Is there such thing as Best Practices in Testing?

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    Ronan Healy

    I’ve been reading up on context-driven testing lately. One of the arguments of context-driven testing (from how I understand it) is that there is not really any best practises. Rather it has to do with the “context”.

    However it got me thinking. Surely there must be a good approach to take to the tests that you perform daily?

    If there was no best practices, it would mean that a lot of the webinars and ebooks we feature on TEST Huddle would be of little benefit?

    What do you think? Is there a role for best practises in testing? And what areas of testing should they apply to?


    There ARE best practices ..
    – but they are only best practices in a context. Indeed there is a good approach to take to the tests that you perform daily, ….as they are within the context of your team, company, domain, project etc. there is something you must do, there is something you could do, and there is a lot of things you don’t have to do wrt testing in your context – that others need to address.

    In short I would say that the premise of ISO29119 was to establish a best practice – a “recommended” approach. But really that is the core problem – there is no such recommended approach. There is no “one model fits all” – at best it’s some models fits someone.. (at sometime).

    Webinars and ebooks are stories about contexts and approaches – and they have benefit, as inspiration. Occasionally I would say someone in the audience will be looking for just that inspiration, to do something similar in their context. But the best lesson is that you will know that there is different ways different people do testing. When you recognize why they do it – then you have learned a lot.

    Testing practices appropriate to the first project will fail in the second.
    Practices appropriate to the second project would be criminally negligent in the first.” look under examples


    I’d say there are Best Practices in testing, given that as I understand Best Practices _are_ context-based.

    A collection of Best Practices is a toolbox from which you pick the tool most suitable for the situation you’re currently in.


    Please consider the difference between “good” and “best”, and please don’t confuse them.

    There are not “best practices in context”. There may be good practices in context; useful practices in context; helpful practices in context. But we can’t talk about “best” unless we’re sure there are none better. That certainty is not available to fallible human beings who are not omniscient. “Best practice” is a marketing term. Talking about “context-based best practices” is like talking about “liquid-free beer”.

    This is not a new topic. From 10 years ago: It was old then.

    —Michael B.


    I don’t think I’ve come across anyone who believes that best practices are the end-all-be-all best practices in my career. Everybody treats them, like I mentioned, as tools that can be used effectively.

    But sure, linguistically it’s probably a poor choice of words.

    Ronan Healy

    It is a good discussion to have I think. Would guidelines be a better phrase than Best Practice?

    sneha shinde

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