The Theseus of Testing

I was going to frame this post as “The Ontology of Testing” but, while writing it, the Ship ofTheseus, a thought experiment around the metaphysics of identity, seemed apropos. This is particularly the case in an industry where testing, as a discipline, can struggle to find or retain its identity. I was also going to call this post “The Identity of Testing” but the subject was a little more broad than just that. So let’s dig in!

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Focusing on Product Acceptance

In my last post in this series, I talked about acceptance testing being a core intersection between product development and engineering. So let’s dig into that a little bit more. Specifically, I want to provide a prescriptive framing device that I’ve found to be helpful when getting delivery teams onboard with these concepts.

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Delivery Teams and Popping the What Stack

Product developers know about the “Why Stack” and it’s important that developers and testers are able to work in this context. So let’s talk about this a bit … although I should note I’m going to refine a little bit about how the “Why Stack” is considered, moving it a bit more into where it intersects with how we think about features that we want to develop and test.

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Product Development Injections

Recently I had a chance to get back into my product development and product management roots. I do believe that quality assurance, and testing, are highly aligned with product management. So in a series of posts I will talking about some of that alignment, often focused on some key concepts. Here I’ll talk about the idea of “injections” that make sense in the context of product management.

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Testing is Like Finding Exoplanets

Astronomers have been finding lots of planets around other stars, which have come to collectively be called exoplanets. And, as part of that endeavor, they also try to think about finding life on those planets. There’s lots of corollaries here in terms of thinking about testing.

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What Makes Testing Complex?

Years ago I asked about what makes testing complicated. At that time I didn’t really have a very distinct nuance between “complex” and “complicated.” But I think my instinct was accurate. So here I want to focus on what makes testing complex (which is often inevitable) and that can help frame what makes testing complicated (which is not inevitable).

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The Zero Defect Fallacy

Thankfully most testers that I come across do realize that the notion of having “zero defects” is, in fact, a fallacy. But this notion of something being “defect free” still persists in the wider industry. And it’s important to quash that perception. How I frame this when encountering the thought differs a bit. So here I’ll give a brief overview of various ways I respond.

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