What Makes A Good Test – Visible

In last blog, one important attribute that makes a good test is “Independent”. This is important because of it is related to the test writing, test execution, test maintenance as well as concise test feedback. 

Another key value-added attribute of a good test is – “Visible”. How do we define “Visible”?

  • The test is well-understood by all levels of stakeholders
  • The test strategy is visible
  • The test existence is visible
  • The test execution is visible
  • The test management is visible
Useful methods/tools to help make our test visible:
  • Stakeholder analysis: decide who to invite for test strategy defining;
  • Collaborative Test Strategy defining with all stakeholders, to come up with the communication plan, priority, risk/mitigation plan, resource, tools, constraints, 3rd party management and etc; the agenda could be pre-defined plus nominated topics as well;
  • Code analysis tool (like Sonar, Coverity) to show the history, current status of existing code base.
  • Appropriate test integration to the CI (Continuous Integration) process, utilising the RED/GREEN light. As well as how many times the build was failed because of testing.
  • Visualize the bug management effort: to make sure the bug is treated seriously, tester has to correctly label and prioritise the defect with a collaborative effort. To raise the awareness, could use different stickers to note different importance level.
  • Visualize the test optimising effort using “Test Healthy Indicator”: The “Test Healthy Indicator” could include: coverage, speed, refactor, failing frequency. This could customise according to different project needs.
What kind of benefits we can get while making test visible:
  • Enables better test reuse as it increases people’s awareness of the existing testing suite;
  • Enables better test maintenance as any breakage is easier to detect
  • Enables better team engagement 



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