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Friday, February 15, 2008

Testing Instructions - A Reminder

Notes from an internal message I sent:

If you are testing a module or program which does not currently have instructions on how to test it, you must create them as you do your testing.
The reasons for this:
  • It is quicker to test when there are instructions on how to test - by creating the instructions you will make all future testing of that module/program faster. - I am aware that it takes more effort this time but it will speed up all testing in the future. As there is more to test with each release, this is very important
  • When following instructions on testing, you are less likely to forget to test something. - This will lead to a higher quality product being released.
  • If you are working out how to test something it will save you or someone else working out how to do the testing again in the future, when the module/program is next tested.
  • If someone comes to test a module/program which they are unfamiliar with, in the future, they may miss parts of the system which are not obvious or dependent on certain configurations. A testing check list can contain the cumulative knowledge of everyone who has tested the module/program in the past, thereby removing the possibility of parts being missed.
  • Some programs require numerous configuration changes to fully test. Documenting these will save time working them out in the future.
  • Some programs require specific environments to test. Documenting these will save time in working out how to set these up in the future.
  • When bugs/errors are found in the system, their investigation can lead to the identification of new ways to test parts of a system or things to be particularly aware of when testing. If a test document exists, it can be updated to include such details.
We want testing to be as fast, thorough and as simple to perform as possible. Creating suitable instructions enables this. Not creating instructions goes against these aims.

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