Paired Testing

30 Sep, 2009
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Nowadays paired programming concept is getting more and more common in the IT industry because of its benefits like design quality, overcoming difficult problems and better time management etc. Similarly a new concept of Paired Testing is getting famous now among the testers who are working in an agile environment. This concept of testing is similar to paired programming approach. In this approach the person doing the testing is called the driver while the other suggests ideas or tests, pays attention and takes notes, listens, asks questions, grabs reference material, observes or reviews etc.

Paired testing can be really helpful when a new team member has joined the team and the project is in the middle of the sprints. A team member who is mature enough and have a good knowledge about the application can then be taken as a driver making the new team member as a observer so that he can learn the functionality.
Paired testing can be started with defining of a charter which include what to test, what tools to use, what testing tactics to use, what risks are involved, what bugs to look for, what documents to examine, what outputs are desired, etc. and can be ended once the reports are generated which can have the defect numbers that were logged while doing the testing.

Benefits of Paired Testing

  • Idea generation, as the testers are working in a pair so one can really come up with new ideas while the other is implementing the same.
  • Switching of roles, if one of the tester is tired of doing the testing so they can switch the roles and then start doing the testing again.
  • Helps the tester stay on task.
  • Restricts the interruption, when 2 testers are working together it limits others to interrupt them which increases the productivity.
  • Defect reproducibility, bugs can be easily reproducible as while doing the exploratory testing alone a tester tends to forget the steps due to which the defect occurred.
  • Good learning platform, paired testing gives a good learning platform if a new tester has joined the team.

Drawbacks of Paired Testing

  • Paired testing can be a big failure if the pair doesn’t share the mutual understanding.
  • If both the members are not mature enough.
  • If both the members are new to the application or to the paired testing concept.

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