Michael Bolton first highlighted the difference between testing and checking. The output of checks are binary results (true/false, on/off, black/white). Checks can be executed by humans or automatically by machines. The output of testing is questions, facts and information. Tests can only be executed by humans. Unfortunately, a lot of people continue to use these words interchangeably which can lead to confusion and mistakes. To become better testers, I believe we need to start with the basics; our vocabulary. Continue reading
Little consideration is given to the opportunity cost of automation. What are the implications to the quality of software being delivered? What do we lose by focusing on the automated/coding skills of testers and ignoring their “true testing skills”? Automation is an important cog in the delivery of software but there are limits to its benefit which aren’t always fully recognised. When making decisions about automation, we all need to understand its limits and associated costs; it’s opportunity cost.