Being a bit anal retentive (which is why I refer to myself as a Test Analyst rather than Test Engineer), one of the things I look for when testing software is that there is consistency throughout, e.g. that same colour scheme used, buttons are in the same place between windows and that the grammar is the same.
So you can imagine my annoyance when I noticed this in Blogger's new Stats page:
Blogger has made another update and now the words are consistent.
One of my colleagues has set up an internal wiki and I decided that this would be a perfect forum with which to note down my knowledge of various systems (particularly the things I have done with the Work Items and Process Templates in Team Foundation Server) and other esoteric knowlegde I have gained thoughout my career, with a view to help others in the company, and especially those testers that will come after me.
The problem I'm having is, since no one has asked me to do this, I have no idea as to what information is going to be useful, or how best to present it to make it clear and informative even if I did.
Which leads the question:
Is what I'm trying to do actually going to be useful to someone?
It is an important question, since if this idea falls under YAGNI, should I be spending the effort to do it? So far, the only answer I have to it is that I will probably find it useful, at least to practice being able to put my ideas down into words.
I'm not sure that is enough, since I have a blog for that sort of thing.
Recently, I have been having problems with tracking what testing I have done, since over the last year or so I have moved away from creating test scripts (except for when I believe they are required), and instead deriving tests from various sources as I go. The main output I have is bug reports, but of course they only show what problems you found, not what testing you have done.
My idea then is to purloin the Session report used in SBTM and adapt it for my needs. Our company uses TFS 2010, so I created a new work item that could be used to capture my session information. This means that any bugs raised can be linked to a session allowing me to track what I was thinking when the bug was found, but also the session work items should let me show what I have done whilst testing.
The work item is created and in the system, but I haven't yet run a session. I suspect the weak link in this otherwise damn fine plan, will be my note taking (I've never learned note taking as a skill, to the point where I don't bother taking notepads into meetings, since I know they'll still be blank when it finishes). It relies on the tester being able to note what they are doing, whilst doing it, which can then be read back and understood further down the line. I shall see how it goes, but fully expect it to need further work before I can get it right.
UPDATE: I have used these session work items for a few days now. I find that I have to try writing notes as I think of things, because otherwise I'll perform the test and if I don't find a bug or issue I won't note that I've done it. Since this defeats the purpose, I'm trying to train myself to add the note, then perform the test.
The proof as to whether it is a suitable use of my time though is going to come when I have to refer back to the sessions, which so far I haven't had to do...