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Test Case Vocabulary

The Art of Modelling series from Curiosity Software Discover best practice test case vocabulary and how modelling out a systems behaviours leads to teams being more tactical in their test approach.

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A Baseline Grammar

Whether a developer, business analyst or tester you are no doubt an end-user, you constantly build mental models day-to-day as part of your work, rest and play. So, how many mental models did you already make this morning or even this week?  

Stepping back, models have generally been the basis for software design since testing existed, and just as mental models adapt on-the-fly best-practice modelling blends individual thought into collaborative work. A deeper dive, then, into the baseline grammar for best practice modelling, we present a basic flow in the context of an ATM transaction.  

From that, the best practice when modelling out a systems behaviours leads to teams being more tactical in approach. To reiterate: tactically creating models that use baseline grammar: nodes, task blocks, conditions, considering both an invalid plus valid end node, use best-practice modelling to sharpen & share diverse thinking with teams to model out and derive effective test cases. 


Enable Exploratory Modelling

No matter the system under test, modelling is more broadly concerned with enquiring, applying and informing, and is closely aligned to evolving your teams’ intelligences. This enquiring, applying and informing helps focus team intelligences and synchronizes effort & motivations around test design and generation.  

To benefit from team intelligences around test design and generation, be sure first to make early investigations which will ultimately transform good individual contributions into aligned collaborative effort. Such early investigations of a system with aligned collaborative effort, be it around test design and generation of data combinations, user interface journeys or exposing complexity, the outcome enables exploratory modelling, one that’s iterative.  

Stepping back let’s define exploratory modelling relative to the process of enquiring, applying and informing. Around enquiring orbits the idea of imperfect sources of knowledge from which a perspective can be decided as a leaping off point. The main question being: what are your main concerns? 

Then comes modelling out that enquiry from which you can adjust test cases according to the coverage to reveal complexity, ambiguity, or gaps. This helps flush out anomalies and challenges the sources of knowledge to produce better run results and test execution.

So best practice includes the need to enquire, model, inform and apply to derive effective test design and generation that suits the diversity of thinking within your team. 


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