Article: The mythology of software testing

Available in the June 2008 issue of the AST Magazine.

… I always thought flying an airplane would be thrilling, until I began taking flying lessons. I quickly discovered that flying was, to paraphrase my flight instructor, long hours of boredom interspersed with brief moments of terror. I have found, over the course of my career, that there is a similar disparity between the perceptions and realities of software testing – those who do it have a very different understanding of the craft than those who merely observe it.

Interested in this topic, I asked the members of AST to Contribute common misperceptions about software testing. The results were diverse, interesting, and hotly debated. Here are a few of the many myths proposed by AST members…

  • Testing is Easy
  • Test Management = Test Scripts
  • We Can Limit Change
  • There are Best Practices
  • Testing = Test Execution
  • Test Design Must Happen Before Test Execution
  • Testing is a Mechanical Task, Not a Learning Activity
  • Testers Decide Whether Software Ships or Not
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