Monday, January 11, 2016

Renaming in retrospect

In the testing world, a blog post reclaiming the word "testing" to its original use is fairly popular. I keep hearing about it in conferences, when people feel I shouldn't talk about exploratory testing when all testing is exploratory.

Here's the thing however: when people around me talk about testing, they hardly ever mean the thing I do. I do exploratory testing. They do testing that focuses mainly on automation-related strategies.

I feel strongly on not going into the 3.0 bandwagon reclaiming the word testing, but going forward with the word exploratory testing.

Back in the days when people started creating musical instruments, someone came up with a guitar. In these days we would normally call that guitar acoustic guitar, to distinguish from a later invention of an electrical guitar.

Things are named in retrospect. And exploratory testing to me seems to be one of those things that, in contexts I work in at least, benefits from the renaming in explaining why what I do as an exploratory tester is so different from the testing that I too feel should vanish completely: the manual detailed test cases run by human drones without active thinking involved, or commodity testing.