Sunday, June 27, 2010

How important to write test cases?

What i meant by test case?
First of all i should clear-up what mean to me as test cases. For me, test cases are list of test ideas by which test ideas can be listed as bullet order, row wise or any other format convenient to me for particular project or client. It also required to add tips or guideline for those test ideas which i think other can face difficulties to understand my test idea such as (but all are optional):
  • Required test data to execute the test if my test have required any specific data.
  • Environment related information if my test required to make any specific changes on the test environment.
  • Steps to execute the test if there have any complicated step to execute the test.
  • Also need to add tips for any special thing to follow while executing.
Be sure, here i'm not talking to add any straight-forward tips/guideline on test case for the testers, just want to add those thing which i feel un-usual to understand my test ideas.

Why required such test cases?

I know, many of the intelligent testers, test experts, consultants, will argue with me - why you required such test cases? Are you want to feed your testers? You should teach your testers - how to test, how to explore, how to use heuristics, how to use oracle, blah...blah...blah. Here i completely agree that i should teach my testers. And also i use those test cases to teach my testers, here might have another question....How?
Here i like to share my experience and context but others might have different context (i don't know). I have some well experienced intelligent testers, some are minimum experienced (less than 1~2 years) but promising, some are cub newbies and some are even fresher in my team. I never can expect i will get all the well experienced testers in my team (that will exceed my company budget!). So, what will happen when i assign to test a particular feature to an experienced/expert tester, suppose (s)he will generate 20 test ideas to test that feature. What if, i assign same feature to test to a cub newbies or even to a minimum experienced tester, will (s)he able to generate all the 20 test ideas which can generate by an expert tester? even-though, they are intelligent enough and i teach them how to test, how to explore.........often not possible because an experience tester learn/know more test ideas by his/her experience and those ideas may not be able to generate by an inexperienced testers, even though (s)he is promising and intelligent enough. So, finally what will happen if i assign to test a feature to cub newbies? (s)he can miss some important test to execute, by which some significant issues can be uncovered on that feature. Here test cases which contained listed test ideas will guide them for proper testing, help them to know several test ideas....and so on.

What more to do with test case?
Motivate testers to think beyond the test cases and to generate more test ideas while executing and list-out those test ideas by which it can be possible to know particular tester's thoughts, intelligence, exploring capabilities...and so on. Here another thing is related to my organization but may not in other organization, there are many clients want to see the test cases to ensure test coverages, which is valid and better than blindly trust to the test team and i think it somehow reduces some risk in some degree according to my context.

Readers, i like to know your point of view and experiences in this regard to clear-up my understanding and to remove misconceptions if i have any!

Enjoy testing! enjoy learning!

(!) NOTE: There are few small updates made on the original post (mostly changed the choice of words for proper interpretation).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Comments are worthy for any blog post

Any blog post got a proper shape with the comments on it. Without comments a blog post can turn to dead-metaphor. To be sure, all the great blogger valued their blog reader who occasionally and/or regularly put comments (i.e. reader's view on the subject matter) on the blog posts.

Recently I had commented on Michael Bolton's blog post "Testers: Get Out of the Quality Assurance Business" but was not published and sent a mail to me "Hi Selim...It's not that I haven't published your comments because they're bad. I haven't published them because they're so good, and they're worthy of a thoughtful reply. I haven't done that yet, but I will. Cheers,---Michael B".
---I was surprised how a great blogger gave importance to his ordinary blog reader and also gave importance to any comment on his post.

After couple of days Michael Bolton posted a separate post to answer my question in response to my comment starting with the kind words like “Here’s a case where a comment and question were worthy of a post of their own”. Here is the link of that post
What a great effort done by a great mentor in the field of testing for an unknown tester!!

Also i should appreciate blogger like Pradeep Soundararajan, always i got quick response from him whenever i put any comment to his blog post or send any mail to him or for any instant messages.

What I conceived, commenting/questioning is the most beneficial way to eliminate misunderstanding/misconception and also it is a easy manner for stating my thoughts to get expert opinion against my thoughts. I believe, if my comment/question is not that much worst then it will be responded by author or even from other readers which will assist me to assess my thoughts. In one response Michael Bolton said “responding to comments is a reward in itself”, which is true indeed.

What i'm trying by this post, is to inspire Bangladeshi testers (who are silent) to read famous testing blogs and start commenting/questioning based on your own thinking and understanding, even start own blog. By this way Bangladeshi testers can be known to the world of testing community.

Enjoy Blogging! Commenting! Questioning!
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