Coming up with a heuristic
When working with James Bach a few weeks ago, we spent a lot of time talking about heuristics. I have been using Jame's heuristic test strategy, but it's not mine so I struggle sometimes with remembering all the mnemonics, where they come from, and why they are there. James recommended that I try to develop some of my own heuristics. So I of course asked him how. Here are the general guidelines he gave me:
- Attempt to solve a problem.
- Conceive of a need or desire to add structure to that attempt. OR Notice a pattern.
- Look for a pattern in the problem you are solving.
- Try to understand the pattern as best you can:
- What's the essence of this pattern?
- How can I simplify this pattern?
- Label it.
- Try it (experiment with it).
- Be a skeptic.
- Vary your label.
- See if you actually remember your heuristic when you need it.
He pointed me to his general functionality and stability test procedure for a detailed example.
So here is my first stab at a heuristic. My heuristic is for test reporting:
Based on the test reporting post - with Neill's suggested change - the mnemonic stands for the following:
That covers steps one through five... now I just have to use it and see if it helps.