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Acceptance testing

Posted in Acceptance testing by testing in London on October 25, 2011

Recently saw this statement about acceptance testing: “Acceptance testing is not about bug hunting or ‘breaking’ the software; it is about testing your requirements in real life conditions.”. It came from a large company that supplies testing and IT services.

Agree or disagree? What if we made it more general “testing is not about bug hunting or ‘breaking’ the software; it is about testing your requirements in real life conditions.“. Now what do you think?

You’ve probably heard this statement many times in various forms. Does shifting emphasis from a negative concept (finding mistakes) to a positive concept (showing that the requirements have been met) make testing more acceptable? Possibly. What it definitely does is move the focus from detecting things that aren’t working to declaring that things work. And this will affect how the acceptance testing team behaves.  There are few better ways to discourage bug detection than stating that this is definitely not what testing is about.

Testing should always be about finding bugs and as soon as we change that motivation we lower the effectiveness of the testing we perform.

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