Home > Articles > Programming > Java

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Ideas for the Future

Where can conventional software testing and test-driven development meet and combine forces?

Pair Testing with Developers

I started pairing with developers during TDD because they wanted another perspective. The developers wanted to work with someone who thought about testing all the time, instead of working with other programmers who were thinking predominantly about programming. While it can be a bit intimidating to work in a technical environment where writing software code is the dominant activity, you don’t need to have development skills to pair with a developer doing TDD. All you need is to bring the testing knowledge you already have, a willingness to learn and be taught, and a willingness and confidence to share testing ideas. Combining a skilled software tester who has technical and non-technical experience with a highly technical code-level tester (the programmer) is powerful. For testers who want to do more with TDD, basic programming skills are required. To do pure TDD full-time, you’ll need to become a developer.

Because I was a tester, developers told me I provided a valuable service when I pair-tested with them when they did TDD. I sometimes felt that I wasn’t providing a lot of value during the generative phase, but we felt that with practice I could spot "code smells" and provide the design feedback they wanted, even without becoming an expert programmer. Smart testers can learn how to spot these patterns in the code in their own way, even if they aren’t programmers.

If you’d like to start pairing with a developer, the elaborative phase of TDD is probably the easiest place to start. Developers are looking for test ideas at this point, and software testers are full of all sorts of test ideas from functional testing, customer testing, and a wealth of experience with defects and testing challenges. I’ve written an article that provides some ideas on how to start pair testing. In TDD, talk to the developer about the different phases, and agree on a good place for you to step in and start. If it works out, move to the generative phase of test-driven development, and learn how to spot design problems from a testability perspective.

A key to remember is that if you’re a skilled software tester of any kind, you can bring your ideas and learn with a TDD programmer, without having any programming skill to start out. You’ll learn what you need as you go.

Why Limit Pairing to Testers?

Software tester Dana Spears points out that this activity of pairing with TDD programmers to help them as they develop a quality product need not be limited to testers. Systems analysts, designers, business analysts, and others with software expertise could also add a lot of value during TDD. I’ve witnessed these kinds of pairings, and the teams have said that they were very useful.

Exploratory Testing

I recently gave a talk on exploratory testing (simultaneous test design, execution, and learning). Most of my experience with exploratory testing is testing through a graphical user interface, the way an end user would use the software. TDD work has opened my eyes to other testable interfaces, and I’ve done some exploratory testing using an application programming interface for a program. Some software I tested was used by other machines, not humans, so I didn’t have a GUI to rely on.

I’ve also written about interactive automated testing, which involves using automated testing tools to interface into an application instead of using the GUI. In the TDD world, we’re always thinking about testable interfaces, and sometimes we do exploratory testing by changing the values of our test inputs based on the results we had from the last test run. We don’t do this very often—usually on areas that are either critical for the product to work, or are giving us trouble.

Several TDD developers attended my talk, and they asked me about combining exploratory testing with TDD even more extensively. They felt that sometimes the TDD automated tests contributed to a brittle design and hoped that doing more exploratory testing earlier in the process would help deal with this problem. Exploratory testing is a powerful way of thinking about testing, so test idea generation, execution, and the resulting learning would help improve the design and the reliability of the product.

There’s a lot of room for testers and developers to collaborate by combining exploratory testing with TDD. Testers and developers could try to use more exploratory testing in the generative phase, as well as the elaborative phase, where it comes more easily. Like our rule of "every tenth time we run the suite, we run a functional test with a database in a real system," exploratory testing could be done in conjunction with the automated unit test runs. More frequent staging-type tests would add a lot of value earlier in contributing to a design instead of feedback coming in the form of bug reports later.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020