Testing in various forms are but crude forms to weed out the wrong and promulgate the right way to things. It has been oft repeated and been in advertisements, that you fail faster to succeed sooner. Failing in this way is an art. The trial and error procedure of any test will lead to a systematic manner in which the failure can be arranged for. This systematic arrangement to fail act as a procedure how not to fail. Thus planning your failure is important.
How do you plan to fail? There are some very small steps to be taken.
If you are following a trial and error method of testing, you should be looking at the following:
– List down the number of possiblities
– Track the dependency paths
– Keep all options open
– Draw a tree or chart that gives the complete view of the possibilities and ways.
– Start testing and ticking off the methods that fail.
– Eliminate and get the possible ways forward
– Make a document, if possible with the charts and tracking points for further reference.
Each instance of failure if properly laid down can act as good guiding points for future planning and management. This can also act as a checkpoint where most of the possibilities in one particular branch of dependencies is tracked.
In a bottom up approach of testing by trial and error, in its simplest instance of printing out at every function entry , in software development, the steps mentioned above would be helpful.
But as responsible developers and managers know, they need the architecture or the overall view of the project at hand for testing. This is top down approach. This makes use of the overall chart or tree that is suggested above. There are some nice presentation software such as Prezi (www.prezi.com) which provide such visually illustrative vivid descriptions.
As the maxim goes. Make failure work for you. Let it push you to success. Failure is truly the stepping stone to success.
Also, as we have seen already, only the plan can fail