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september 2022

The Holy Grail in Software Testing

The Holy Grail in Software Testing 2560 1920 Cordny

Test automation is not the holy grail in software testing
It’s just a tool to achieve the holy grail.

In my opinion, the holy grail here is quality.

Do you agree?

This was a post I created at LinkedIn last week and it got plenty of attention.

I mentioned 2 well known and great software test professionals, Michael Bolton and James Bach, and to my astonishment they reacted.

The Holy Grail of software testing is the truth about the status of the product.

Truth is my obsession.
Trouble is my faith.
Quality is an unknown country.

James Bach

Quality about product is like finding the Holy Grail. Lots of people are running around trying to achieve that; they’re not sure where the object of their search is; and they’re not sure how they’ll get there.

Neither testing nor automated checking advances the quality of the product. 

Michael Bolton

They said a lot more, but these struck me. You can read more in the comments to my LinkedIn post.

I also liked Jim Hazen’s take on it: It’s Automation, not Automagic. You have to do the magic all by yourself. Well said Jim!

When writing the post I wanted to kick the hornet’s nest as I explained in my following post.

Why this LinkedIn Post on Software Testing and Quality?

It certainly caught some attention and even inspired other posts.

But what was it that I wanted to achieve?

  1. That test automation is not the Holy Grail in Software Testing.
  2. A discussion about quality in software testing. Is it all about quality or the state of the product under test – as a QA engineer I first thought the first, but now I know it’s all about the state. Quality is subjective and different per person who looks at it.

Another thing I learned, kick the hornet’s nest at LinkedIn when you want to know something and people will certainly respond. Or, as Michael Bolton said, did I simply stir the soup and see the ingredients that were out of sight, below the surface?