Now that we have at our desks or desktops the legendary two-page Cheat Sheet on testing heuristics created by Elisabeth Hendrickson, James Lyndsay, and Dale Emery, let’s extend our testing ideas toolkit with the Great List Of Software Testing Mnemonics created by Lynn McKee. This is a part of the Exploratory Testing Pathway. Many thanks to Marcel, who sublimed this great resource on his blog, That’s the buffet table.
“A mnemonic device is a mind memory and/or learning aid. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs, which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered.”, Wikipedia.
How To Use Mnemonics
Mnemonics are here to help you memorize a list of software testing ideas. You may think that now that you know this list, it is not mandatory to remember those mnemonics. But remembering software testing mnemonics could be very handy in project meetings. For example, when you need to tell how you test a feature reciting the applied mnemonic will significantly boost your project credibility.
Let’s pick a mnemonic for context when it is your first day at a startup company, and you arrived in the middle of sprint iteration. How to start testing. In this context, you could apply my favorite testing touring heuristic mnemonic:
FCC CUTS VIDS
Feature Tour, Complexity Tour, Claims Tour, Configuration Tour, User Tour, Testability Tour, Scenario Tour, Variability Tour, Interoperability Tour, Data Tour, Structure Tour
You have eleven testing ideas at your disposal! Let’s pick a data tour.
In this tour, your goal is to explore an application under test in the context of data that flows through the application. Data could be:
- External System
Your goal should be to note all data structures used by the application. Use the application and note the data structures. How this helps to test? Well, test data is an application orphan that many project teams forget about. Developers do not write unit tests because most unit tests require test data. Having all test data structures documented could be of great help to the development team.
Testing mnemonics are created by well-known testing professionals that found them useful in their daily software testing work. There are no best practices but useful practices that could help you in your software testing.