your most valuable asset! Maaret Pyhäjärvi Email: <maaret@iki.fi> | Twitter: maaretp Maaret Pyhäjärvi Nimeä | Attribution (Finland) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/fi/ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/fi/deed.en
  2. 2. Testing is about Feedback Checking • Machines can do with algorithmic decision rules • Focuses on specific facts • Cmp. “compiling”, “generating” Exploring • Skilled humans can do • Open-ended search for information • Cmp. “programming” Testing not testers – but becoming a skilled tester requires time and focus
  3. 3. Context Matters – Expectations Differ • Testing in Production? – Rolling releases: limit the extent of impact – Product lock-in: limit the options • Testing in the delivery chain? – Development teams skilled in exploring (as well as checking) – Internal releases – Beta releases – Releases • Available skills? – Intentional vs. accidental production feedback
  4. 4. Testers don’t break your code, they break your illusions about the code. -- adapted from James Bach
  5. 5. Dispelling Illusions: Empirical Evidence over Speculation VALU E ILLUSIONS
  6. 6. The World Has Already Changed COMMODITY TESTERS • Manual checkers • Tests are an artifact SKILLED TESTERS • Explorers of products and businesses • Testing is a performance • DEVELOPERS IN TEST • All development is automating, testing is just a domain of development
  7. 7. Exploration Skills Source: Adapted from James Bach, Jon Bach, Michael Bolton. Exploratory Testing Dynamics. v.2.2. 2009 Self- managemen t Developing ideas Examining product Done To Do Issues Coverage All sources available Best use of time – effective and efficient work Making models Tool support – creative solutions Risk-based testing – scientific approach Keeping one’s eyes open
  8. 8. Things Can Look Different from Different Perspectives
  9. 9. Culture of Feedback and Experiments • Illusions are meant to be broken • Teams over individuals – Diverse teams (personalities, skills) deliver better results – Social dissonance gets the team talking and voices out uncertainties to address on time • Experiment: try something different
  10. 10. Summary 1. TESTING is FEEDBACK and LEARNING. EMPIRICAL supports learning over theoretical. FAST is better than slower. Not outsourcing the cost of feedback could be better. 2. CONTEXT matters: sometimes the “best testing” happens live – as long as you’re covering the checking part; testing != testers 3. BUGS not defects: anything this might bug a user, there’s many types of illusions we have 4. COMMODITY testers and SKILLED testers are two completely different breeds 5. SKILL to break DIVERSE illusions – skill in team, not in individual 6. DIVERSITY brings good results: people who choose to love testing tend to be different from those who choose to love checking and development

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