What is wrong with that Flowchart ?

Did you find it a bit odd ? Difficult choices ? Absurd questions ? Hard to follow ? And not only because it was hard to read ?

Well You got me there. It is not a very good flowchart. There are two reasons for it:

  • First, it is in a bad format for one. Flowcharts should be visual aids, making the picture clearer. This obviously does not.
  • Secondly, and more importantly:

Running a test is not an isolated activity.

The flowchart implies that you have already designed a test (noun, not a verb), and nothing else left to do than push the buttons in designed order and then compare the results to the expected ones.

Actually testing (activity, as a verb) involves more than that. Yes, running a test is a part of that, so is designing the test and evaluating results, but also adapting the testing on-the-fly and learning along the way – those are all intertwined and governed by intelligent use of heuristics, by a human mind.  The whole of testing is more than a sum of these ‘parts’.

Trying to visualise that without oversimplifying it leads to a jumble of crossing arrows and internal loops.


But, there is a small silver lining. Trying to draw this made me think through how I do my testing, thus helping me to understand it better and learn from it.



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