Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Special Kinds of Testing that Aren't that Special

My tweet stream today inspired me to write a bit about why words don't matter quite as much as we seem to think they do. It wasn't just one tweet that inspired me, but several. But if I would name one, this would be it.
 I wrote myself a little post-it note saying:

Isn't all testing
   ... model-based
   ... risk-based
   ... exploratory?

Having done model-based testing, it distinctively describes (to me) testing that is based on explicit, programmable models.

Having done risk-based testing, it distinctively describes (to me) a way of testing where we identify things that could go wrong, their relevance and test with a focus to that information (as opposed to requirements-based testing).

Having done exploratory testing, it distinctively describes (to me) an approach to testing where thinking and learning is in the core over repeating maneuvers.

We combine existing words to find ways of communicating ideas. Usually we need more words put together than two. The order and number of words depends on the person we're communicating with, not just on the person delivering a message.

In words, more is better. These special kinds of testing are special, and they are not. The labels won't alone help you see what is included.