Thursday, 9 November 2017

It works... And also it doesn't.

Just a quick one while it's in my mind space...
Testers need to make sure that something works, but also make sure that it doesn't not work.
This is another one of those phrases that I've been trotting out for so long I've forgotten if I invented it or just stole it from someone cleverer than me. I said it in a planning meeting yesterday and had a room full of confused people looking at me.

If something works how can it also not work?

<insert clever Schrödinger joke here... or not... 😉 >

Building a solution, be it hardware or software, often focusses on producing a desired result. But it's always possible that an undesired result could be produced at the same time.

So that biro that writes really nicely, but also leaks all over your shirt pocket. Working. And also not working.

Our kettle boils water really quickly, but the handle is in such a place that the steam burns your hand when you pour it. So it's working. And also not working. (ouch!)

That web interface that works happily but crashes when you type in 'aardvark' instead of '12'. Works. And doesn't.


So next time you're confident that something works, don't forget to make sure it also doesn't not work.
It's our job to not only prove the former, but to predict and prevent the latter.

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