Test Reports are dead

At the testnet conference, I attended to a talk of Gerlof Hoekstra. According to him our test documentation is not readed by anyone, or maybe even misinterpreted. This because they only contains figures and no real story. It looks that he has remembered the previous talk, but he has a point. Should a Tester give an advice to our developers to release or should the content of a report be so clear that everyone can decide for himself if the product can be released?

To have documentation that does matter, that is usefull, we should act like we are the reader. What does the reader wants to know? Take for example a weather forecast. What does the recipient want to know? He wants to know if it is going to rain tomorrow or if the sun is shining. So a prediction of the future. The weather report is short and visible, with maps and symbols.

Why should we not use that kind of things?

So instead of a report, it is better to have a stream of information. So Why not make information available at any time. But how detailed we want to have our reporting? Depends on the reader. Some of them wants to know if a requirement or user story is ready. Others want to know more detailed. This can also be put in a kind of daily blog post that we can share across our organisations.

This idea is a nice one I think. Why not blog more in the company to share ideas or forecasts of the project?

About the author

I currently work as a Test Automation Consultant at b.ignited. Here I work for different clients in different industries to help them start and speed up their testing cycles

I’ve been testing software since 2000 when I became involved in testing telephone applications and hardware. Since then, I’ve been able to expand my experience by testing a variety of embedded, web, mobile and desktop applications. I have used various development methodologies from waterfall to agile.

I consider myself to be a lifelong learner.