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1.6 What Is a Testing Pitfall?

A testing pitfall is any decision, mindset, action, or failure to act that unnecessarily and, potentially unexpectedly, causes testing to be less effective, less efficient, or more frustrating to perform. Basically, a testing pitfall is a commonly occurring way to screw up testing, and projects fall into pitfalls when testers, managers, requirements engineers, and other testing stakeholders make testing-related mistakes that can have unintended negative consequences.

In a sense, the description of a testing pitfall constitutes a testing anti-pattern. However, the term pitfall was specifically chosen to evoke the image of a hidden or not easily identified trap for the unwary or uninitiated. As with any trap, it is better to avoid a testing pitfall than it is to have to dig one’s self and one’s project out of it after having fallen in.

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