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Dele Sikuade is a technologist, writer, entrepreneur, and chief evangelist for Countersoft. Dele is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 10 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

Nimble Testing From Countersoft

03.28.2011
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When I was a young man working a brief stint in sales support, the chief salesman told me in the gravest tone possible never to use the word ‘complicated’ when I meant ‘sophisticated’ or ‘lightweight’ when I meant ‘flexible’, because in software these terms are not synonymous and the distinction is important. At Countersoft we have other terms that are not synonymous and we prefer the term ‘nimble’ to ‘agile’, not just because agile can be interpreted as both a characteristic of software and a software development methodology, but because despite the ethos of the Agile methodology being represented in its name, much of the software that its proponents are forced to use is far from nimble.

What do we mean by nimble? Well, we mean that it is easily molded to be fit for purpose. This of course means that it is sophisticated because the one thing that is abundantly clear to us is that people are so inventive they can find many purposes for the same thing. Gemini, for instance, is designed to be perfect for Bug Tracking, Issue Tracking and Project Management. It is also used by some of our clients to track purchases and by others to co-ordinate marketing campaigns. Who are we to say that Gemini should only be used for Bug Tracking, Issue Tracking and Project Management? If we created a rigid, inflexible application it could be argued that it would better fit its ‘purpose’ but that would be the inventor’s purpose not the user’s purpose and what good would that be to the user? If we tried to make a rigid application fit multiple purposes then we would have replaced sophistication with complexity and that would suit nobody.

For some time our users have been telling us that this type of sophisticated flexibility is sorely lacking in the Software Testing arena. Our users have had to buy hugely bloated, clunky testing tools that really don’t deliver value (and of course complicated and expensive go hand in hand). Purple Thinking told us that Software Testing is an area where we should turn our attention because we prosper and grow by responding to the expressed needs of our users.

It is time to puncture the bloated underbelly and trim the fat. Gemini v4 now includes Software Testing functionality, the Countersoft way – which is testing your way. Of course our Testing functionality is fully integrated with our Bug Tracking, Issue Tracking and Project Management. Of course we deliver the cleanest UI on the market; you (and we) would expect nothing less. The Purple Thinking behind our Testing is that it is designed so that anyone can do it. We don’t know who might want to test what in your organization, or even if you will use our Testing functionality for Software Testing. We know that it is not only Testers who understand the importance of testing, Software Developers and Project Managers and Business Analysts have been testing stuff for years. Isn’t that what the ethos of Agile is, of flexible roles within the development team?

If your testing software is only usable by a specialist tester, who is the only one who has ever read the instructions of the fat, dust-covered manual on the shelf, then it might be masquerading as Agile but it certainly isn’t nimble.

Try Testing in Gemini and see how intuitive it is to use, how clearly it presents its functionality. With custom fields throughout so you can determine everything you want to about your tests, and a simple structure of Folders holding Test Plans, each detailing Test Cases and each Test Case detailing the steps needed to perform the test, anybody can wrap their heads around the functionality in no time. A Test Run then represents what was tested, by whom, when, and the final result of the Testing Cycle.

Agile Testing is all very well, but Purple Thinking says that all testing, Agile or not, must be nimble.

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Published at DZone with permission of Dele Sikuade, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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