Zombie testing applies…
To a state of mindlessness in the tester where certain scenarios or observations are missed.
Sadly, it can be incredibly infectious in the workplace.
When does this happen?
This can happen for a variety of reasons but let’s examine a special case where names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty:
Elizabeth Bennet was a testing manager and was discussing web application testing with Darcy and Catherine, established members of her team.
She asked about cross browser compatibility testing and was greeted with a variety of the usual trollish comments about Internet Explorer.
One of the many examples of this kind of IE trolling
Elizabeth felt Darcy was especially annoying on the subject but suppressed her irritation and scheduled a test session for the team to test the web app cross browser.
Her suspicions were confirmed when they discovered a variety of hereto undiscovered defects in IE.
Elizabeth sat with her testing team and asked each tester what web apps they work with and on which browsers. No one on the team actually used IE and once again Darcy piped up confidently stating that the “lame” browser had such little market share it wasn’t relevant to test.
George the Product Manager was passing by and heard Darcy. He was quick to jump in and correct this misconception and stated that he was glad Elizabeth had decided to correct this oversight as many of the company’s end-users were IE users.
Bingley the web app Developer was building a new version based on all the new defects found.
Darcy came over to Elizabeth privately to apologize for his mistake and asked for responsibility for testing this in future.
Elizabeth was pleased and agreed but only if they pairwise tested the next version.
The Warptest POV
Testing requires a variety of skills, some of which I’ve addressed in the past but a tester cannot afford to compromise their objectivity by bringing their prejudices into the workplace.
Doing so may leave them open to being infected with the kind of zombie testing mindlessness mentioned in the story above.
Image with thanks to Amazon.com
In a nutshell, good testing is not zombie testing and it’s worth asking yourself if there is a product or technology you have a blindspot or bias against.
The question you need to ask yourself is if you don’t use it for your own work, will you even think of including it in your testing efforts?
So check the pride, check the prejudice and stow the zombie testing.