Functional testing heuristics – a systems perspective


In my previous post I promised to get back to the topic of functional testing heuritics. There are several reasons why I get back to it now. The main reason is that I was able to expand the list to 41 heuristics. One of the other reasons is that I learned from making this list that most of the items are probably aspects, characteristics of systems. Therefore I added the phrase ‘a systems perspective’ to the title of the list. I do not claim to be an expert in systems thinking but I do believe that software systems have common characteristics that we often ¬†fail to highlight in our approaches to functional testing. As you go through the list you will notice that most of the aspects are pretty obvious.

Keep in mind that the list is not a checklist. It is not part of a methodology or an approach. It is not a definitive set of ‘functional testing principles’ and if you have other names by which to identify characteristics of systems, please by all means go ahead and use those. Or even better; share them with the testing community. Also, additions are warmly welcomed.

Another reason I get back to it now is that I learned from making this list that we, as testers in the field, may want to reflect a little bit more on the work we do and the things we encounter. I believe that a research methodology such as grounded theory suits that purpose reasonably well.

The list is published on my website¬†with some commentary. If you’re only interested in the PDF file, it can be found here.