The concept of Testing vs Checking was originally discussed and written about by Michael Bolton. It’s hard to believe it was back 2009. The topic seems to keep coming up in conversations, which is why I thought I’d attempt creating a MindMap on the topic.
I’ve called it ‘Testing AND Checking’, instead of ‘Testing Vs Checking’ as upon reading through blog posts and comments it felt right to me that checking is a part of testing and is not necessarily a separate discipline. As testers we all (probably) do testing and checking, but recognising when we are testing or checking is a useful exercise.
Perhaps others will think differently…let the conversation or debate continue!
MindMap is below, followed by a downloable ZIP file and a text list.
Download - ZIP file includes PDF, png, text, Opml, Freemind and SimpleMind+ formats.
Testing and Checking
- Doesn’t mean the product works
- Help us know that the product works within expectations
- Can ‘pass’ but still have serious problems
- Automated tests are checks
- Need specifications
- Helps answer – does the system do what it is supposed to do?
- Great programmers do alot of checking
- Making sure the program doesn’t fail
- Verifying beliefs we expect to be true
Are machine decidable:
- Finding new information
- Finding problems
- Searching for extents and limitations
- Driven by questions
- Finding problems not covered in checks
- Have open ended results
- Asks if there is a problem here?
- Can be about finding out if checks have been good enough
- Problems found from testing can be used to create checks to stop them appearing in the future
- Do not require specifications
- Involves some checking
- Why do we need to define the difference?
- Does more terminology just cause more confusion?
- What problem is this distinction solving?
- Should it not be ‘versus’ it should be Testing AND Checking?
Websites we came across upon our research: