TestToTester

What shall I call this testing?

In a recent assignment I was asked to test an application which downloads and displays pictures off the web with minimal features support like slide show, rotate, minimize, maximize etc. (I cannot provide any more information on the product because of NDA)

We knew that our internet connectivity thru LAN is slow, but had to observe and document the result on the same network.

After stating the assumptions about connectivity, speed, throughput available I started testing, in 2-3 min I decided not to use our bug tracker but instead write a story in a word document. What did my story contain – every step (test) performed on the application sequentially. An extract from it would look like

1) Reboot the < >
2) Click on < > for the first time. It takes approximately 13 seconds to display all the images in the < >
3) Click on < > and login to < >. The < > takes approximately 6-7 minutes to load 15 images.
4) When initially started it displayed loading x/37 images but after loading 15 images the message disappears and no other images are downloaded
5) Click on < >. It takes 4 seconds to get enabled


The story was easier to write because the application was terribly slow and I could think myself as the nicest/kindest customer our product could ever find.

Was the story helpful to my development team and the concerned team?

Well, they were surprised the way the story ended “30 button clicks – wait for the functionality to complete – took almost 1.5 hrs”. But liked the way the story was narrated, it helped them analyze each step and know the actual issues.

Now my question is - I initially set out to test the application functionally, but changed my tests based on the performance of the application and almost calculated response time for each function. But the final report (story) I documented after almost 1.5 hrs was helpful to both my development and the concerned department. Also, I could save time by documenting it as a story and not as individual bugs – I also doubt whether individual bugs could have revealed the story the same way the story could.

So, what do you call this testing?

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

7 comments:

Philk said...

Hmmm, you investigated the product and provided valuable information on it - I'd call that 'testing' !!

:)

Why do you feel the need for a label for it ?

Sharath Byregowda said...

Good Point Phil,

I am usually questioned as to what testing you shall perform like functional, performance, usability, automated, and the list goes on...

So, if I have to relate this investigation, where could I categorize this?

Could this be RST? - but my mission was to test for functionality of the application. Did I meet my mission? Well as per the mission No, but did I provide valuable information to whom it matters - Yes.

Yes I have done testing but does it belong to any approach or category?

I am not sure

-Sharath.B

Shrini Kulkarni said...

>>>>Why do you feel the need for a label for it ?

Sharath - I would agree with your quest for a label to describe "succinctly" so that you can explain and popularize the "brand" or "flavor" of testing you performed.

I suppose you could call this as "Improvisational Testing" (noting that all testing is not improvisational) or a flavor of our good old friend "Exploratory testing" or even "Testing by (telling)Stories" TBS? or improvised Scenario test?

Producing a narration in the form of a story is key aspect of your approach. I am sure purists would not accept such descriptive and narrative results of a test(tests) as there is no pass/fail kind of binary information.

Would like to hear more about such testing assignments ...

Michael said...

I'm with Phil; why not call it "testing"?

One answer is that you might be asked to report on coverage by test technique. "User testing"--involving the user, or systematically simulating one might cover describe it. Yet you might also call it scenario testing, if that drove your focus; you reported performance issues; you reported a corresponding usability problem... This isn't an answer to your question, so much as an observation that any kind of testing obtains coverage in multiple dimensions, no matter what dimension you choose to focus upon.

---Michael B.

Sharath Byregowda said...

Thanks for the comments Shrini and Michael.

Michael – I completely agree that I have done testing but what testing? What answer could I provide to my managers if they want to know what testing I have been up to? What if a process guy asks me what are different testing techniques the product is tested for? Or even better what if I am asked the similar question in an interview?

Yes, I also feel it’s close to scenario testing or as shrini points out exploratory, but my concern here is I deviated from the mission assigned (because I felt the mission previously assigned would not add the same value when I started testing) but still provided valuable information (in stories and not individual bugs) to my stake holder.

any kind of testing obtains coverage in multiple dimensions, no matter what dimension you choose to focus upon. – I love this sentence, I truly believe every tester who has ever done testing would agree to this, yet we have people running behind numbers.

Shrini I also liked "Testing by (telling)Stories" TBS – will think on it.

-Sharath.B

Shrini Kulkarni said...

>>>What answer could I provide to my managers if they want to know what testing I have been up to? What if a process guy asks me what are different testing techniques the product is tested for? Or even better what if I am asked the similar question in an interview?

So your problem appears to be "explaining Testing" to others. You might need to answer each of these (manager, process guy and interviewer) differently. This is because each of these have their view point about testing, each interested in knowing specific attribute of testing.

Should you seek a label to describe your testing style that you think is unique ?

I think so ... Simply saying "testing" I am sure will lead to further confusion and your approach might not be appreciated or taken further at all.

Does this label solve your problem of explaining testing to others ?

I am not sure .. it might help.
But you have make process guys and future interviewers to accept the new vocabulary that you *made* up and something that does not appear in their dictionary. If you are assertive and confident enough (I know you are) - you can handle them very well.

Shrini

Sharath Byregowda said...

Thanks for the encouragement Shrini...I plan to critique more on "Testing by (telling)Stories" TBS idea. ;-)

-Sharath.B

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