Schools of Software Testing
by Željko Filipin
A few years ago we had regular reading club meetings at work. I really liked it. We would pick an article or a book and read it. Every month we would have a meeting and discuss the article or the book. If it was a long book, we would split it in several months. We didn’t have a reading club for a while. I’ve missed it.
I’ve started working from an office recently and I’ve found several interesting books there. I’ve read most of them, but a long time ago. I wanted to read them again. Reading with other people is always more fun, so I’ve decided to start the reading club again.
I’ve thought hard about the order in which to read the books. People on my team are on several continents, so I’ve tried finding books that are available in ebook format. That should make it easier for everybody to get the book. I’ve also checked book ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. This task lists the books in the order in which we plan to read them. Book prices and ratings are also included.
Schools of Software Testing
I thought a shorter read would be a good warm up for the reading club. I’ve heard about schools of software testing many years ago. I liked the idea immediately. I find it a good tool to explain why the experts are talking about different things when they talk about testing. It’s probably not the perfect model, but it’s a useful one.
After a bit of searching, I’ve found several presentations, blog posts and videos about the topic. If you know about more good sources of information about the topic, please do let me know. This is the list.
- Four Schools of Software Testing by Bret Pettichord, slides (pdf), from 2003, ~ 5 minutes.
- Schools: Analytical, Factory, Quality Assurance, Context-Driven.
- Schools of software testing by Cem Kaner, blog post, from 2006, ~ 20 minutes.
- Schools: Factory, Control, Test-driven, Analytical, Context-driven.
- Five Schools of Software Testing by Bret Pettichord, slides (pdf), from 2007, ~ 5 minutes.
- Schools: Analytic, Standard, Quality, Context-Driven, Agile.
- Are Testing “Schools” a good idea? by Doug Hoffman and James Bach, video, from 2012, ~ 70 minutes.
- Schools of Software Testing: Useful or Negative Influence? by Cem Kaner and Rex Black, blog post, from 2014, ~ 45 minutes.
School names change from author to author and with the time. These are the five schools, their names and short descriptions. (Descriptions are from Five Schools of Software Testing by Bret Pettichord.)
- Analytic / Analytical - sees testing as rigorous and technical with many proponents in academia.
- Standard / Factory - sees testing as a way to measure progress with emphasis on cost and repeatable standards.
- Quality / Quality Assurance / Control - emphasizes process, policing developers and acting as the gatekeeper.
- Context-Driven - emphasizes people, seeking bugs that stakeholders care about.
- Agile / Test-driven - uses testing to prove that development is complete; emphasizes automated testing.
My team name is Quality and Test Engineering. There are about 10 people in it. We are part of a bigger team, Engineering Productivity. There are about 20 people in it. We had two meetings about the topic. First in the smaller team that’s focused on testing. Then in the bigger team. There were about 5-10 people in each meeting. The meeting with the smaller team was in the form of a discussion. The meeting with the bigger team was mostly me talking about the schools. My guess is that people in the smaller team were more familiar with testing and had more opinions and experience with it.tags: photo - testing - wikimedia