Five Tricky Things With Testing Rikard Edgren

I went to SAST Väst Gothenburg today to hold a presentation that can be translated to something like “Five Tricky Things With Testing”. It was a very nice day, and I met old and new friends. Plus an opportunity to write the first blog post in a long time, so here is a very condensed version:

1. People don’t understand testing, but still have opinions. They see it as a cost, without considering the value.
Remedy: Discuss information needs, important stuff testing can help you know.

2. Psychologically hard. The more problems you find, the longer it will take to get finished.
Remedy: Stress the long-term, for yourself and for others.

3. You are never finished. There is always more to test, but you have to stop.
Remedy: Talk more to colleagues, perform richer testing.

4. Tacit knowledge. It is extremely rare that you can write down how to test, and good testing will follow.
Remedy: More contact of the third degree.

5. There are needs, but less money.
Remedy: Talk about testing’s value with the right words, and deliver value with small effort, not only with bugs.

Summary: Make sure you provide value with your testing, also for the sake of the testing community,


There were very good questions, including one very difficult:
How do you make sure the information reaches the ones who should get it?

Answer: For people close to you, it is not so difficult; talk about which information to report and how from the beginning. I don’t like templates, so I usually make a new template for each project, and ask if it has the right information in it.

But I guess you mean people more far away, and especially if they are higher in the hierarchy this can be very difficult. It might be people you aren’t “allowed” to talk to, and you are not invited to the meetings.
One trick I have tried is to report in a spread-worthy format, meaning that it is very easy to copy and paste the essence so your words reach participants you don’t talk to.

Better answers is up to you to find for your context.

Jonas Persson September 28th, 2016

Pdf:en verkar skadad och går inte att öppna. Kan du ladda upp igen?

Rikard Edgren September 28th, 2016

You are right, the PDF is corrupted.
“It works on my machine”, but when accessing it after ftp uploading it is corrupt.
Must be a bug somwewhere, I’ll fix it after work.

Rikard Edgren September 28th, 2016

It works now. I think the problem was that the link had a title with spaces and Swedish letters.

Thyge October 12th, 2016

Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by “contact of the third degree”?
(and I agree, it is extremely rarely you can write down enough instructions and have a sufficient process, that the outcome does not to a large extent come down to the motivation and skills of the people involved…)

Rikard Edgren October 12th, 2016

Good question!
I mean that in order to learn and share the difficult stuff in testing, we need to interact with each other; talking, showing, discussing; preferrably in the same room.
No matter how much I write, some things can only be transferred by “hanging out” together.
This comes originally from Harry Collins, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge.

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