4 Fun Testing Articles – Neotys Testing Roundup

Testing is hard, especially when you need to learn new concepts in a short amount of time. We understand, so to help you we’ve put together four articles highlighting some tips and tricks to becoming a better tester.

1. Do Cats Make Better Software Testers?

This article is not based on any company or individual but is based mostly on accumulated experiences of testers within the software industry obtained through discussion (often over beer and chips). Melvin Burton, a software tester, share’s his thoughts on cats and testing.

“My cat isn’t much of a software tester and yet is a far better software tester than many humans I meet. When I sit down with her and discuss the importance of automated testing, continuous integration, early testing, benchmarks and metrics she looks up at me with her little whiskery face and meow’s. I think in cat speech this roughly translates to “yes but where’s the tuna”, because Lilly knows nothing about testing software. What makes her a better tester than many humans though, is that she sticks to what she’s good at, eating tuna and hunting mice (of the furry kind), and makes no assumptions regarding the testing of software.”

Sadly in the software world many humans fail to do the same. Read on to learn more about Melvin’s thoughts on how cats are better software testers.

2. How Did I Miss That Bug? Managing Cognitive Bias in Testing

How many bugs have you missed that were obvious to others? We all approach testing hampered by our own biases. Understanding our biases—preconceived notions and the ability to focus our attention—is key to effective test design, test execution, and defect detection.

In this interview, Gerie Owen and Peter Varhol share an understanding of how testers’ mindsets and cognitive biases influence their testing. Using principles from the social sciences, Gerie and Peter demonstrate that you aren’t as smart as you think you are. They show how to use knowledge of biases—inattentional blindness, representative bias, the curse of knowledge, and others—not only to understand the impact of cognitive bias on testing, but also to improve your individual and test team results.

Finally, Gerie and Peter provide tips for managing your biases and focusing your attention in the right places throughout the test process so you won’t miss that obvious bug.

3. The Benefits of Being a Test Bombardier

Here’s another great article from Melvin Burton from Ministry of Testing on the benefits of being a test bombardier.

“Analogies are often used to explain testing and the role of testers. In my own personal analogy testers can choose to be either gunners or bombardiers. Why, and what’s the difference between them? Well the gunner is simply responsible for firing the gun, while the bombardier is responsible for the final result (ensuring the shot lands on target).

Too often testers act like gunners and are more concerned with the firing rather than the actual result. In software terms they are concerned with the immediate functionality of the software instead of the final result of the products implementation in a business or marketplace.

As a bombardier I know the firing of the cannon is simply one aspect of the process, in software terms I am naturally concerned with the immediate functionality of the software but also the future results, for example if software is being developed that is likely to have a life of 10 years I need to give consideration that the software should last 10 years, which means maintainability.”

4. 10 Things About Testing that Should Die

Scott Barber, performance testing expert, brings up the things he thinks should die about testing.

“I’ve taken some heat for discussing the whole “is test dead” concept due to a feeling that I was validating the concept of testing being unnecessary. Allow me to clarify my position. I do not believe, for one heartbeat, that testing as an activity is in any way unnecessary. I do believe that there are things related to the current state of and common beliefs about testing that should die. With that said…here are 10 things about testing that should die.

  1. Egocentricity
  2. Unreasonable demands
  3. Process Weinie-ness
  4. Isolation
  5. Excessive Faith in “Dumb” Automation Checking”

Read the article to find out the other 5 things Barber thinks should die.

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