Its all about the detail

Spotted it yet? Go back to the beginning and take a second. Find the mistake.

The use of an apostrophe within “it’s” and “its” is a very common mistake but also very easy to miss. The rule is straightforward; use the apostrophe for a contraction (it is), and lose it if it’s possessive (belonging to it). This post isn’t about a grammar lesson though, but rather about attending to the details.

A large focus within testing is on functionality, or trying to break the application. It is my belief that we should also spend some time looking at the fine detail; field labels, ‘About’ paragraphs, instructions etc. There is often considerable pressure to focus on the larger issues and while I wouldn’t disagree with that, I caution against forgetting the detail by doing so.

From our point of view quite literally every ‘i’ should be dotted and every ‘t’ should be crossed. An important point about context here though is that defects found should then be prioritised accordingly. If this is an external-facing website, then typos and poor grammar could be harmful to the brand; whereas if this is an application for dealing with employees’ timecards, then a typo is going to have minimal impact unless it materially changes the perception of what the user is expected to do. That doesn’t make it any less valid a defect to raise, but does determine how hard you need to push to ensure it’s fixed.

In short, look for any errors in the detail and raise them all. Worry about the prioritisation, or whether the defect really needs to be addressed, later – ultimately it’s a business decision, not a test one. Any change from what was specified is a valid error, and it’s a tester’s job to raise them.


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