Testing with Good Intentions

To become better at testing, we have to pinpoint what makes the DNA of a good tester.
This talk tries to define properties of testers that we can attribute to the trait of intentionality. It asks what makes a tester intentional? What is inside a purpose to test?
There is a point in time in which a tester makes an action and can’t explain it. Or in which a team is working on a product and it feels driven by inertia, no information is being chased. For self-conscious professionals, such points are puzzling, often taxing. What can help return the intellectual engagement? We argue that it is intentionality – a purposeful way of testing. The parts of intentional testing in this context are the existence of Purpose (testing deliberately, knowing why we test), the existence of a Plan (testing orderly, knowing what we test) and the existence of Self-Awareness (testing consciously, knowing our role on it).

The talk is presented through a series of thought experiments (a technique borrowed from philosophy discussions). For example:
– What if a parallel earth was commanded by our actions? Would they be testing too?
– What if a day repeated itself? Can we judge people value according to their results?
– Can a tester follow a completely random process? And if so, is he any good?
– Is an efficient automata a better tester than a tester? And if not, what is it missing?

Through these thinking-stories, we will define step by step that a Plan is not enough, a Purpose is not enough, and that both together are complemented by the tester’s Awareness.

  • Speaker


    Shmuel Gershon - Tester, Intel Corp, Israel

    Shmuel Gershon has experience in both firmware and software testing; and also in coaching testers and helping friends. Today he works in Jerusalem testing firmware with a team of Super-Heroes, and his experience includes working for big companies, small companies, and as freelancer — spanning the world from South America to Israel. He used to be a programmer, but discovered that testing is twice the fun.
    A frequent presenter at local and International software conferences, Shmuel is convinced that the most significant factor in our quest for quality is people, not features or technology. He writes about software testing at http://testing.gershon.info and @sgershon and published the open-source “Rapid Reporter”, an exploratory testing note taking tool.