Skip to main content

Lets compromise....

Compromise. That word doesn't sit well with me, its not a natural state of mind. The further I progress in my testing career I find it around every corner:

'Lets compromise on quality to hit the date.'
'Lets compromise on testing depth so we can increase our coverage.'
'Lets just do a smoke test, it'll be fine.'


I often think that compromising in testing is seen as the grown up thing to do:

'Its your product buddy, I'm just an information giver. Go or no go, no skin off my nose. I'm just a tester.'


Its also a little naive in a way. The customer says:

'Yes lets cut down the testing so I have my stuff when I want it.'

When they actually mean:

'Yes lets cut down the testing so I have my stuff when I want it. Oh and make sure it works perfectly too.'


Thing is, I'm not just a tester. I'm a fierce (some would argue too fierce) believer in testing as craft, who leverages business facing, technical, exploratory, automation and performance focused testing to deliver the best service I know how. Whether that is critically assessing a user story (I'm usually the last person asking why) or writing a set of automated acceptance tests which continually add value the word 'compromise' is not at the forefront of my thinking.

Perhaps it's time for me to grow up, but for now, I'll keep fighting what I believe is the good fight.


Comments

  1. So what are you fighting for - rerfect bug free s/w?
    A good tester can always think of more tests to run so at some stage aren't you going to compromise and say "I'm done"?
    Or am I missing the point of this post?

    ReplyDelete
  2. A little.

    In my recent experience, I think as testers, we have become a little meek in our views and immediately compromise on aspects of our testing and play the role of information provider.

    Testing adds value (when done right) and each compromise degrades the value that you add. Sometimes the compromise is false, as customers really want fast delivery with quality, not just fast delivery.

    If we compromised on everything, nothing would really improve would it?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Wheel of Testing Part 2 - Content

Thank you Reddit, while attempting to find pictures of the earths core, you surpass yourself.
Turns out Steve Buscemi is the centre of the world.

Anyway. Lets start with something I hold to be true. My testing career is mine to shape, it has many influences but only one driver. No one will do it for me. Organisations that offer a career (or even a vocation) are offering something that is not theirs to give. Too much of their own needs get in the way, plus morphing into a badass question-asker, assumption-challenger, claim-demolisher and illusion-breaker is a bit terrifying for most organisations. Therefore, I hope the wheel is a tool for possibilities not definitive answers, otherwise it would just be another tool trying to provide a path which is yours to define.


In part one, I discussed why I had thought about the wheel of testing in terms of my own motivations for creating it, plus applying the reasoning of a career in testing to it. As in, coming up with a sensible reflection of real…

Getting started with testability

At TestBash Netherlands, I said that, in my experience, a lot of testers don't really get testability. I would feel bad if I didn't follow that up with a starting point for expanding your mindset and explicitly thinking about testability day to day, and making your testing lives better! 

In large scale, high transaction systems testability really is critical, as compared to the vastness and variability of the world, testing done within organisations, before deployment, is limited by comparison. We need ways to see and learn from the systems we test where it matters, in Production.
Being able to observe, control and understand is central to testing effectively, and there are loads of resources and experience reports out there to help. I was/am inspired by James Bach, Seth Eliot, Matt Skelton, Sally Goble, Martin Fowler and a little bit of PerfBytes/Logchat, so lets see if it works for you! 

Overall Model:

Heuristics of Software Testability by James Bach

http://www.satisfice.com/tool…

The Team Test for Testability

You know what I see quite a lot. Really long-winded test maturity models. 

You know what I love to see? Really fast, meaningful ways to build a picture of your teams current state and provoke a conversation about improvement. The excellent test improvement card game by Huib Schoots and Joep Schuurkes is a great example. I also really like 'The Joel Test' by Joel Spolsky, a number of questions you can answer yes or no to to gain insight into their effectiveness as a software development team.

I thought something like this for testability might an interesting experiment, so here goes:

If you ask the team to change their codebase do they react positively?Does each member of the team have access to the system source control?Does the team know which parts of the codebase are subject to the most change?Does the team collaborate regularly with teams that maintain their dependencies?Does the team have regular contact with the users of the system?Can you set your system into a given state…