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Why You Need to Simplify Testing? Interview with Joel Montvelisky. Part II

Today A1QA continues interviewing Joel Montvelisky, international Software expert and popular testing blogger. You can check out part 1 of the interview published on Tuesday this week. Joel suggests: “The main link for all my tasks is the fact they are centered around the world of Testing”. So, this time we try to touch various testing tools and the way they are implemented.

joel3 NEWA1QA: A lot of new testing methods and tools are appearing today. Is it worth to spend time for an ordinary tester going through them all to be more efficient?

J.: Imagine you or someone in your family is sick. Now imagine you are looking for a doctor to treat your sick family member.

Given the choice between two doctors which one would you choose: the doctor that is up to date with all the new diseases, diagnostic methods, treatments and drugs; or the doctor that constantly sticks to the same methods time and time again almost regardless of the patient standing in front of him?

Now let me ask you another question. Given the choice between another 2 doctors: the one that is all the time busy in his study-room reading all the latest medicine publications and can tell you everything about the latest treatments; or the one that is busy all day in the hospital treating actual patients and learning from practical experience. Which doctor would you choose then?

As you can see, the world is not black and white and there are no easy choices. This is also true for testers.

As professionals we need to make sure to keep our “vitual tool-box” full and up-to-date with as many useful techniques and methodologies (and tools) as we can. But we also need to make sure we know how to choose the appropriate tool for each challenge and how to use it correctly.

You need to reach a balance between keeping up-to-date with the latest professional information, but you cannot make this “theoretical learning” stand in front of constant practicing and improving your testing techniques.

A1QA: You have developed a special complex testing tool helping to manage QA process. It gathers the testing and product related information from testers, developers, product managers, etc. Why do you think the tool is necessary? Some people say the systems like these complicate the testing process a bit…

J.: It is true that I work in PractiTest, I am also part of the team who is constantly gathering practical information from our users in order to make our solution better. But on the other hand a very large part of our efforts go into making our system simple. In fact, the objective of PractiTest is to simplifying testing.

As you correctly put it, we are constantly gathering information from many sources in the organization and outside of it.

We need to use this information in order to understand what to test and how to create the correct scenarios to test this.

Then we need to gather additional information that will tell us under what environments and configurations to run our tests.

And finally, we need to go ahead and run these tests, reporting the results in actionable and timely ways to all our stakeholders, and most of the times we will need to perform this operation a number of times until the product reaches the level of stability that allows us to release it to the field.

This process is not simple, on top of that there are many factors and updates that are constantly affecting and shifting our priorities. Without a system such as PractiTest it is very difficult to be able to manage the process and provide the information we need to deliver.

It is true, there are many tools out there that aim to manage the testing process, and most of them are really hard to install, configure, maintain and operate. But there are also a small number of systems (of which PractiTest is one of them) that have managed to achieve the goal of managing the testing process, without making it even more complex than what it was.

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