Six Pitfalls In Testing

A recent blog post I read is entitled “Six Things That Go Wrong With Discussions About Testing”.  It is a post from August 27, 2017 on James Bach’s blog http://www.satisfice.com/blog/ .  In it James Bach talks about six big pitfalls that developers fall into when thinking about and talking about testing.  I chose this blog post because after reading it the information stuck with me.  He takes a step back from testing and writing tests and talks more about how to effectively test.  I thought it was a good topic that a lot of testers and developers overlook.  The first point is that people care too much about the number of test cases and losing focus on writing effective test cases.  This is a sound piece of advise to remember especially in college before getting too far into a career in software development; it’s more important to write a few strong tests than to write a lot of weak tests.  The second is that people treat a test as an object rather than an event.  This one interested me a lot.  It’s a good way to look at tests.  A test isn’t just an object, it is an activity and no test will be the same between two testers.  The third topic he talks about is when testers can’t describe their test strategy.  It’s a good reminder that as testers we need to constantly reevaluate our testing strategies and adjust it as necessary.  When we don’t step back and check ourselves we stop progressing.  The fourth point is that people talk about testing as if it is an automated process.  When we do that as testers it removes the human aspect of creating the tests.  This creates a division between testers and the tests.  We start to stop taking responsibility when a test doesn’t go right and that responsibility is important to have in order to learn from mistakes in testing and get better.  The fifth is when people talk as though there is only one kind of test coverage.  Even if a tester develops their own style and favors one type of test coverage during their career, it is important to remember that there are many kinds and a tester should keep them in the back of his mind so they can be ready to switch to the most effective kind depending on the situation.  The final pitfall is when people talk about testing as if it is static.  This is a fundamental concept that, in my opinion, should apply to almost all aspects in life.  When you think you are done improving then you are.  A good tester needs to always be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.  That mentality helps a tester to improve and avoid becoming stagnant. Which fits perfectly since thats the idea behind this assignment of blog posts.

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