There is a misconception floating around that Agile Testing is mostly about automated checking. On the other way the whole testing community fights since decades about the value of test automation vs. the value of exploratory testing. I find these two different extreme position unhelpful to do any constructive testing. Most recently I ended up with a model that explains the underlying dynamics quite well, to testers, to programmers, and to their managers. Here’s the model.
Good software deserves active testing. The activity of testing does not stop with the work of understanding what the software does. It must be completed by the work of criticism, the work of judging. The undemanding tester fails to satisfy this requirement, probably even more than he fails to analyze and interpret. He not only makes no effort to understand; he also dismissed a product simply by putting it aside and forgetting it. Worse than faintly praising it, he damns it by giving it no critical consideration whatever.
Huh? Harsh words. Let’s discuss them in the light of testing vs. checking.