I’m a written-test-case hater. That is to say, in general, I think writing detailed test cases is not a good use of tester time. A better use is interacting with the product-under-test.
But something occurred to me today:
The value of a detailed test case increases if you don’t perform it and decreases when you do perform it.
- The increased value comes from mentally walking through the test, which forces you to consider as many details as you can without interacting with the product-under-test. This is more valuable than doing nothing.
- The decreased value comes from interacting with the product-under-test, which helps you learn more than the test case itself taught you.
What’s the takeaway? If an important test is too complicated to perform, we should at least consider writing a detailed test case for it. If you think you can perform the test, you should consider not writing a detailed test case and instead focusing on the performance and taking notes to capture your learning as it occurs.
Labels: writing tests