In this post, we explain why is important to know the difference between definition of technique and approach given by Black Box Software Testing Foundations course (BBST) created by Rebecca Fiedler, Cem Kaner and James Bach.
Testing of poor quality in Agile project is often caused by not understanding basic definitions from software testing domain. In Agile project, software testing is often perceived as set of recipes that tester must follow. This is first sign of poor software testing.
Technique is a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
Approach is a way of dealing with a situation or problem.
Is black box software testing technique or approach?
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Black box software testing is approach that is used by various software testing techniques. For example, functional testing is technique that is most commonly conceived for software testing. Functional testing is set of performances where software tester isolates product functions and test them in isolation by varying function inputs and observing function outputs. Doing that, it can use black box software testing approach by asking questions does this function do what users (human or software) expects. But it can also use glass box approach where software tester with coding experience asks questions does this function code do what programmer expects from it.
Remember that approach is a way of dealing with problem, while technique is set of tasks and performances where software tester gathers information about a particular problem.