03 Mar 2012 @ 11:51 AM 

This is a  walk-through on the presentation I had at  Czech Test.

I wanted to make a parallel between testing and solving puzzles.  Reason for this is because I think there should be more room for creative thinking in testing and also the analytic and logical thinking should have higher priority.

I started with a non-testing related puzzle.

The shown equation above is incorrect, but by changing the position of only one digit in can be improved and become correct (like in the example in the bottom of the slide). Click here to see the solution

Usually when someone says the word “puzzle” we think at something like this

But there are of course other types of popular puzzles

Introducing main theme “Testing is like solving puzzles

Then I tried to link the concepts of “testing” and “puzzles” by the definitions

Examples of “testing puzzles”:

I see testing puzzles split in two categories: micro-puzzles and macro-puzzles. Micro-puzzles and the simple situations , where you know the mission immediately (ex: test some input validation functionality). Macro-puzzles are the situations where you have to deal with an entire project and you have to take care of many components: time, coverage, risk, resources, information.

Starting with presenting the micro-puzzles

To create a better image you can try this exercise

for this application

The video demo for it:

Trying to solve that would give a better idea on the fusing situations between testing and solving puzzles.

Sometimes we ship the product after we test it, and we get a “crazy” customer that finds some unexpected state and demands explanations. In the next slide I have a screenshot of the application at http://testalways.com/1/ . You can try two puzzles here: 1) Reproduce the screenshot 2) Find the pattern

Some description about an important element in many puzzles: Patterns

This is actually an older application I posted 1 and a half years ago to show as example:

There were many answers to that puzzle back then. One way that was solved was using an excel file where all the data was put and analysed.

Other solution came with the help of using automated scripts to get the images for a large number of inputs

Going through macro-puzzles

Macro puzzles are the one where we have to deal with managing our testing process

I have used this application to represent the ideas of macro puzzles

Let’s say you have to test a web application that provides some statistical data and has an export functionality. You want to focus on the export from the file type and browser perspective.

If you would try to test each browser paired with each file, a representation in the hidden image application would look like that:

But you might not have the time to test all those combinations.  Another approach where you can say you tried each browser once and each file type once, is to pair each time one browser with one file type that has not been tested.

In this case it will look more like this

Or in some cases you find something suspicious and you insist in some areas, temporally neglecting other parts:

Other more general reviews:

Recapitulating the idea and re-making the points that testing is like solving puzzles and that we need more room for creative work and analytic thinking.

So those were the slides used. The main idea was to show testing more like a fun activity and full of creativity. In the same time it wants to give ideas to others to come up with something interesting, even if its not testing related

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Posted By: Eusebiu Blindu
Last Edit: 03 Mar 2012 @ 11:51 AM

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