Ep 64: This Modern Testing

This week I’m talking to Andy Tinkham about his testing philosophy: Modern Testing.

You may be familiar with this alreadY: Andy has been on both Test Talks and the Testing Show talking about it. I highly recommend both those episodes if you’d not already listened to them.

That’s where I first heard about Andy’s philosophy, which has 4 pillars at its core:

  • Context First
  • Testers are not Robots
  • Uses Multiple Lenses for Test Design
  • Providing Useful and Timely Information

This philosophy also has a challenge: Write your testing manifesto. Define what testing is or isn’t to you. Publish it if you want. Get feedback, get challenged, find your own path. I’ve published mine below.

The angle I wanted to tackle was my thoughts on the philosophy as a new tester: For new testers, defining what you do can be intimidating: I feel like I’m on the cusp of understanding what testing is to some extent but it also feels almost ineffable. The pillars here are great for a starting point – the details can be different dependent on context but the names are good guidance.

It also provides a framework for learning the more ‘fuzzy’ parts of testing: looking for context, thinking outside of tests cases, learning mnemonics and how to apply them, methods of efficient communication, etc).

All in all, it’s a great philosophy, and a great conversation, I hope you enjoy it!

Gem’s testing manifesto challenge response:

This was hard, but interesting for me anyway as I have absorbed so much about testing in such a short space of time, that while I had loads of ideas about what testing was, I hadn’t really truly considered what I thought testing was, and how I practised testing, so I think it’s really invaluable to do that, even if you never share it with anyone.

My attempt, in bulleted form:

  • Context is important
  • Providing value is the most important thing
  • The above two will be almost constantly changing
  • Avoid absolutes (except this one)
  • Communication is key
  • Everyone is human
  • Vulnerability can be powerful
  • Ask the stupid questions
  • Knowledge is our greatest tool
  • Balance learning and applying that learning
  • Breathe
  • No, I don’t break things

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