5 Schools of Testing

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Bret Pettichord's presentation on the topic, http://www.io.com/~wazmo/papers/four_schools.pdf

5 Schools

  • Analytic: Testing is about mathematical proof
    • academic, formal methods
  • Standard: Testing is about standards and best practices
    • commercial, corporate IT, predictable, planned, certification, economical
  • Quality: Quality Assurance professionals assure quality
    • gatekeeper, safety net
  • Context-Driven: Testing is about people and context
    • no best way to test, based on context, adaptable, exploratory
  • Agile: Automated testing tells you when the story is done
    • test driven, test before, automation

Distinction between Context-Driven and Agile Testing

  • Context-Driven testing is about providing information quickly; Agile testing is about providing information early
  • Context-Driven testing is about providing information; Agile testing is about providing direction

Other notes

  • Developers spend more time writing tests in the Agile context
  • There are trade-offs in the Agile testing school as well
  • Start with baseline story acceptance tests, do exploratory testing after
  • The people who came up with this categorisation come from the context driven school.
  • Functional testing only works well with shared ownership of tests by the whole team (developers, testers and the customer/business analyst).
  • Use the 5 schools to encourage change.