Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Resolution Testing

A while ago when I started a new job I first encountered the rampant use of the term 'regressing bugs,' or 'bug regression,' or any number of other variants.  This phrase, as you can probably guess, relates to the notion of verifying the resolution of a bug by development.  At my current place people have been saying 'verifying bugs,' or something similar to that.

The use of both of these phrases is a bit of a pet peeve for me, because they are inexact and the words don't actually mean what you want them to.  Regression Testing, of course, is the action of proving that the application works the same as it always did when you make changes in other areas that should not have impacted the area that you're regressing.  Bugs, shouldn't work they way they do, so you can't regress that they still work that way.  And if you're going to verify a bug, to me that means you're going to take the repro steps and make sure that the bug still exists, or that they actually produce the error state.

OK, fine, i'm a self-professed nitpicker.  Honestly, I thought you'd have figured that out about myself by now.

But I don't believe that a problem is worth harping about unless you're willing to help progress the solution.  My team and I, a few years ago, decided that there could be a term for this.  We discussed some options and came up with the term, 'Resolution Testing.'  It seemed to be perfect.  Simple, easy to understand what it means from the words and doesn't seem to mean anything else yet.  So we started using it.

Then we took it a step forward. In investigating the testing terms out there that people were using we had a rather vigorous and amusing conversation about the different forms of primate testing that there are.  ie Monkey Testing and Gorilla Testing.  So when we did come up with the nice formal term for it, it was also unanimously voted that there should be a primate term as well.  All of a sudden my team wasn't even doing Resolution Testing anymore, it was Babooning.  Hey, anything that can make the boring parts of work more enjoyable is good, right?

So there you have it.  When you have to verify the solution to a bug or issue, you're doing resolution testing, or if you like, you're babooning.

Back when i decided this was the term to use, i created a wikipedia article for it but it only lasted 2 days before they took it out for lack of sources.  Well, this article is a step towards creating the next attempted wikipedia page.  Feel free to spread the usage of the term, maybe write an article of your own and there we'll have it...a new term used by one and all.   (why do i want to put a maniacal laugh after this statement?)

Since that time, Resolution Testing, has been used a bit for testing the resolution of our monitor and etc, but i am choosing to ignore this fact.

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