What’s The Problem? Delivering Solid Problem Reports

I     Start Time : 08:30     End Time : 12:30

It’s a key task for the tester to identify and describe important problems that threaten the value of our products. But try an informal poll, and you’re likely to find that few testers have thought very deeply about what a problem is, what makes it important (or not), and how to describe it so that its significance is clear to the people who make decisions. Problem are /just defects/, and reporting is something that many of us /just do/. Reporting problems expertly is an important and valuable testing skill.

In this half-day, hands-on workshop, we’ll start by identifying factors that makes something a problem, and we’ll use those factors to help frame its significance. For example, we’ll see that some “defects” are not problems–and that some problems are not defects.

Along the way, we’ll see that a problem is not an attribute of the product, but a relationship between the product and some person(s). We’ll proceed through an exercise of actually testing a product, using oracles to seek and recognize problems, and sharing our strategies for framing and describing them. We’ll consider the levels of formality that might be appropriate in different contexts. We’ll exercise the skill of providing a concise and cogent report that delivers a clear message with a minimum of fuss. Finally, we’ll discuss and develop ways to evaluate our problem reports efficiently, so that we can continue to sharpen our skills and provide value efficiently to the project Participants are encouraged to bring a computer–ideally Windows-compatible.

  • Speaker

  • Michael Bolton - , DevelopSense, Canada

    Michael Bolton is a software tester, consultant, and trainer with 20 years of experience around the world, testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a course that presents a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure.

    Currently, he leads DevelopSense, a Toronto-based consultancy. Prior to that, he was with Quarterdeck Corporation for eight years, during which he managed the company’s flagship products and directed project and testing teams both in-house and around the world.

    Contact Michael at [email protected], or through his Web site, www.developsense.com