The Random Clicker

QA who looks for bugs by simply clicking on whatever they feel like.

  • Can mutate into: “The Firehose” QA
  • Dangerous when coupled with: “The Patent Author” Product Manager
  • Likelihood of fixing: Low
  • Danger to project: Low

Problem

To find bugs in a system, there are two broad techniques you can use:

  1. Execute a test plan by methodically working down a list of test cases
  2. Randomly meander through the application attempting to emulate what a user might do

Writing a test plan is laborious, and there is no guarantee that by the time the product is ready for testing, that the test plan is even relevant thanks to changes in requirements. This can have the effect of a QA tester abandoning test plans entirely, and instead simply interacting with the app in the hope of catching a bug.

The fact is, randomly interacting with an app will find bugs, especially in the early stage of product’s development. However, as the product matures, it will become much harder to find bugs in this manner, as the remaining bugs will be hidden in edge cases. This leads to a false sense of security, as the app will seem to have no bugs because it has not been thoroughly tested.

It is important to remember that randomly interacting with the app is still a valid testing methodology, as it can catch situations not documented in the test plan. However, it is a complement to executing a test plan, not a replacement.

Solution

The Random Clicker QA tester can stem from one of two situations:

  1. The have not been coached on how to properly test an application
  2. They are actively avoiding the work of writing a test plan

If they have not been coached on how to test an application, then provide the required coaching. However, you run the risk of them falling into the category of not wanting to write a test plan even though they now know that they must.

To write a good test plan requires a rare level of organization, diligence, and concentration. As a result, there are certain types of people who will enjoy this type of work, where the majority will not. If you are very lucky, the Random Clicker QA tester will just so happen to also have the characteristics necessary to write good test plans, but the odds are against you.


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