Blog: Very Short Blog Posts (32): The Happy Path

“Happy path testing” isn’t really testing at all. Following the “happy path” is a demonstration.

Here’s the role demonstration plays in testing: it’s nice to know that your product can achieve the happy path before you start to test it. To the degree a demonstration is a test, it’s a very shallow test.

If you’re building something new and non-trivial that matters to people, or that could harm people, there’s a risk that you might not entirely understand it or what it affects. To develop your understanding, you’ll probably want to test it; to learn about it; to investigate it; to interact with it directly; to probe it with tools; to stress it out. You’ll probably want to explore it and experiment with it; to evaluate it. That’s testing.

If you can’t even achieve the happy path, you’re not ready for testing.

Related posts:
Finding the Happy Path
Testing and Checking Refined
Why Checking is Not Enough
Acceptance Tests: Let’s Change the Title, Too
More of What Testers Find
Why We Do Scenario Testing

Want to know more? Learn about upcoming Rapid Software Testing classes here.

3 responses to “Very Short Blog Posts (32): The Happy Path”

  1. Until we sufficiently learned about the users, the product, and the environment, we have no idea what usage pattern is a “happy path” and what would be the “edge cases”.

    My thoughts and real life examples here:

    Michael replies: This is an important point, and one worthy of a blog post. I’ll get on it!

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