Tag Archives: Inspectional Testing

CAST 2011: A report on the Testing Competition

Last week at CAST 2011 we were challenged by James Bach on a testing competition. While I was initially a bit reluctant to join the Miagi-Do team, the opportunity to test with all these fine folks couldn’t be missed. One of the lessons that James later taught us, is that you don’t know someone unless you have tested with her or him. So, we formed a Miagi-Do team consisting of Matt Heusser, Michael Larsen, Ajay Balamurugadas, Elena Houser, Adam Yuret, Simon Schrijver, Justin Hunter and Pete Schneider (sorry, I forgot your last name). Not all of them were Miagi-Do testers, but we kicked butt, I think. Since Matt was part of our team, we knew right from the start that we wouldn’t win any of the US-$ 1401 that James had set as a price. Here is my report on how the competition and the aftermath went.

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Inspectional Testing

Over the course of the past week, I noticed a name for something several Exploratory testers already do. I crossed the idea first while reviewing one of the chapters in an upcoming book on how to reduce the cost of testing. The chapter was written by Michael Kelly, and discussed Session-based Test Management or “Managing Testing based on sessions” as Carsten Feilberg recently pointed out at EuroSTAR.

The idea is simple. Challenged by Michael Bolton, I came up with the description, that Inspectional Testing is like scratching the ice from the windshield of your car in the winter. If you have lots of time, you scratch all windows free completely. If you don’t have enough time, you know that you should scratch everything free before starting to drive, but you can also select to scratch just some of the ice, so that you see enough to start driving. You risk a car crash at that time, but over time the ice will melt while driving. So, depending on the time you feel comfortable with to take for your testing activities, you start testing just enough. After the first charter, you reflect on your first time-boxed test session, and come up with additional tests as you see fit. You see clearer than before at this point in time, but you may want to dive into some topics in more depth. This is like letting the ice melt while you drive in your car.

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