Gathering Testing Artifacts and Journal Notes

Image Courtesy of CamStudio

Recently, I want to learn more about how Testers are gathering their testing artifacts to help them make a decision on whether the code they are testing is ready to go to production. As Testers we know we will never be able to cover all of the potential tests. People outside of testing often have a hard time understanding why full testing coverage can be impossible especially for larger modules / functionality we are testing. This includes the sheer number of tests to perform, understanding the critical risks, what is important to the customer, among other considerations and then balancing all of that with time available for testing. Recording your testing may seem scary or intimidating at first, but it can have a lot of benefits. A recording can be used when working with a Developer on how to reproduce a problem; demonstrating to another Tester what you saw in testing to determine next steps; and providing physical evidence during an audit.

Recording your testing may or may not help defend your sampling strategy but if you add journal notes with your recordings you may be able to show the progression of your testing and why you made certain decisions. This can be important when you need to go back to review why you made certain decisions or review how you tested something. Most of us cannot rely on our memory to remember why we made certain decisions. Therefore, a certain level of documentation is important.

Understanding why and how we document information is important. A great starting point to understand more about how and why Testers collect journal notes is discussed in Michael Bolton’s article: An Exploratory Tester’s Notebook.

Another great article Have You Considered Evidence of Testing?

I have had a lot of informative conversations with Griffin Jones on the importance of gathering testing evidence. Please refer to his session talk at CAST 2013 What is good evidence? You can learn more about Griffin’s consulting business Congruent Compliance by clicking here.

You can find even more information from Software Testing Club where Testers shared their thoughts on recording tools by clicking here.

I gathered, through social medial, what video recording and documentation tools Testers are using to gather their testing artifacts. I would like to thank the following people for responding: Teri Charles, Raji, Gagan Talwar, Mohinder Khosla, Ajay Balamurugadas, Richard Bradshaw, Lisa Crispin, Srinivas Kadiyala, Adam Yuret, and Griffin Jones. As always, we have an awesome Testing Community that is always willing to share information.

Below is a summary of the findings. Some of these tools are open source and others you must purchase but they may have a short trial period. I would suggest identifying what is important to you in a recording tool before you start your evaluation to make a better decision.

Another suggestion by Lisa Crispin for recording and showing bugs: Quicktime. From Srinivas Kadiyala we have a few additional suggestions: SnagIt , qSnap, Paint (PrintScreen). Lalit has let me know that QTrace is now qTestExplorer! Click here to learn more! And thank you Lalit for the correction! From Kobi Halperin we have Defect Scribe that he hopes to explore and share information about.

Keep the suggestions coming and I will update this page.

How are you gathering your Testing Artifacts?

Do you record your testing?

Do you use screen cap tools?

Or do you have another method to provide your Testing Artifacts?

10 responses

  1. I’ve used Jing in the past to make screencasts showing bugs for the programmers, though I’ve switched to Quicktime because it seems a bit easier. I don’t see Quicktime on your list, but it’s a nice way to make a straightforward screencast.

    I’ve used Camtasia for an online course, seemed to work pretty well but that was five years ago…

    1. Thanks Lisa. I just updated the list to include QuickTime as I will keep updating it with any new suggestions. I am going to recommend Camtasia for a trainer I know to look into the tool more.

    1. Thank you for reblogging!

  2. You can include: SnagIt , qSnap, Paint (PrintScreen)

    1. Thanks for the additions – they have been added!

  3. QTrace is now qTestExplorere which is way too awesome than its past version 🙂

    – lalit

    1. Thanks a lot Lalit! I updated the posting with the correction!! 🙂

  4. Seapine lately released “Defect Scribe” free to their users but commercial to others – which should be relatively similar to qTrace.
    I hope I will be able to share more info as i’ll get time to explore it.

    What I like in these tools – is that they leave Human Readable traces – which are lighter, and easier to sort through in compare to video, and yet allow to gather snapshots in case it is required.

    1. Thanks for the information. I added that tool to the article. And I will be interested in hearing your thoughts once you have a chance to explore.

Now it is your turn! What are your experiences, thoughts, or observations?

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