Originally posted at SQABlogs.com on { 04:11, 2009-Sep-11 } { Posted in Software Testing } { 0 comments } { 1724 trackbacks } { Link}

In one of the discussion boards, I asked the members what innovation they see or seek in Software testing. Unfortunately I could not kindle a spark and did not get many responses. There can be many reasons behind this, like, lack of interest, lack of knowledge, lack of understanding.  The third was quite visible in some of the responses.
I think it is very much clear that we, as software testers, lack the interest of looking for innovative ideas even though there is no dearth of skill. Well, I think I will discuss that in some other post as it is in itself a hornet’s nest. For now, I will focus on the responses I got on my question. For fitment purpose, I have tweaked, re-phrased, highlighted, or edited some of the responses.
The major challenge is the generation and maintenance of collateral, even as data-driven testing has helped to streamline the process. With due respect, the maintenance of test cases has to be “dumbed down” not for lack of intelligence on the part of the testers, but due to the effort involved in trying to keep testing colateral current. Test automation tools like Certify aimed at that kind of simplification, but the business management tools, that would let you add/edit test cases quickly as needs change, leave a lot to be desired. I think that once you tackle that issue you can build on automation tools that would streamline the testing more effectively than what is the case today.
“For me the challenge lies in the way i develop my test scenarios thinking like a user in innovative ways and execute the same use cases in real time environments and find bugs.”
Darkage:Sorry, did not really make out what he wanted to say here.
In my opinion, innovation in testing could be anything, which is simple to implement and reduces the test cycle time, reduces the cost involved in testing and at the same time improves the test effectiveness. This could be as simple as developing a macro in excel, which may help in automating certain complex calculations to test or automating report generation and analysis.
Or it could even be complex like providing IQ to your automated tests so that it reduces human involvement, thus saving time and manual efforts.
I think that the industry is really good at brainstorming strategy and process, but so may projects bog down somewere in the execution phase.
Without a clear problem statement and goals, throwing more innovation at a problem may just result in more scrap on the heap. Put differently, if no clear problem acutally exists then no amount of innovation can solve that non existent problem.
I developed test automation tools that interfaced with Certify, albeit in a simple Excel-based manner with VBA code. Elements like pair-wise testing optimize the test cases, and the ability to pull data from a report to populate the test cases with current values is what being able to respond quickly is about.
Taking the “V-model” of development as a guide, I built a prototype that could be used to code the QA test scripts in parallel with the software code, with the intent that once it worked for acceptance/user testing it could be used for a test-harness based development paradigm as well. I used this tool to feed Certify, with great success, cutting the cost of testing by 90% or better when you incorporate regression testing.
After receiving all these responses, I am still not clear what innovation do you see or seek in software testing. Don’t you think testers are not clear about innovation? Ain’t they willing? Are they aimless?

..think I’ll have to stir up the hornet’s nest.