Posts Tagged ‘rst’

Rapid Software Testing with James Bach – Final Day

21 March, 2013

My employer, Allies Computing Ltd, has hosted a condensed version of this post: http://www.alliescomputing.com/blog/testing-psychology-rapid-software-testing-training-james-bach/

 

Well, that’s Rapid Software Testing concluded and I feel enthused about the future. In my previous post I explained some of the things I learned on the first two days of the course. Today we looked at so-called Exploratory Testing. In reality all testing by humans is exploratory to a degree and scripted to a degree and this can be shown on a continuum. Even if we are running through a set of steps we are interpreting those steps in a certain way and two people may well interpret those steps differently. (The term ‘Exploratory Testing’ was coined to distinguish the approach to testing where test design and test execution happen simultaneously so there’s no need to write scripts and ‘Scripted Testing’ where test design is a separate process to executing the tests and often happens at a different time making scripting a necessity.)

I thoroughly enjoyed the various testing exercises that we undertook during the day but there was one in particular where I wished my normal laptop had not been broken as Visual Studio would have been VERY useful as I couldn’t get Excel to generate the data I wanted quickly enough but never mind the important thing was the thought process that got me to that point.

In testing as in life there are many different ways of doing things. As a tester it is important that what we do stands up to scrutiny. We should equip ourselves to talk or write about our testing in a clear, coherent manner and that will help us gain the confidence and respect of our peers in the industry. Sometimes we take actions or make decisions which take us away from where we want to be and the important thing is that we learn from doing that and use that experience to get ourselves back on track.

I did not expect this course to have so many applications from the cognitive sciences – particularly psychology – but one of the things that I have been very occupied with for several months now has been understanding what makes me do the things that I do and, conversely, why I don’t do certain other things. What makes me see some things and blindingly obvious and miss other things completely? By practicing the things I have learned on this course and just absorbing the phenomenal amount of information I have received over the past three days I hope that all of this helps me become a better tester and a better person.

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Rapid Software Testing with James Bach – First Two Days

20 March, 2013

My employer, Allies Computing Ltd, has hosted a condensed version of this post: http://www.alliescomputing.com/blog/testing-psychology-rapid-software-testing-training-james-bach/

 

Rapid Software Testing is a course I have wanted to do for a few years now having heard really good things about how it has improved various people’s testing and the way they think. We are two days in now and I am really excited about the things I have learned.

Thinking like a tester

This is a particularly challenging area for me. I tend to build ideas then narrow them down by critically analysing them however they can be quite haphazard and this could lead to an accusation that I’m not testing properly. I am going to have a go at categorising what I do in a similar way to James does with the Heuristic Test Strategy Model – where he has headings such as:

  • Structure
  • Function
  • Data
  • Interface
  • Platform
  • Operations
  • Time

I will likely have different headings (some may be the same) but by organising my thoughts and ideas in this way will give me confidence that I’m considering the right things and a much more professional image.

The other way I think this will help me is that it will channel my thoughts and make me less inclined to get stressed about what I am doing and whether I am doing it right. Critical analysis is good; it is what makes a good tester but sometimes striking a middle ground is a good thing. We spoke a lot about System 1 and System 2 thinking – with System 1 thinking we tend to be much more off-the-cuff and emotive and this is great for generating ideas quickly but the more measured, time-consuming approach is System 2.

I find this very useful because I often don’t recognise when I need to switch mode – and maybe even when the way I am thinking is counter-productive to the situation I am in.

Testability

Another big thing for me was the importance of testability and seeking things that will help me test very well. This was brought home to me during one particular exercise involving a sphere. James played a customer in a top secret problem domain and was unable to tell us things because we were not allowed to know these things! For me this is all part of honing our problem solving abilities.

A Bit of Magic

We had magic tricks to help us see the importance of having a broad mind and giving us the imagination to conceive of our ideas. It showed me the importance of what is lurking in my blind spots of which I have many. It is really important to recognise our limitations and the problems these limitations bring to us as testers.

Oracles

It is really important to recognise who, what and where our oracles are as it is they which will provide some help answering the question about whether or not we have a problem. I realised that I have oracles hidden away in all sorts of surprising places!

I am really looking forward to tomorrow when we will be looking at Exploratory Testing and I am excited to play the famous dice game!