Heuristics and Oracles

These terms are being thrown around a lot lately in the testing community, and they can cause some confusion the first time you hear them being used in this context. They definitely confused me the first time I heard them, so I will attempt to provide some clarification in this post.

What are heuristics and oracles, and why should you learn more about them?

I have found that heuristics and oracles provide a great starting point for testing, especially when little is known about the product, and they frequently result in more thorough tests. They also help to label methods and processes that would otherwise be difficult to explain. Labeling these processes makes it easier to improve them. But what are they…?  Continue reading

Software Testing Schools of Thought

Just as there are various models for the SDLC, there are different “schools of thought” within the testing community. A school of thought is simply defined as “a belief (or system of beliefs) shared by a group.” Dr. Cem Kaner, Bret Pettichord, and James Bach are most often cited in regard to the “software testing schools.” They are also responsible for creating the Context-Driven approach to testing. The first real discussion about these schools was by Bret Pettichord (2003) who described the following four schools. Since that time, Agile and the Test-Driven school were added to the list.

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Test Strategy Versus Test Plan

This month’s post is courtesy of the Center for Testing Excellence.

Testing is a key part of nearly every successful project. But do you know the difference between a testing strategy and a test plan? This article provides some great detail in defining the roles of both.


Test Strategy

A Test Strategy document is a high level document and normally developed by project manager. This document defines “Software Testing Approach” to achieve testing objectives. The Test Strategy is normally derived from the Business Requirement Specification document.

The Test Strategy document is a static document meaning that it is not updated too often. It sets the standards for testing processes and activities and other documents such as the Test Plan draws its contents from those standards set in the Test Strategy Document.

Some companies include the “Test Approach” or “Strategy” inside the Test Plan, which is fine and it is usually the case for small projects. However, for larger projects, there is one Test Strategy document and different number of Test Plans for each phase or level of testing.


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