Testers need to learn their craft and hone in on their skill set. That means building skills, sharpening their tools, and becoming creative detectives. There is no cookie-cutter tester and no best practice. The best circumstance is a fully-skilled, aggressive tester mixed with curiosity, nimbleness, and agility.
I often run into people who ask me about best practices and my response is always that I am ‘not a best practices guy’. I don’t believe in that phrase.Those that inquire about the best practices will encounter infuriating results. The question comes from a place that assumes testing is mechanical, which would send the tester into a monotonous loop of repeated results. It’s not. If it is mechanized, it’s repetitive, boring, requires no creativity or intuition, and follows the exact same suite every
Testing is complicated. It’s full of “what ifs”: what if you’re logged in, what if you’re not logged in, what if it’s the first time and you have no cookies, what about the same workflow after cookies are set, what if you switch mobile devices after you started some work or transaction—the “what ifs” are plentiful. Testing is creative and complicated. Different situations require alternate approaches. There is not a single best practice.
In a world where everyone is expected to do more with less time and resources, the idea of getting full, complete, well-conceived requirements through beautiful user stories at the beginning of a project is a pipe dream. By its very nature, Scrum is iterative and user stories evolve. So test teams must be fluid, dynamic, smart, aware, and empowered. Test plans evolve and are always in a state of change from various aspects.
Testing is not a canned activity that you can pop off the shelf, point at some system, and expect to get every facet of quality information that you need: bugs, coverage, risks, validation, or otherwise.
I’ve heard too many stories about teams that had their test cases prepared; they knew what needed to be automated and they had a scope for exploratory testing. But once the teams had begun on their chosen path, the product or development teams added and altered their user stories, thus undoing their previous intentions. In a similar scenario, there may not be a plan since the user stories were incompletely drafted, and they were poorly written or late. Testing requires a daily plan of attack—not a best practice.
To reiterate my point about the best practices approach, please bear in mind that not every project is the same. Some projects demand more responsiveness testing, others require accessibility testing, some need the API level or firmware level, and others that need an entirely different approach or a unique combination of all that. There are traditional projects on a desktop, browser, and mobile UI with a backend and a database—while many projects have none of that. Some projects have an abundance of new functionality whilst others are uniquely bug fixes and cleaning up existing functionality. In further consideration, we need to draw attention to projects that entail exploratory testing, which is a characteristic of many Agile projects.
Projects that oblige more confidence from you are those that are more geared towards regression testing. For all other projects, workflows and user scenarios are the best strategies.
We aren’t directing you towards a ‘best practice’, rather we are exploring alternative methods and strategies to fulfill your testing needs. Through LogiGear’s senior testers, Minh Ngo and Thong Nguyen, we guide you through the integration of CI/CD in API testing.
This month’s issue also includes two featured writers: Dustin Rodgers and Johann Hoberg. Dustin discusses a framework that aims to reduce duplicate bug reporting by a landslide. Through Johann’s article, we are provided with a fresh outlook on the world of games testing and characteristics that equate to being a good games tester. If you are in search of management methods for different generations, Leader’s Pulse is your one-stop shop. LogiGear’s VP, Michael Hackett, analyzes various management styles through personal experience and Peter Drucker’s principles. If you’ve been puzzled or found yourself interested in the aforementioned topics, peruse this issue.
Every development project is different. Testers need a variety of skills, methods, test, and data design techniques to handle each situation as each situation is unique.
As a result, you need smart, sophisticated, intelligent, and knowledgeable test teams who are also cognizant and dynamic. They must understand the nature of being iterative and emerging development rather than nailed-down, fully defined functionality. They must be able to think quickly on their feet, change their minds, and shift the strategy accordingly.
So for this best practice idea, my preference is to say there are better practices and some are better than others. Testing has never been a one size fits all. You need smart testers who can use their brains and think—testing is a challenge!
LogiGear Magazine is constantly aiming to keep you up-to-date, refresh long-standing methods, and introduce new methods to load your arsenal. In this issue, LogiGear explores various testing methods and strategies to derive the most from your testing experience and experiments.