Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fortune cookie about test cases


In my desperate quest for releasing blog content I came up with this idea; Fortune cookies that tell words of wisdom, vague prophecies, mystic "truths" and even best practices to those who don't know better.

An omen
The reason why I'm not putting these solely on Twitter is because I want to ponder the meaning of these fortunes, with only just few phrases to keep the mystic vibe on. And of course I want to provoke discussion. Twitter is wonderful medium for releasing fortunes themselves, but for ponderment, discussion and other lenghty activities it's just too limited.

So get your zen and milk ready! It's fortune cookie time!

This time the theme of these fortunes is "test cases". It's one of the most discussed subjects in the field of software testing, so their place at this first post of the series (Oh yes, there will be more! :) is deserved.

The first one:

Counting tests cases is like counting photographs.

This is basically the first idea ever that lept to mind when I thought of fortunes about testing. I believe strongly to the message it's delivering; It's not about quantities, but qualities. Photography helps everyone to understand the meaning, but it's still different for everyone. What is a good photograph? What is a good test case? Who the hell knows! It depends!

Ok, it could be more mystical, but hey, I'm doing this for the first time now!

The next one is right up the same alley:

A photograph does not simply pass or fail. Neither does a test case.

Pass or fail?
Ok, not as smooth as the first one, but delivers nonetheless. Black-and-white judgment is dangerous in the context of testing. Judging altogether is dangerous in the context of testing. Instead try to concentrate on giving an insight, an opinion. Testers are messengers, not judges.

I have to do some actual work now, so please feel free to come up with more of these and share them.

Here's the fun part; You can create actual fortune cookies with actual fortunes inside! They would fit perfectly as snacks to conferences, seminars or other testing related get-togethers. The fortunes in them would provoke thoughts and discussion, but in a fun way. You can't really be mad at a cookie, can you? ;)

No quotes this time. Fortunes substitute those quite nicely. :)

Yours truly,

Sami "Zen" Söderblom


  1. Here's one I recently came up with: If you smell shit, there's probably shit nearby.

    It applies well to many testing situations, and also often when I come home from walking my dogs.

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