I had a brief and interesting twitter exchange with Michael Bolton last week:
First I'll give the background of where I'm coming from when I think of "scripted testing".
I started thinking about the checking vs testing distinction a while back (here, here and here). If you read them (rough and ready as they were) you'll see that my ideas about checks are wrapped into testing - i.e. you can't use checks without testing - testing being the information gathering exercise where you use the information gathered to help determine which other type of information to gather - that (to me) is one of the aspects of "good testing".
Note on Earlier Posts on Testing vs Checking
Those posts were a little rough - peer review would definitely tighten them up.It's actually interesting looking back on these posts (for me) as I can see areas where I've developed and refined some of my thinking. But in essence the check is an artifact and the test is the activity
So it was in that frame that I then triggered the question to Michael above.
Testing?Am I turning scripts into tests? Maybe.
As Michael pointed out (which was quite a helpful clarification!) - I'm using them as an input - and as I referred to in the posts - I can't use a check without thinking about it's use beforehand and it's results afterwards - so in that sense it's very much a part of my testing.
Some people - but definitely not everybody!
I've noticed a tendency to dismiss scripts or to detach them from testing. Well, as Michael also helpfully pointed out - there are aspects of scripting in most testing (whether it's a mission, goal or hunch) and that most good testing can't be constrained by a script.
- Scripted Testing = Having a script wrapped up in testing, an input into the information gathering exercise.
- Scripted Execution = The script on it's own. The activity is constrained by the script. Mmm, what can you do with that on it's own? Not much.
Have you noticed when you've been constrained by the script? Did you let the script constrain you?