228: Information Not Automation with Ingo Philipp

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Ingo Philipp Test Talks

What is Continuous Testing? What does it mean to you and your team’s testing efforts? That's what we’ll be test talking about today with Ingo Philipp, a Distinguished Evangelist at Tricentis. Prepare to discover what the fundamentals of testing are, and why it’s all about information and not automation.

About Ingo Philipp

Ingo Philipp Headshot
Ingo Philipp, Distinguished Evangelist at Tricentis, champions the methodologies and technologies at the core of the company’s continuous testing solution. In his previous position as a senior product manager, he orchestrated product development and product marketing. Before that, he worked as a theoretical astrophysicist in the field of high-energy particle physics and computational fluid dynamics. He holds a Master of Science degree.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk with Ingo Philipp

  • The concept of continuous testing was originally proposed as a way of reducing waiting time for feedback to developers. Continuous testing as we see it is the process of executing automated test cases as part of the software delivery pipeline. The reason why we do that is to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks that are associated with the software release candidate.
  • What we see is that more and more companies are constantly trying to adopt DevOps, trying to adopt a continuous delivery continuous integration. But especially in the enterprise landscape for large organizations, it is still a big big challenge out there. And so it goes basically hand in hand with your development approach. The reason why we want to be able to test in an uninterrupted way is so we are able to keep the pace with our development just from a pure testing perspective. A lot of people are struggling with that. I think the main reason for that is that most people first see all the technical challenges before they see the problems they have with the people they have in their companies.
  • It's pretty hard to even create such a DevOps culture because that is what the term actually means for me– it's just a cultural movement.
  • Almost every company tries to have some kind of digital transformation initiatives –to drive those initiatives forward. Forester said that all the businesses out there must continuously exploit digital technologies to both create new sources of customer value and increase operational agility in service of customers.
  • So testing in my point of view in its most general form is just a search for information. It's just a search for quality-related information. And the reason why we search for his information is to close the gap between what we know about our products and what we don't know about our products and we want to close that knowledge gap.
  • That is the distinction, for example, Michael Bolton and James Bach make. By checking that just means you evaluate your software by applying algorithmic decision rules to specific observations in your product. Which simply means with checking you just try to find an answer to the question does this assertion pass or fail? The process of finding an answer to that question that is that it always gives the binary result. It's always Yes or No. It's always 1 or 0. It's always on or off. And that's machine decidable. And that is what you should automate.  But there's another part of testing which is all about exploration. So here you evaluate your software through exploration and experimentation in order to reveal those risks.
  • I would really dig into the fundamentals of testing here and my advice for all the testers out there would be — please do not forget what's the game you're playing software testing is about. The goal here is really information, not automation. So my advice is guys please don't confuse testing with automation. These are two totally different things.

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