Different Styles of Test Cases

A lot of developers don’t think style is important.

That’s why we see graphic tee’s, ripped washed-out “dad” jeans, and white socks with sandals at some startups.

Sometimes the way you’re perceived is the way you are. It’s all about perspective.

So what are your test saying about you?

Poser Test Case

Areas of the applications consistently failing even all the test have passed? Builds always green but a lot of bugs still make it through? Still not confident in the application even when testing has been completed?

You might have some poser test cases to deal with.

If you went up to someone during an emergency who’s dress like a police officer and found out that they weren’t really a cop, wouldn’t you be upset? Even if they just liked to dress like cops on Wednesdays.

Poser cases are test you think are validating one area, normally something very critical, but are doing something totally different.

I’ve run into tests that are just like this all the time.

Well ask why didn’t the XYZ test cases catch that we weren’t sending out XYZ payments? O that’s right it’s only validating that we can login to the XYZ portal… FAIL!!

This isn’t to hard to fix. Make sure that you’re actually testing what you say you’re trying to test. If you’re not testing much just keep going and eventually you’ll have a large suite of automated test.

The Hot Mess Test Case

Second guessing every test failure? Honestly surprised when a build passes? Full regression takes months to compelete?

Sometimes the best intentions can come out completely wrong. So wrong in fact that it’s almost better to just restart & learn from your mistakes.

Hot messes are just that, hot messes. The test & code is practically unreadable. You spend more time trying to understand the intent of a test and debug, then you do writing new ones.

Hot messes normally need major refactoring or complete rewrites.

Overly Trendy Test Case (The Gaga Effect).

Have you switched testing tools 3 times in the past month? Does your team throw around acronyms like BDD, TDD, and other DD’s but can’t really explain them? Are you on the bleeding edge of testing methodologies & tools just because it’s ‘cool’.

If you are then you might be suffering from a case of overly trendy testing.

Overly trendy testing is when you attempt to use the newest styles and techqinues even if they don’t help out the team.

To help correct this, take a few steps back build up a solid foundation first, and check-off some big wins.

Now you’re in a much better place to splash in a few trendy tactics and see how they go.

Timeless Test Case Style (Classics)

Readable, maintainable, and effective.

You should be able to understand what the test is trying to do even if you don’t know the application, even if your not a very technical person.

That’s good timeless test case style.

General style of test can show a lot about a teams experience and mindset

The bad thing about style is it can be pretty subjective.

What’s stylish at one time will get you strange looks during another.

If you stay with the classics or “timeless” style you might not stand out everywhere you go but you’ll gets the job done every time.

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