However you document your manual tests, don’t repeat yourself (D.R.Y.)
Posted by Matt Archer on January 3, 2013
|This post is part of the tips for manual testers working in an agile environment series. A series of posts inspired by the topics covered in the Techniques for Agile Manual Testers course that is currently available to take in London (via the Ministry of Testing) and in Copenhagen (via PrettyGoodTesting).
For years, programmers (at least the good ones) have known that when one piece of code looks very similar to another piece of code then this typically isn’t a good sign. If something needs changing in the first piece of code, then the same change will almost certainly need to be made in the second piece of code too.
The more duplication that exists, the greater the chance that a mistake will be made during the update, the update will only be made in some places or changes will be rejected or ignored due to the daunting amount of effort that often comes with such duplication.
Unsurprisingly, when the description for one manual test looks very similar to the description for another then this typically isn’t a good sign either. It generally isn’t a good sign for any tester, but for a tester who is working in a agile team where “responding to change” is valued over “following a plan”, duplication can quickly spell trouble.
So next time you find yourself reaching for the copy & paste icons, consider the duplication that you may be about to introduce into your manual tests. And more importantly, consider the future maintenance cost to you and the team.
If you have a comment or question about this particular tip, please do not hesitate to Leave a Reply. A complete list of tips is listed below.