The Dirty Secret of Formal Software Testing

James Bach, Satisfice, Inc.

Arguably, James Bach has done some of the most rigorous testing that anyone has done in software testing-testing for court cases that are closely scrutinized by teams of lawyers. James once poured $250,000 of labor (nearly 400 hours) into a ten-minute test for a patent infringement case that was filmed for a jury. He also has tested a Class III medical device subject to FDA audit. In all his testing, James has noticed something important that no one mentions when talking about formal testing. It seems to be a secret, a dirty secret: All good formal testing is based on informal testing. Yet you don't see this admitted in any of the "textbooks" or "maturity models" or "testing standards." Join James as he tells you exactly why informal testing must be the basis of formal testing and, as a special bonus, explains why so many people pretend that formal testing stands by itself.

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