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Talking About Testing: Achievement Unlocked

By Kate Punova
1+

Talking about testing probably seems to be a pretty unnatural activity. Why should you waste your precious time on talking, if you can spend it on testing instead? Well, this may work in case you are the last QA tester in the world. But since testing is usually done on the team, it’s important to know how to talk about it in the right way. Here are several things to avoid:
Talking as if testing is an easy task. Please, don’t think that testing can be formalized. If you learn nothing while testing the software, you are doing something wrong. Sure, you can still predict certain steps and use some patterns, but this doesn’t mean that testing can always be done in the same way.
Counting the cases. No one cares about the number of test cases. Quantity matters, but not in this situation. Instead of counting them, discuss bugs, risks, and other important things.
Inability to describe the strategy. A testing strategy is something that must be designed and discussed. It’s a whole set of ideas which will help you to understand what you should do and why. In this way, you will be able to test faster and better.
Talking as if there is only one way to cover the product. There are a lot of types of test coverage, and you shouldn’t use, for instance, only function or data coverage. Don’t even think that one technique will be enough. Combine them – this strategy will allow you to find new bugs.
Talking as if automation is a human. Seriously, don’t do this. If you focus ONLY on automated testing, you don’t use your skills, experience, and critical thinking, which are extremely important for the quality of testing.
Talking as if testing is an object. Believe us, it’s an event, an activity. If you perceive it as an object, you will easily skip such important thing as tester’s skills, attention, motivation, etc.

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