Re: Writing vs. Testing

Subject: Re: Writing vs. Testing
From: Anthony Markatos <tonymar -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 13:52:01 PDT

Rebecca Merick stated:

I agree that the focus of a tester and a technical writer has overlap, and
some skills in common. However, in my experience with this, what I've found
is that the writers are not asked to come in to design testing, to organize
testing, or to in any way apply their intuitive skills to testing -- they're
being asked, as Fred was, to come in and provide grunt labor to follow a
pre-determined script. And providing grunt labor in this fashion does NOT
take advantage of my skills, and my skills do not better prepare me for
following the script.

Tony Markatos responds:

If the Technical Writer correctly does his/her job, I can almost guarantee
that he/she will BY FAR have the best understanding of the essential tasks
that the end users must perform (and how all those tasks interrelate). This
understanding is the basis of effective test case development. (And test
cases are the source of all function related test scripts.) Test case
development is very creative and challenging work (experts say more so than
even systems development).

As for grunt work -- I have have lead large scale end user test case & test
script development efforts and have not seen or participated in any grunt
work. The tester will have to execute many similar scripts to test a matrix
of related possibilities, but that is far from doing the same thing
over-and-over again. It is (if the scripts were properly designed) simply a
further exercise in learning the system from the end users standpoint (the
TW's main job).

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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