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5 Testing Crimes You Didn't Know You Were Committing

Testing is an important product improvement process for stakeholders in software development. However, misconceptions and mistakes can hinder progress. You may be aware of some of them yet often unknowingly participate in them. Let's examine the five most common testing misconceptions or crimes and understand how they impact the quality assurance and control processes.



1. Quality is not the same as testing.

One of the biggest mistakes is the idea that testing and quality are interchangeable terms. Testing operates as a quick assessment, spotlighting potential quality risks without ensuring a flawless product, while quality identifies not only the absence of issues but also the products’ overall usability.

Assigning one person or group the sole responsibility of quality assurance is a mistake. It’s like expecting a concierge to manage all aspects of a hotel single-handedly — it's unrealistic and ineffective.

For example, in a high-stakes project in which I participated, the testing team discovered all the critical information that could affect the product. Despite the QA team’s tireless efforts to clearly communicate these issues, there was a disconnect between the testing and development teams, and it felt like we were speaking different languages. As a result, the issues were left unaddressed, and the product suffered.

In many cases, this scenario triggers a misguided blame game when issues are reported in production. Questions like, "What is the testing team doing?" or "Why haven't they caught this issue?" become a reoccurrence.

However, it's crucial to recognize that testing is not a solitary endeavour. It's not a one-person or one-department job. It's a collective effort, like in a cricket match where a single player scoring a century doesn't guarantee victory. The entire team must contribute to achieving the end goal.


2. Testing is an art, far beyond a simple walk in the park. 

While testing may seem easy on the surface, it is a profession that requires critical thinking, extensive expertise in business and technical domains, and exceptional communication skills. These skills are needed to spot potential problems and ensure the overall quality of the software.

In practice, there's a common misconception that testing is an easy task, often perceived as an entry point for individuals deemed less capable of handling other responsibilities. This oversimplification undermines the complexity of testing, which includes navigating critical corner cases.


3. Don't fall for the illusion of 100% test automation coverage. 

Automation has revolutionized testing. However, the notion that testing can be 100% automated is misleading. While automation excels in some aspects of execution, it cannot replace human judgment, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Creating and testing test scenarios, modifying variables, and understanding complex contexts inherently require a human touch. Relying solely on automation without acknowledging the human element is a crime against the essence of effective testing.

In test automation, it is important to recognize that some situations defy automation or that attempts to automate can be counterproductive. For example, practical experience, experimental research, and the ability to detect anomalies visually, require human perception and knowledge.

In addition, there is a risk of relying solely on automation for innovation and neglecting manual testing. Adopting automation-first strategies in projects often leads to missing critical situations that automated scripts fail to cover.


4. Beware of the copy-paste confidence trap. 

There is a culture in software development that regularly tempts even the most experienced testers—the replica-and-paste self-assurance trap.

The misconception that replicating successful tests from one project to another will invariably lead to success implies that a standard testing approach is universally applicable across all industries, which is far from the truth.

To understand this better, let’s use a scenario.

Meet Alex, a dedicated tester who fell into the copy-paste trap. Alex had tested the functions very well, making sure they were compatible with extraordinary browsers.

Imagine Alex, an enthusiastic tester, dealing with a new venture with a complicated e-commerce device. To save time, Alex selected a replica-and-paste method. The outcome? Payment processing errors, user interface inconsistencies, and unexpected issues surfaced, revealing the restrictions of the copied checks.

Lessons to Be Learned:

Alex's experience highlights a vital lesson—ignoring the replica-paste consider lure can cause oversight and luxurious errors. Each venture has specific traits, and a testing technique tailored to those precise functions is wanted. Instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all approach, testers should approach each project with a fresh perspective, crafting tests specifically tailored to the unique requirements.

So, the following time the temptation to replicate-paste arises, keep in mind Alex’s tale. It’s a reminder that the key to successful testing across software program initiatives is optimization, no longer duplication.


5. The Silent Tester Misconception

Another common misconception revolves around the role of testers in the development process. Some believe that testers are silent bystanders, engaging in searching for bugs only after development is complete.

This myth undermines the value of early intervention and collaboration between testers and developers. In fact, testers contribute significantly to discussions, provide input into requirements, and help shape the development process. What myths have you encountered about proper testing or the role of testers that require testers to be active participants, not just debuggers but contributors to the entire software development lifecycle?

To understand this better, let us take an example.

Consider Taylor, who some believe shows up only after everyone else is done. They believe investigators like Taylor are just there to find mistakes, like detectives in a mystery case.

Guess what? That is not true at all! Taylor doesn’t just watch in silence; they are part of every aspect of the software development from the very beginning. When computer technicians talk about their preferences, Taylor is there, noting potential problems with their keen eyesight. When the team talks about how things are done, Taylor’s voice is crucial in deciding the best course of action.

Thus, Taylor is not a silent observer; they help, making sure the computer stuff is not just good but really good.

Breaking Down the Idea:

The statement that testers look for bugs after everything else is not true. Like Taylor, testers have been part of the team since the beginning. Their role is crucial in ensuring both the smooth functionality and high quality of the software.



As we unravel the threads of common software testing myths, we are on a journey of enlightenment rather than merely pointing out errors. In challenging these myths, we pave the way for refining our perceptions of assessment, fostering an environment of collective growth and adaptation.

Here’s to a future where testing is recognized as a cornerstone of software excellence—a journey marked not by propaganda but by shared understanding. And it's important to note that the word "crime" is merely used to refer to testing misconceptions and not to offend anyone.

Happy Testing!

Naman Garg

Written by Naman Garg

Manual and Automation Tester | Quality Promoter | Technology Leader | Lifelong Learner | Software QA Engineer | Product Manager | Scalable Product Builder | Robust Solution Creator | Business Goal Achiever | Social Volunteer