78: Andy Tinkham: Schools of Testing

Podcast Published on:

Schools of Testings

In this episode, Andy from the podcast Testing Bias shares some insights from his years of testing experience. You’ll discover the shift in testing we all need to be aware of, as well as which skills you’ll need in the coming years. We’ll also touch on a few hot topic issues like Schools of Testing as well as, “Can developers do testing?”

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About Andy

AndyHeadShot

Andy has nearly 20 years of experience in software testing, predominantly focusing on automated testing and performance testing. He's spent a few years in graduate school at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he earned a master's degree in software engineering and progressed towards a PhD. in computer science, both focused on software testing. Recently, he's resumed working on my dissertation in an effort to finish his degree.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • I think we're at a very crucial moment of change in testing. I've seen more and more companies moving away from the “traditional” forms of testing. As agile development takes on, more acceptance becomes more prevalent, I think we're reaching … The late adopter even in laggard's stages in Jeffrey Morris Crossing the Chasm diagram there. And, I see testing as shifting away from the rigid documentation, the “let's run the same tests over and over and over” mindset. And so I think that, that would very much of it add a point of change in how we approach things, the way that testing fits into the organization, and our overall mission.
  • As far as skills go, I think that one of the biggest skills that testers are going to need is presentation of information. Visualization of data I think is going to become bigger and bigger. Maybe even getting into some deeper data analysis, where the results of the test are one piece, but some of the broader trends.
  • I think it's a shift from the very detailed-oriented, is this requirement work checking, what Michael Bolton and James Bach call checking. I think it's a shift from that to more of the big picture.
  • I think for a long time, a lot of testers that I've talked to have pretty much just used the lens of requirement. And that's a very important lens; we absolutely have to be looking at applications through that lens. But, if that's the only lens we're using, we're blinding ourselves to a lot of other potential tests.
  • So a heuristic is … it's a method that we use internally as we're thinking through things, that is a guideline. And it enables our brains to function in a world where there is so much information coming at us all at once. So even things like our peripheral vision is a heuristic.
  • I would say the one thing to improve your testing effort would be to be conscious of why you're doing that activity. There's a lot of, “It's the best practice, so we're just going to do it.” But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's providing the team even any value. And even if it is providing some value, is it providing the most value that's possible for you to provide in that period of time that you're spending on it?

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