Functional Testing | The Importance of Documentation

Functional Testing is probably the most written about a topic in the space of Software Testing. When I started writing about it, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what new can I bring to the world over a topic so common. 

Functional Testing Approach

After spending some time, I realised, an article over functional testing by Moolya need not be unique but it definitely needs to be honest. It needs to be truthful to the way Functional Testing is to Moolya. It needs to mirror our thoughts on functional testing and not be a rip off of many articles written over it all over the internet.

So with this article, you will get an insight into:

  • What is Functional Testing at Moolya?
  • What is documentation at Moolya?
  • What is the importance of documentation in Functional Testing at Moolya?

So to begin, What is Functional Testing at Moolya?

From my understanding of being a Moolyan for close to 5 Years, Functional Testing is the test of the functionality of a product where the following parameters:

  • Problem Statement
  • A potential solution that the Feature under test provides
  • Expected Audience
  • Devices used by Expected Audience 
  • An environment of the Expected Audience
  • Expected Business Value
  • Expected Technical Implementation
  • Expected Tech Configuration

 (& others) are looked at to create Heuristics & their oracles. 

Heuristic* – A Heuristic is an experiment. Adding two numbers is an experiment, Clicking on a button is an experiment.

Oracle* – An Oracle is a potential Result. Mathematics is an oracle for the addition of two numbers. Submission of a form is (one of the many) oracles for ‘Clicking on a button’.

For more on Heuristics & Oracles.

So when one looks at the multiple parameters mentioned above and creates Ideas/experiments to prove the degree of validity of the feature (again) against the above parameters, using tools/ techniques/ devices/ networks/ environments/ humans/ animals/ other species, etc – he or she is potentially performing Functional Testing.

What is Documentation at Moolya?

Documentation at Moolya is what documentation is all over the world. We don’t do documentation any differently. What is needed to be documented needs to be documented.

We, however, try to not get carried away with documentation. We believe documentation is necessary to communicate & record Ideas that are useful to a large or a future audience, so documentation is needed, but if you can avoid it without marking (or putting?) a dent on the value of documentation, then it can most probably be skipped.

What is the importance of Documentation in Functional Testing at Moolya?

Documentation in case of Functional testing is needed:

  • To cover the Ideas one has
  • To showcase the coverage a tester has made for a particular feature
  • To communicate the findings of Tests performed
  • To communicate the depths of Tests Performed
  • To record the work done by a Team so as to help the same & other teams
  • To provide enough information to relevant stakeholders so they can make informed decisions
  • To capture a degree of a requirement that does not cause ambiguity
  • To capture a degree of a requirement that saves teams from assumptions
  • To communicate the thoughts of a stakeholder that are relevant for more than one individual or team
  • To record thoughts/events that will have historical significance in the long run
  • To record Questions & Answers that led to the final requirements of a feature

It is not very difficult to strike a balance between documenting something & not documenting something else, as long as the stakeholders are all on the same page. So if you think you are documenting too much or too little, you probably need to align with your stakeholders better. You could have a discussion with them & the possibility is they may be having the same thoughts as you do. If not, you can all navigate to the same page as long as there is more logic, less emotion.

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