Malthus on testing is not something that you hear often. Thomas Malthus was an English cleric and scholar, who said “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”.

Last week we discussed how Automated Testing has met or is going to meet its Malthusian Catastrophe fairly soon. While there is no doubt that automation has added greatly to the volume of testing that can be completed, it can be argued that the exponential increases in functionality that are easily programmed but not see easily (fully) tested will eventually overwhelm the scripts.

Some people will advocate other methods of testing under one heading or another without explicitly mentioning the fact that everything is Risk Based. If the time or resources or both are limited, then people will use their knowledge to get as much done as possible within the available time and with the available resources. They will assess the risk and make an informed decision about what can be completed in the available time. They will assess the context in which they are working and determine what needs to be done. They will use their knowledge and experience to determine what to do. We have done this for years and there is nothing new about it. There are various techniques that can be followed to make sure that risk is reasonable. There are work processes and methodologies that will help.

We can apply the above techniques to both are manual and automated testing and buy ourselves some more time. However, it is only a step along the way; not a solution

Final Series Week: Malthus on Testing – New Paradigm. We will propose a new method or paradigm for testing that will address some of the problems.

Next series: Communication in Testing,