Sunday, October 18, 2009

What is "good testing"?

I recently attended the London SQC Conference on Software Quality, where the phrase "good testing" was used quite a bit. However, we never stopped to consider what good testing is?

Here we are, trying to achieve better and better testing each software release but how often to we stop, take a few steps back, and really ask ourselves, what does it mean to do good testing?

I can tell you my opinion. For me, good testing involves:
  • testing as early as possible
  • testing the right feature set
  • testing to the necessary depth
  • customer-like testing
  • producing high-quality bugs
  • testing in the areas where bugs will be fixed
  • exploratory testing

However, first off, that's just my opinion. In all my reading, and conference attendances, I don't think I've ever seen a standard definition.

Also, I don't think it's the full story! Testing is much more than just testing!

I firmly believe that you cannot test quality into software. So, for me to be effective, I should do all that I can do to facilitate developers building quality into the software. Yes, I must test - because, frankly, that's what I'm being paid to do. But, I also should have a focus on what can I do to ensure that the software that I am testing is of as high quality as possible??

I try to answer this in my article: How Can Test Support Quality? Let me know what you think!

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