Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TDD and Software Testers

I've been following along with the series of conversations with Martin Fowler, Kent Beck and David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) entitled Is TDD Dead. The whole conversation about what's good, bad and ugly with test driven development (TDD) is interesting in my role as a software tester and from an overall system / quality perspective. What works, what doesn't? What do some programmers like about it and what do others fear? Does TDD translate into a better product? Etc.

According to Fowler's website, part 3 of the series covers
...the various ways in which we get feedback while programming and the role of QA in providing feedback to developers.
The whole series is worth a watch but if you are just interested in TDD and the role it plays when you have software testers (or QA), watch it here:

The three people involved with it have have varying experiences with Fowler having worked for many years with software testers in enterprise software, Beck now working at Facebook where they have few testers (and his own experience with dysfunctional QA) and DHH's experience running Basecamp. It's an interesting and relevant discussion because it's coming from a programmers point of view (programmer testing).  My view says testing is an investigation designed to reveal information about a product. Beck frames it as feedback that builds confidence in the code. I think both views of the software are valuable and those differences in techniques and approaches yield very different ways of viewing quality.

The title "TDD is dead" reminds me of the saying "Test is dead". Neither of those titles are accurate (they are catchy) but understanding the differences in views can help us when talking to stakeholders who have similar feelings or views. 


Kuntal Sugandhi said...

Hello Chris,

How are you.. i was going through your website for watir installation , but what i found here is BBST, As a software tester. i am facinated by BBST.. i am also inspired.. but first i would like to know about whats is BBST... how complex is this.. ? can you plz enlighten me about the same,,

Thanks in advance

Kuntal Sugandhi
Software Testing Engineer

Chris Kenst said...

Hi Kuntal,

The BBST (Black Box Software Testing) courses are the only University level software testing training / education that I've seen on the market. The materials are all available free / open-source here: http://www.testingeducation.org/BBST/. The first class is called Foundations (there's even a book to help self-studiers http://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Software-Testing-Cem-Kaner/dp/0989811921/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1406217353&sr=8-3&keywords=Foundations+of+software+testing) and there are subsequent classes on writing reporting bugs called Bug Advocacy and a survey class on Test Design.

The material is deep and complex (what you would expect at a University level) but well worth it for anyone in software testing. The Association for Software Testing (http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/), where I'm an instructor, runs classes regularly for it's members. Let me know if you have any further questions.

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Chris Kenst said...

Glad it worked!

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