Sunday, August 04, 2013

James Bach's Advise on Tool supported Testing (aka Test Automation)

James Bach, in response a question on articulating "test automation and frameworks" to non technical people - gives these pretty useful pieces of advise.

I thought of sharing them to my readers.

-- Tools don't test. Only people test. Tools perform actions that help people test.
-- You must understand, design, monitor, and fulfill your test strategy. Only people can do that.
-- All testing is manual testing, in that regard. But in another sense most testing is tool-supported, since we use tools to help us in many ways.
-- Tools are capable of directly detecting only very specific bugs. Humans can, in principle, detect any kind of bug (especially when helped by tools).
-- Tools left alone will "detect" lots of things that are not bugs, while missing various huge bugs.
-- Think of tool-supported testing like cruise control-- it helps but the human is still driving the car.
-- Think of tool-supported testing as "tool-mediated" as opposed to naturally mediated. If you test through a tool then it filters out lots of the experience that may otherwise alert you to problems. This is not a bad thing (think of an infrared camera, which is exactly the same tool-mediated concept applied to vision) unless you test through your tool too much (imagine going through your life with infrared goggles on all the time).

Read these along with following post

I wish that when people see automation as some sort of tool assisted testing - sense will prevail.