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1 
Traditional Testing R.I.P. 
Alternative Testing 
Do We Have to Test Like We Always Have? 
by Julian Harty 
14 Nov 2010 
2 
Today's climate 
We live in an era where quality has 
been replaced by speed - people are 
trained to expect little to none, and 
are perfectly happy getting it. 
In such world, testing for quality 
must redefine itself and find a new 
purpose. 
Goranka Bjedov (Google)
3 
Cost of “doing the right thing” 
“the cost of "doing it right" is far 
higher than the cost of only responding 
when someone does find a problem” 
John Viega: CTO McAfee: The myths of security 
4 
Business Reality... 
Police, private security experts and 
internet service providers said on 
Wednesday they had shut down the 
Mariposa botnet, one of the largest 
networks of hacked personal computers 
discovered. 
It had siphoned off financial and 
other information from inside half of 
the largest 1,000 US companies. 
March 3rd, 2010 
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f6960e5a-2711-11df-b84e-00144feabdc0.html
5 
Are Testers impotent? 
 Why didn't any of the testers 
find the security flaw(s)? 
 What can we do to improve our 
testing competences? 
6 
Why test at all? 
 Testing slows projects down 
 It can mislead, or divert 
attention from other, more 
important work 
 Most testing is futile! 
 What's the risk of failure?
7 
Some impacts of “testing” 
 Incorrect diagnosis 
 Incorrect changes 
 Irrelevant bugs 
 Still unfixed bugs 
(what we know could hurt us...) 
8 
Testers as second-class citizens 
“Anyone can test” 
 Therefore, one tester is as good 
as another, and no/little better 
than 'anyone' 
 Therefore, testers are nothing 
special...
9 
Speed is the competitive 
advantage 
Faster, iterative, releases 
Testing for 
Productivity vs Quality 
10 
What do you actually do? 
(when you think you're testing...)
11 
Checking vs. Testing 
Checking Is Confirmation 
Testing Is Exploration and Learning 
Checks Are Machine-Decidable; Tests 
Require Sapience 
http://www.developsense.com/blog/category/testing-vs-checking/ 
12 
Some outputs of testing 
 Data 
 Error logs 
Can we get these from other sources?
15 
Use Canaries 
 What are they good for? 
16 
Canaries 
 What are they good for? 
 We expect some to die 
R.I.P. 
Cheep 
(2010)
17 
Automate the Checking 
 When practical, create automated 
'tests' that check: 
 Results 
 Data 
 Logs 
 The state of the software 
18 
Good uses of automated tests? 
 T.D.D. 
RED 
REFACTOR GREEN 
 Continuous Builds 
 Regression Tests 
 Security Tests
19 
Contributory Success Factors 
(for 'not' testing) 
 Quality and Speed of feedback 
 Perception of failure 
 Time to address and fix issues 
 Risk and cost of failure 
 The Art of Customer Relationships 
20 
What about the Testers? 
 “Traditional Testing” is waning 
 Change brings Opportunity 
 We can choose to apply our skills 
to more valuable & rewarding work
21 
Now what? 
What can we do with all the 
redundant testers? 
22 
Strengths of Testers 
 Recognizing there may be alternatives 
 Produces answers sooner 
 Reduce doubt / Increase confidence 
 Advocate for: bugs, users, developers, software 
 Be Trusted Advisors 
 Debunk mysteries & superstitions 
 Test for productivity (better, faster, cheaper) 
 Test for quality (of the end product) 
 Be disruptive; yet likeable :)
23 
Test to provide answers sooner 
 A good reason to test is to 
provide answers sooner 
 We need to decide: 
 What the aims are 
 What to measure, and how 
 How to run the test (environment) 
 Then we need to: run the tests, 
analyze the results, & present 
our assessment clearly 
See: Gordon Bragg & Design of Experiments 
24 
Testing as a Leadership skill 
 Probe 
 Experiment 
 Execute 
 Decide 
 Move on...
25 
What now? 
 Rethink what you do 
 Consider: 
 The value you offer 
 The value you deliver 
 Your competencies 
 How you work 
 Who you work for 
 Be willing to give up any 
“kindergarten testing” 
26 
Facets of Software Testing 
Software 
design 
10 
8 
6 
4 
2 
0 
Testing 
techniques 
Test automation 
Industry 
knowledge 
Ability to apply 
Product 
knowledge 
stuff 
People skills
27 
Improving in your current role 
Sapient Testing:Engage your brain 
when testing software 
http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/99 
http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/358 
 Trinity Testing 
http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com 
 Use automation appropriately 
28 
Honing our Testing Skills 
 Beta Testing for other software 
“Be a better tester, be a Beta tester” 
(Alan Richardson) 
 Work for a crowd-sourcing company 
 Mob4hire 
 uTest 
 Learn from others 
 Pairing 
 Exercises
29 
Possible new roles? 
 Technical Due Diligence 
 Disruptive Agent of Change 
 Chief Engineer 
 Spy? 
30 
Read on... 
 Gordon M. Bragg: Principles of Experimentation and Measurement 
ISBN 0-13-701169-5 
 Lloyd Roden: Trusted Advisors 
http://www.stickyminds.com/s.asp?F=S7849_CP_2 
 Alan Richardson: Be a better tester, be a Beta tester 
http://www.compendiumdev.co.uk/eurostar2003/default.php 
 Julian Harty: Trinity Testing 
http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com 
 Dr Stuart Reid + Julian Harty 
Non Functional Testing (NFT) http://www.commercetest.com/ 
P.T.M.M. http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com 
 Tom Van Vleck: Three Questions About Each Bug You Find 
http://www.multicians.org/thvv/threeq.html
31 
Q & A 
Now? 
Later? 
julianharty@gmail.com

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Julian Harty - Alternatives To Testing - EuroSTAR 2010

  • 1. 1 Traditional Testing R.I.P. Alternative Testing Do We Have to Test Like We Always Have? by Julian Harty 14 Nov 2010 2 Today's climate We live in an era where quality has been replaced by speed - people are trained to expect little to none, and are perfectly happy getting it. In such world, testing for quality must redefine itself and find a new purpose. Goranka Bjedov (Google)
  • 2. 3 Cost of “doing the right thing” “the cost of "doing it right" is far higher than the cost of only responding when someone does find a problem” John Viega: CTO McAfee: The myths of security 4 Business Reality... Police, private security experts and internet service providers said on Wednesday they had shut down the Mariposa botnet, one of the largest networks of hacked personal computers discovered. It had siphoned off financial and other information from inside half of the largest 1,000 US companies. March 3rd, 2010 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f6960e5a-2711-11df-b84e-00144feabdc0.html
  • 3. 5 Are Testers impotent?  Why didn't any of the testers find the security flaw(s)?  What can we do to improve our testing competences? 6 Why test at all?  Testing slows projects down  It can mislead, or divert attention from other, more important work  Most testing is futile!  What's the risk of failure?
  • 4. 7 Some impacts of “testing”  Incorrect diagnosis  Incorrect changes  Irrelevant bugs  Still unfixed bugs (what we know could hurt us...) 8 Testers as second-class citizens “Anyone can test”  Therefore, one tester is as good as another, and no/little better than 'anyone'  Therefore, testers are nothing special...
  • 5. 9 Speed is the competitive advantage Faster, iterative, releases Testing for Productivity vs Quality 10 What do you actually do? (when you think you're testing...)
  • 6. 11 Checking vs. Testing Checking Is Confirmation Testing Is Exploration and Learning Checks Are Machine-Decidable; Tests Require Sapience http://www.developsense.com/blog/category/testing-vs-checking/ 12 Some outputs of testing  Data  Error logs Can we get these from other sources?
  • 7.
  • 8. 15 Use Canaries  What are they good for? 16 Canaries  What are they good for?  We expect some to die R.I.P. Cheep (2010)
  • 9. 17 Automate the Checking  When practical, create automated 'tests' that check:  Results  Data  Logs  The state of the software 18 Good uses of automated tests?  T.D.D. RED REFACTOR GREEN  Continuous Builds  Regression Tests  Security Tests
  • 10. 19 Contributory Success Factors (for 'not' testing)  Quality and Speed of feedback  Perception of failure  Time to address and fix issues  Risk and cost of failure  The Art of Customer Relationships 20 What about the Testers?  “Traditional Testing” is waning  Change brings Opportunity  We can choose to apply our skills to more valuable & rewarding work
  • 11. 21 Now what? What can we do with all the redundant testers? 22 Strengths of Testers  Recognizing there may be alternatives  Produces answers sooner  Reduce doubt / Increase confidence  Advocate for: bugs, users, developers, software  Be Trusted Advisors  Debunk mysteries & superstitions  Test for productivity (better, faster, cheaper)  Test for quality (of the end product)  Be disruptive; yet likeable :)
  • 12. 23 Test to provide answers sooner  A good reason to test is to provide answers sooner  We need to decide:  What the aims are  What to measure, and how  How to run the test (environment)  Then we need to: run the tests, analyze the results, & present our assessment clearly See: Gordon Bragg & Design of Experiments 24 Testing as a Leadership skill  Probe  Experiment  Execute  Decide  Move on...
  • 13. 25 What now?  Rethink what you do  Consider:  The value you offer  The value you deliver  Your competencies  How you work  Who you work for  Be willing to give up any “kindergarten testing” 26 Facets of Software Testing Software design 10 8 6 4 2 0 Testing techniques Test automation Industry knowledge Ability to apply Product knowledge stuff People skills
  • 14. 27 Improving in your current role Sapient Testing:Engage your brain when testing software http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/99 http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/358  Trinity Testing http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com  Use automation appropriately 28 Honing our Testing Skills  Beta Testing for other software “Be a better tester, be a Beta tester” (Alan Richardson)  Work for a crowd-sourcing company  Mob4hire  uTest  Learn from others  Pairing  Exercises
  • 15. 29 Possible new roles?  Technical Due Diligence  Disruptive Agent of Change  Chief Engineer  Spy? 30 Read on...  Gordon M. Bragg: Principles of Experimentation and Measurement ISBN 0-13-701169-5  Lloyd Roden: Trusted Advisors http://www.stickyminds.com/s.asp?F=S7849_CP_2  Alan Richardson: Be a better tester, be a Beta tester http://www.compendiumdev.co.uk/eurostar2003/default.php  Julian Harty: Trinity Testing http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com  Dr Stuart Reid + Julian Harty Non Functional Testing (NFT) http://www.commercetest.com/ P.T.M.M. http://julianharty-softwaretesting.blogspot.com  Tom Van Vleck: Three Questions About Each Bug You Find http://www.multicians.org/thvv/threeq.html
  • 16. 31 Q & A Now? Later? julianharty@gmail.com