Okey, Guru! Classic Testing Mistakes – Then and Now
A. Miln. Winnie-The-Pooh and All, All, All
Once upon a time, in 1997, Brian Marick wrote an article entitled “Classic Testing Mistakes.”. In his article he classified testing mistakes into several groups which are listed below.
In 2009, I analyzed the then current state of those mistakes and the tendency seemed encouraging.
Now, 11 years later, I decided to conduct a new analysis of those mistakes and share my opinion, evaluations, and doubts.
But first things first.
The Role of Testing
Mistakes identified by Brian Marick:
- The testing team is responsible for assuring quality
- The purpose of testing is to find bugs
- Testers aren’t finding the important bugs
- Usability problems are not considered valid bugs
- No focus on an estimate of quality (and on the quality of that estimate)
- Reporting bug data without putting it into context
- Starting testing too late
Planning the Testing Effort
- Testing efforts are biased toward functional testing
- Underemphasizing configuration testing
- Putting stress and load testing off to the last minute
- Not testing documentation
- Not testing installation procedures
- An overreliance on beta testing
- Finishing one testing task before moving on to the next
- Failing to correctly identify risky areas
- Sticking stubbornly to the test plan
- Using testing as a transitional job for new programmers
- Recruiting testers from the ranks of failed programmers
- Testers who are not application domain experts
- An insistence that testers be able to program
- Building a testing team that lacks diversity
- A physical separation between developers and testers
- Programmers can't test their own code
- Programmers are neither trained nor motivated to test
The Tester at Work
- Paying more attention to running tests than to designing them
- Unreviewed test design artifacts
- Excessive/insufficient refining of test scenarios
- Not noticing and exploring “irrelevant” oddities
- Checking that the product does what it’s supposed to do, but not that it doesn’t do what it isn't supposed to do
- Test suites are understandable only by their owners
- Testing only through the user-visible interface
- Poor bug reporting
- Adding only regression tests is not enough for finding a new bug
- Failing to take notes for the next testing effort
- Attempting to automate all tests
- Automating all manual tests
- Using GUI capture/replay tools
- Expecting regression tests to find a high proportion of new bugs
- Testing against code coverage has the same purpose as testing against requirements
- Removing tests from a regression test suit just because they don't add coverage
- Using code coverage as a performance goals for testers
- Abandoning coverage entirely
What Has Improved for 23 Years?
Unfortunately, almost nothing
Many people are still thinking that:
- Testers are responsible for quality, although the goal of testing is to provide an objective evaluation of the developed and delivered product.
- Tests should be run against requirements, although there are implicit requirements and errors occur in requirements.
- A bug severity can be determined “by agreement”, but not according to a generally acceptable classification.
- Testing metrics, static testing, unit testing – you can do without all these things.
- If every function can be tested separately, they will work together well.
- There is no need to test documentation; the main thing is to test the system.
- There are no risks in testing and can't be any.
- Anyone can become a tester – you don’t need to have any special skills.
- Testers are not recruited from technical writers or support service personnel, although they can become excellent testers who have good knowledge of the product and user needs.
- Test suites are excessive; at least they are used as check lists.
- When all test suites stop finding bugs, that means the testing is completed.
- Test suites should be understandable only by their owners.
- Automation of all manual tests is cool indeed!
- And automation without any test suites is super cool!
- If you automate regressive testing, you can find much more bugs.
Do you want to learn why it’s not like that?
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