We hosted this month’s Lean Coffee at Linguamatics. Here’s some brief notes on the topics covered by the group I was in.

Have You Ever Said “No” to a Testing Task?

  • are we talking about can’t or won’t?
  • … or shouldn’t (e.g. on moral or ethical grounds)
  • does the time in a project’s cycle make a difference to the acceptability of rejection?
  • does the responsibility you take on when offering an alternative (and things later go wrong) prevent people from rejecting?
  • we’ve questioned the need
  • we’ve questioned the value that could be returned given the effort to be expended
  • we’ve questioned the resource available for testing
  • we’ve asked whether it could be done by someone else
  • we’ve asked whether it has been done by someone else
  • we’ve tried to understand the intent, in order to counter-propose

Exploratory vs Fixed Testing

  • the question concerned the automation of exploratory testing 
  • … where the assumed defintion of exploratory is anything outside of the specified UAT tests (so a per-project definition)
  • … and it is felt that exploratory testing “takes longer” than UAT
  • … and examples of UAT given with the question were pretty much happy path
  • … and the automated exploratory examples given sounded like fuzz testing
  • some rejection of the premises: 
  • … exploratory for most of us is not defined in opposition to specific UAT
  • … exploratory probably can’t be automated in the way the question suggests
  • … exploratory (should) exercise intelligence on the part of the tester
  • … exploratory can take as long or short as you want; that’s a strength of it
  • … you can trade coverage over risk over time over whatever constraints you want on the fly
  • The distinction the question really needs is probably testing vs checking

Who are Your Testing Heroes and Heroines?

  • James Bach, Cem Kaner: several of us started  with Lessons Learned in Software Testing
  • Jon Bach: for the early work with James and the structure and business focus he gave to testing
  • Jerry Weinberg: for constant inspiration across so many aspects of testing 
  • Michael Bolton: so much material, such a great contribution 
  • Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory: for their work on agile testing
  • Catherine Powell, QA Hates You: for their unique voices
  • the lead test architect at work: for the innovative approaches he takes
  • Chris George: for starting the Cambridge Lean Coffee