Context-Driven Testing

People wonder what context-driven testing is, so I figured I’d liberate the text directly from the Context-Driven Testing website and lay it out below followed by a little contextual commentary from yours truly:

The Seven Basic Principles of the Context-Driven School

  1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.
  3. People, working together, are the most important part of any project’s context.
  4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable.
  5. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work.
  6. Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.
  7. Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products.

I am of the firm opinion that there are no magic bullets.  “Best practise” in one case is not best practice in another, in much the same way as there no universal Truths or “One Truth Way™”.

Even though I am an introvert, I enjoy working in teams with fellow focused, often geeky individuals who also enjoy their job as much as I do. Anyone who has worked on even one IT project of any description (or watched one from the sidelines) will know that unpredictability is a common hallmark of them.

Coming from a science background I’m all for asking questions, seeking answers, drawing conclusions, testing them out and challenging myself and others. If you don’t find software testing to be an intellectual process you’re probably Doing It Wrong™.

Judgement, skill, careful thought and effort are all part and parcel of the process of shedding blood, sweat and tears that make up life in general, work in particular and testing quite specifically.


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