Ruud Cox , Improve Quality Services and Zeger van Hese, Z-Sharp
Every test we perform is rooted in our perception of the system and its usage. Some of these tests are derived from standard test design techniques and are fairly straightforward to document. At the same time, we also build mental models of what we’re testing. We do this by investigating and evaluating the system under test from different perspectives. The problem with mental models, however, is that they are volatile, not very reliable and often don’t fit in our minds. That’s why it’s a good idea to try to visualize some of these mental models, as a way to prevent them from getting lost, and to use them as a basis for discussions or further investigation.
What if we would start mapping our mental models into visual models and use these models while we test the product at hand? Wouldn’t it be more effective if visual modeling was an integrated part of the learning cycle that testing is?
The use of mental models, and more specifically the thinking behind them, is what separates the skilled tester, the one that comes up with useful information, from the average tester. Ruud and Zeger believe that choosing what to model, the act of modeling itself and visualizing these models are core testing skills, and invite you to come practice and get better at them.
Note: This is a standalone half-day tutorial, but it comes with an optional half-day tutorial add-on that first gives an introduction to visualization for software testers: “Let’s get visual – Discover the power of visualization.”
When the workshop is completed, the attendees will be able to:
(1) Understand the importance of modeling in testing (2) Understand the wealth of models that live inside our heads (3) This will help attendees find more bugs, identify more risks, or in general, find better information (4) Create and use models they weren’t aware of before (5) Appreciate the diversity in tester thinking