On the impossibility of complete testing and the unlikeliness of winning the lottery

In addition to the lack of references by Software Testing professionals I talked about in the previous post of this series, there are other interesting and worrying things that I noticed throughout the meetup about so-called “Automated Testing” I recently attended.

First, and most importantly, the lack of knowledge of testing techniques among the attendants to the event.

The presenter, for example, while talking about the browser testing activities of a particular software product she had participated in, explained that they considered five browsers but only one Android and one iOS device.

Her point was kind of: as we couldn’t test all the devices available on the market —which is true—, we considered that, if the product worked on at least an Android and an iOS apparatus, it was enough.

When I asked her if, in order to have a more acceptable test coverage, they ever considered taking advantage of any testing techniques to so reduce the amount of combinations (of browsers, devices, types of network, etc.) to be tested, she looked puzzled.

When I mentioned pairwise testing, both the presenter and the rest of the audience showed quite clearly that they had no idea what I was referring to.

Now, let’s combine the irrefutable impossibility of complete testing* with lack of testing mindset, lack of testing techniques knowledge, and lack of risk analysis skills, and do the math.

Don’t worry, though: after all, you might own exactly one of the two devices they tested.
Anyway, cross your fingers, just in case…


(*) By the way, you may consider adding Cem Kaner to your (currently questionable) list of Software Testing references…

"Lottery Machine" by Rajiv Patel
“Lottery Machine” by Rajiv Patel (Rajiv’s View) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
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