Q

Context-driven testing explained

Often you need to consider the context in which software testing is done. Software testing expert Karen N. Johnson explains one of the principles of context-driven testing.

What does it mean to believe in the context-driven school of testing?

There are seven basic principles of the context-driven school. Let me describe my belief about the second principle. The second principle states that there are good practices in context, but no best practices. My view on the second principle is I don't view best practices as a sensible statement. There are many good practices, but there is not one set of best practices that make sense in all contexts.

What do I mean by that? The danger in prescribing to best practices is that testers and test managers might believe they need to apply best practices in all contexts. If the use of best practices inhibits additional testing ideas or prevents the pursuit of creating a new practice that makes sense for the project, then the use of best practices is counterproductive.

If you stop thinking of additional tests or believe you've addressed all the testing necessary because you've reviewed some set of best practices, then the term best practices could cause more harm than good. Consider best practices; apply what makes sense for the product and the project. Consider whether you need to develop other practices to best suit the project.

This was first published in February 2007

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