Testing Couch 04 : Oracles and Heuristics

Testing Couch: 04 : Oracles and Heuristics

Date: 23/10/2014

“Oracles are powerful heuristics used during testing that can help us determine if a thing is a problem or not.

Stephen Blower

When I first came across oracles being used within a testing parlance I didn’t really know what people were talking about. My first thought was “what has this got to do with prophesier?” The Oracle of Delphi coming to mind or something out of  Sinbad. Obviously this wasn’t what they meant and I slowly discovered what it actually meant with regards to testing. I began to find using Oracles helped guide my testing in trying to find problems became invaluable, as well as being able to communicate to stakeholders why issues I had found may be problems using Oracles.

In this session we’re going to discuss how we use Oracles whilst testing, how we apply them to learn if something may be a problem or not. We will also be discussing Heuristics, what heuristics do you use in your everyday testing activities. I’ve recently written a posting called “Why Didn’t You Find That Bug” which lists three of my own heuristics that I commonly use, plus I’ll talk about others.

 

Transcript


 

[23/10/2014 18:56:26] Srinivas Kadiyala: Hi..
[23/10/2014 18:56:40] Emma Keaveny: Good evening
[23/10/2014 18:56:59] tobietrice86: (highfive)
[23/10/2014 18:58:27] Stephen Blower: hi all, we’ll get under way momentarily, my laptop is running on go slow, I daren’t reboot as that could take half hour.
[23/10/2014 18:59:01] Emma Keaveny: lol
[23/10/2014 18:59:04] tobietrice86: Ok
[23/10/2014 18:59:15] Srinivas Kadiyala: :)
[23/10/2014 18:59:21] Michael Corum: Hey everyone, good to see you again!
[23/10/2014 18:59:38] Emma Keaveny: Hidy Ho! :D
[23/10/2014 18:59:43] Peter Johnson: Hi All
[23/10/2014 18:59:46] Stephen Blower: Once last thing my wifi connection loves quitting out, so I’m just going to disable/enable. Don’t worry I’ve done it loads of times, hopefully not
[23/10/2014 18:59:47] Emma Keaveny: looks like we have a nice turnout :)
[23/10/2014 19:00:08] Srinivas Kadiyala: Today, My microphone is working. Staying late midnight at office after work to attend this and learn new things :)
[23/10/2014 19:00:27] tobietrice86: Dedication
[23/10/2014 19:00:39] Stephen Blower: and where back.
[23/10/2014 19:00:40] Emma Keaveny: lol
[23/10/2014 19:00:52] Emma Keaveny: ah I home with Jurassic Park on in the background ;)
[23/10/2014 19:01:09] Stephen Blower: Theme: Oracles & Heuristics

In this session we’re going to discuss how we use Oracles whilst testing, how we apply them to learn if something may be a problem or not.
We will also be discussing Heuristics, what heuristics do you use in your everyday testing activities?

What are Oracles?
How do you use Oracles?
When was the last time you used an Oracle to provide evidence that something may be a problem and a threat to the quality of the product?
What are Heuristics?
How do you use Heuristics?
When was the last time you used a Heuristic that helped you identify a possible problem?

Rules:

I will be recording this session and publishing it, so if you object then I’d suggest two things, don’t talk and just listen or bail. :) Thanks.

This will officially last until 21:30 BST, anyone who wants to continue after that time can and I will pass control over to them.

As we have quite a few people on a Skype talking we need to have some control.

Therefore this will be facilitated:

New Thread: ( envy ) without spaces skype_envy
Continue Thread: : ) without spaces :)
I must Talk Now: ( devil ) without spaces devil – You will be aloud to talk immediately, but this is a one shot, once used you may not be able to use it again, depending on if the reason is valid.

I will mark down who raises question and I will facilitate in order.
[23/10/2014 19:01:18] Srinivas Kadiyala: Im afraid, if my mike doesnt work like last time – if im at home ;)
[23/10/2014 19:01:29] Emma Keaveny: hey Stephen, any chance you can add Neil Taylor to this, I dont see him in here
[23/10/2014 19:02:11] Emma Keaveny: oops
[23/10/2014 19:02:20] *** Group call ***
[23/10/2014 19:03:32] *** Stephen Blower added Neil Taylor ***
[23/10/2014 19:03:34] *** Stephen Blower added Neil Taylor ***
[23/10/2014 19:07:50] Stephen Blower: •Oracles are powerful heuristics used during testing that can help us determine if a thing is a problem or not
[23/10/2014 19:08:24] Michael Corum: http://www.developsense.com/articles/2005-01-TestingWithoutAMap.pdf
[23/10/2014 19:09:38] Michael Corum: Lesson 3 of the BBST Foundations course has a lot of good information about Oracles: http://www.testingeducation.org/BBST/foundations/
[23/10/2014 19:09:49] Emma Keaveny: :)
[23/10/2014 19:10:36] Neil Taylor: :)
[23/10/2014 19:11:30] Michael Corum: :)
[23/10/2014 19:12:40] Srinivas Kadiyala: :)
[23/10/2014 19:20:52 | Removed 19:21:23] Michael Corum: This message has been removed.
[23/10/2014 19:26:31] Michael Corum: :)
[23/10/2014 19:27:03] tobietrice86: :)
[23/10/2014 19:28:48] Michael Corum: :)
[23/10/2014 19:29:21] Stephen Blower: http://www.developsense.com/blog/2012/04/heuristics-for-understanding-heuristics/ This is the start of the conversation
[23/10/2014 19:32:38] tobietrice86: :)
[23/10/2014 19:34:38] Emma Keaveny: ;) An oracle was a gateway to knowing the will of the gods, a cosmic information super highway for understanding what lay ahead. The most famous oracle was the priestess of the temple of Apollo at the sanctuary of Delphi
[23/10/2014 19:34:42] Emma Keaveny: lol
[23/10/2014 19:36:17] tobietrice86: skype_envy
[23/10/2014 19:37:51] Michael Corum: :)
[23/10/2014 19:45:22] Michael Corum: brb
[23/10/2014 19:47:09] tobietrice86: Heuristic (/hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; Greek: “Εὑρίσκω”, “find” or “discover”) refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery that find a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal, but good enough for a given set of goals
[23/10/2014 19:47:25] tobietrice86: Courtesy of wiki
[23/10/2014 19:48:17] Emma Keaveny: cos wiki is always right ;) did you look at the history..compare to other info websites? ;)
[23/10/2014 19:48:52] tobietrice86: Wiki is my oracle, it’s not fallible
[23/10/2014 19:49:09] Emma Keaveny: (smirk)
[23/10/2014 19:49:58] Srinivas Kadiyala: Is heuristics like many test ideas – only few can be applicable for testing ?
[23/10/2014 19:50:26] Neil Taylor: :)
[23/10/2014 19:50:35] Neil Taylor: http://testobsessed.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/testheuristicscheatsheetv1.pdf
[23/10/2014 19:51:04] Peter Johnson: Oh yes. Elizabeth Hendrickson’s list
[23/10/2014 19:51:29] tobietrice86: Print that out and have it in your desk
[23/10/2014 19:51:32] tobietrice86: Gold dust
[23/10/2014 19:51:45] Emma Keaveny: hehehehe I have that….somewhere :)
[23/10/2014 19:51:49] Michael Corum: @srinivas, I think there are a ton that can be applicable to testing. James (I think) says that heuristics give you ideas about testing
[23/10/2014 19:52:26] Peter Johnson: Are all oracles heuristics?
[23/10/2014 19:54:15] Michael Corum: I would say that all oracles are potentialy falible.
[23/10/2014 19:55:43] Michael Corum: :)
[23/10/2014 19:56:20] tobietrice86: :)
[23/10/2014 19:57:41] Peter Johnson: :)
[23/10/2014 19:58:30] Michael Corum: A chainsaw.
[23/10/2014 19:58:36] Emma Keaveny: Marvel comics for spidey sense? :P
[23/10/2014 20:04:22] Neil Taylor: :)
[23/10/2014 20:06:35] Srinivas Kadiyala: :)
[23/10/2014 20:08:52] Emma Keaveny: :)
[23/10/2014 20:14:50] Stephen Blower: [23 October 2014 19:29] Stephen Blower:

<<< http://www.developsense.com/blog/2012/04/heuristics-for-understanding-heuristics/ This is the start of the conversation
[23/10/2014 20:15:37] tobietrice86: Haha
[23/10/2014 20:16:18] Emma Keaveny: (tumbleweed)
[23/10/2014 20:23:47] Neil Taylor: :)
[23/10/2014 20:24:23] Peter Johnson: :)
[23/10/2014 20:26:22] Daniel Billing: evening all
[23/10/2014 20:27:05] tobietrice86: Nope
[23/10/2014 20:27:05] Emma Keaveny: better late than never :)
[23/10/2014 20:27:46] Daniel Billing: had *stuff* to do
[23/10/2014 20:28:04] tobietrice86: Sounds dodgy
[23/10/2014 20:29:00] tobietrice86: Cooking crystal meth?
[23/10/2014 20:29:16] Emma Keaveny: god my damn microphone is so sensitive…this is a problem for me! lol
[23/10/2014 20:29:46] Daniel Billing: if only…long drive home then cooking dinner with my wife
[23/10/2014 20:33:28] tobietrice86: Good night
[23/10/2014 20:33:29] Emma Keaveny: thats why we are all here…always learning…
[23/10/2014 20:33:39] tobietrice86: Blower is the new Bolton
[23/10/2014 20:33:48] Emma Keaveny: :D
[23/10/2014 20:34:10] Daniel Billing: take care
[23/10/2014 20:34:13] Emma Keaveny: Bye y’all
[23/10/2014 20:34:14] *** Call ended, duration 1:31:47 ***
[23/10/2014 20:34:21] Peter Johnson: Great thanks bye all
[23/10/2014 20:34:35] Neil Taylor: Great thanks very useful session.
[23/10/2014 20:34:39] Srinivas Kadiyala: Thanks all … It was learn’ ful :)


 

 

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