Explore, Code and Business

There are plenty of contexts where testing happens that doesn’t formally involve testers, or formally involve a testing phase. Still contexts like those have testing as an implicit activity.

We are neglecting the business know-how when all we talk about wrt. smarter testing is either the practices of exploration or of coding. Let’s bring in smarter testing for the business and coding sides too.

Smarter Exploration and Coding

Exploration <-> Coding

The ressources are abundant coming from an exploration practice and moving into a coding practice – or the other way around. It’s in this space the debate rages about SDET’s, and test engineers, coders who test, and testers who code. And perhaps the sweet spot in between – automation in testing.

As this is the usual space for testers (of all kinds), we are a bit blinded to see the other spaces. We can see and talk about making exploration more business oriented… BDD, 3 amigos, Product Demo’s, .. observability etc. Similarly we can see and talk about making automation and coding more business based by faster feedback and adding observability. But in both cases the direction is into the business space, not from the business side….

Smarter Exploration for the Business

Exploration <- Business

In the context of small and medium enterprises – there are few testers, no test managers or even a formal UAT. Look at a small municipality too, they have very little formal IT staff, yet heavy rely on IT systems. Public facing websites are just a part of the IT landscape for most organisations.

The managers asks the IT people to configure something, it goes live and perhaps they give it a glance or two. Perhaps the IT team outsource development or implement commercial standard systems – still it’s very often low-key “click and play” – “does this work for you” etc.

There’s plenty to explore when the business experts do the testing. We need to enable the business people to do smarter testing and exploration. They will never see themselves as testers, se we need to reframe their contribution, expectations and provide a space for them to grow their exploration.

Smarter Coding for the Business

Coding <- Business

Similarly we need to help the business in making better coding too. We have solved some of the challenges of automation into moving parts and algorithmic checks to see if anything odd happens. Visual validation tools such as Applitools Eyes can automate into PDF files.

Test Drive by Original seems to be very effective in handling iSeries mainframes with multiple and various application timelags. Remember folk’s there are many legacy systems out there – it’s not all containers all the way.

There is a trend that Test automation, CI/CD and DevOps is picking up for commercial standard systems (SAP, Dynamics 365, Sales Force, Oracle forms etc.). Low-code tools enable test automation on top of seemingly un-addressable user interfaces – or systems without direct ways of building testability and observability. Still visual code is still code – and computer science disciplines apply.

The business side of things will never see themselves as coding or development, so we have to enable them in other words to make smarter coding from the business side of things. While platforms like Test Automation University are great for learning specific technical skills, we still need to reframe it in a business context to enable smarter coding from the business side of things.

You are in the middle – remember to see all the angles.

You are in the middle
You are in the middle

4 thoughts on “Explore, Code and Business

  1. […] There are plenty of established organisations that don’t have the need for professional testers. Recently I’m working with a large local union. They have no IT team either – besides a small team called IT vendor management. In that team they do have a few release- and test managers, but the testing has to be done either by union office staff or by their IT vendors (and that’s where I come in, I’m more of a test coach though). In this context the testing is done either by those with the business skills or those with the technical skills. […]


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