Why Do We Test? To Communicate, Of Course

“Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.” So said Albert Einstein. I think that sentiment can be applied to tests and their role as a communication mechanism. When you get involved in projects that are focusing on “agile” approaches like behavior-driven development (BDD), I’ve found that you’ll want to make sure you keep focusing on how testing will have a focus on intent (what) as opposed to implementation (how). It’s easy for testers to fall into a group think mentality with developers, who are often pushing an agile focus with an emphasis on what amounts to quality of implementation rather than quality of intent. This means testers have to have a good answer to the question, “Why am I testing?”

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