Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-01-14

Testing or trying

Tomorrow, we're starting the more structured acceptance testing before our release candidate on Monday. And we're including Testers and Tryers. So, what is the difference? Well, when you have a tester on a team, he works like a doctor with a sickly patient. He goes in a structured way through all the symptoms to find out what works and what doesn't work. He's an expert at finding software related bugs and will report a splendid bug report which my developers will love to work with.

But is the tester a normal user? Well, no! He doesn't work like a normal user and can never say "well, this will work with the user of type two." For this, we need the tryers. They try everything possible and impossible which a user can do in an very unstructured way. This works very well combined with with personas - the tryers should act like a user of a specific kind. Like the mad lady Vera at Customer C, who always double clicks Cancel when ever that button is visible. The tryer is not good at identifying actual software bugs and will never give a report which a developer can work with (other than saying cannot reproduce). But trying as as valid a test method if you use it properly. If the tryers think the customers will benefit from the new version, this is just what we need to know to go ahead with the deployment.

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