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  1. #1
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    a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    The company I am working with has a very small QA team (1 person- me). To this point the various platform development teams have been performing thier own testing. The levels of test has varied fron 'very exstesive'(AS/400 developers) to 'very light'(Client Server developers) and in one known case believed to be non-existant (WEB developers). The first problem I have to tackle hear is one of symantics, each team is speaking but none of them use the same language. I have decided to institute a single language, and for that, provide meanings for "test" phrases and terms. To that end I would like to perform a survey. I will list the terms that have been flying at me for the past 2 weeks, and if any of my fellow QA Professionals can comment on what they mean either in your current position or in any documentation I would greatly appreciate it.
    UNIT Test
    Component Test
    Object Test
    Programm Test
    Platform Test
    Application Test
    System Test
    End-to-End Test
    Integration Test
    QA Test
    Conference Room Test
    Coference Room Release Test
    QA Levels 1-5 Testing Phases
    : Level 1 = test the program being changed
    : Level 2 = test all programs in the application
    : Level 3 = test all the applications(notepad+word+calc...) on a specific platform (eg. Client\Server)
    : Level 4 = test all the platforms and how they interface, done by Developers with User input
    : Level 5 = test all the platforms and how they interface, done by User with no Developer input

    I have my own ideas about the meanings of these phrases but each time I use one over the other some part of the group assembled raises issue, so that is why I am turning to this forum for support. Can you offer any help?


    ------------------
    hhjj


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    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

  2. #2
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    Without going through all the semantics, many of the terms on your list appear to overlap. For example, Unit, Component, Object and Programme tests may all refer to the same thing, but done by different groups. Also get the groups to put their definitions in writing so you know what they are talking about.

    Suggest you define a set of test terms from Unit, Integration (or String), System, System Integration (or End to End), Load/Stress and User Acceptance (or Business Acceptance). Search sites like this or http://www.stickyminds.com for the actual definitions. Also look at the "official" definitions of test terms as used by the various standards groups and quoted in ISO and CMM (look at sites like the BCS SIGST site).

    If you define the terms and what they mean to you together with the term used by each group, it will allow you to hold discussions without getting into a semantic argument.

    If you need some common definitions, you can source them from the BCS Special Interest Group in Software Testing web site (they do the ISEB Software Testing Certifications) or from Stickyminds. Hope that helps a little :-).

    ------------------
    Gerard Yvanovich
    Independent Test Consultant
    Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
    gyvanovich@iprimus.com.au
    Gerard Yvanovich
    Independent Test Consultant
    Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
    gyvanovich@iprimus.com.au

  3. #3
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    Several of us have attempted to take on the project of creating a glossary right here, and a few have put some terms up here.

    Use the search tool in your upper right. I think you'll find just about everything you're asking about has been discussed here at one time or another.

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    -- Jean

    Something that you say or do today will make a difference to someone else.
    Make it a GOOD thing!
    Jean James
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I deliver what I promise, and I only promise what I can deliver.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

  4. #4
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    Trying to create one vocabulary for testers is a little like trying to get us all to speak Esperanto. Mi parolas Esperante, iomete. La hotelo estas luksa.

    In other words, you might be able to do it for a group you are firmly and directly in charge of, but not for anyone else. And the larger the group, the less control you have.

    I've found it more viable to be aware of the many different definitions out there. Then, wherever I am, I adapt to the prevailing usage in that community, while gently pushing for a couple of my favorite terms.

    One term I frequently push for is bug: "anything that threatens the value of the product." But I don't push for it by arguing that we should all speak the same language. Instead, I might try to show how this definition helps us do our job better. More likely, I'll just use the terms the way I prefer and hope that it catches on. Sometimes it does.

    If someone else is trying to get me to call bugs "defects", then we may have a strong disagreement. If that person has influence, I might say "defect" whenever I'm in the room with them, and say "bug" whenever I'm anywhere else.

    Definitions of words go to the heart of how we understand and process our world. You can't just upload new vocabulary like a flash RAM upgrade.



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    James Bach, Satisfice, Inc., james@satisfice.com, www.satisfice.com
    James Bach, Satisfice, Inc., james@satisfice.com, www.satisfice.com
    Author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach

  5. #5
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    James says:
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>If someone else is trying to get me to call bugs "defects", then we may have a strong disagreement. If that person has influence, I might say "defect" whenever I'm in the room with them, and say "bug" whenever I'm anywhere else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why is that? When I first joined QAForums I was fairly against the idea of using the word 'bug'. I've reconsidered my position on whether it has too much of a negative connotation (used 'issue' instead).

    Am curious. Thanks.

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    WinAmp. Llama Tested. Mother Approved.
    Jordan Gottlieb
    President, Charlotte Mercury User Group
    Qualitech Solutions, Inc.
    jgottlieb@qualitechsolutions.com
    Jordan Gottlieb
    Senior Consultant, Orasi Software
    Twitter: @JG_QA

  6. #6
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    Asside from the bug vs. defect issue, I fundimentally agree with James. Pick a couple critical terms that NEED to be defined and agree on, and educate/indoctrinate folks with those terms.

    Most terms just aren't worth the fight. Some are. Mostly if people know what needs to be done, and who needs to do it when, then fighting over terms really kind of pointless. If, on the other hand, there is confusion, terms need to be defined.

    I have my favorites as does everyone else, I'm sure, but I'm not sure my opinion is more "right" than anyone elses. As long as we all understand one another that is what matters.

    ------------------
    Scott Barber, Sr. Performance Engineer
    sbarber@noblestar.com
    http://www.noblestar.com
    http://www.perftestplus.com
    Scott Barber
    Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus
    Executive Director, Association for Software Testing
    Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
    sbarber@perftestplus.com

    If you can see it in your mind...
    you will find it in your life.

  7. #7
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jgottlieb:
    James says:
    Why is that? When I first joined QAForums I was fairly against the idea of using the word 'bug'. I've reconsidered my position on whether it has too much of a negative connotation (used 'issue' instead).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The main reason I avoid "defect" is that I rarely know, at the time I discover a matter of concern in the product, that it is, in fact, a defect. Bug is less accusatory. But even that can be too sensitive, which is why "issue" is often a better choice; or even one of those innocuous three letter acronyms like PTR.

    Words can be provocative, as we know. Sometimes I want to provoke. Sometimes I want to smooth things over. Sometimes I want to remind people of their choices. My word choices reflect that.

    Whenever we use terms, we communicate not only the surface meaning, but other levels of meaning, too. We send a message about our education, our community, and our values. Part of the reason I like "bug" is that I often want to be identified as a populist and a pragmatist. I have the idea that gentle slang does that for me.

    Although it has other merits, the word "defect" has been too associated with the term "zero defects", which in turn implies a whole web of sensibilities that no longer fit me.


    ------------------
    James Bach, Satisfice, Inc., james@satisfice.com, www.satisfice.com
    James Bach, Satisfice, Inc., james@satisfice.com, www.satisfice.com
    Author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach

  8. #8
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    Re: a QA dictionary/thesaurus

    All,
    Thank you. I am off to stickymind for some more detail on the definitions. I have a better grasp on wheteher to fight this particular battle and from the comments given, while it would be a good fight, it is with an unbeatable foe (personal preference). I will therefore take those which are the most troublesome and have everyone state what they mean and stick with it. The rest I will simply try to gnudge (sp) in the direction of least resistance.

    ------------------
    hhjj
    SQA to all & to all clean code

 

 

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