Hi All,

At the end of each month at my new workplace, we have an after hours event on innovations.  We'll either hire in a speaker to talk about interesting innovations, or have someone internal do a talk on it.

I have been asked to do a talk on Innovations in Software Testing for next months event.  It will only be a 30 minute talk, and I'd planned on showing the attendees (mostly devs) various tools which aid testing and feedback, not all innovative, but they'll certainly gain their interest since they'll be able to make good use of them

It has really got me thinking though, other than new fresh tools in the lands of accessibility, performance, security and so on, are there really any other innovations in our field?

I can think of a few myself, which I'd deem borderline, but I'd be really interested to see what you all think.

p.s. If you have any tools you think I should discuss out with my current list please feel free to mention them: FireEyes, WAVE Toolbar, CloudTest, YSlow, WAI-ARIA markup.

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Once you compile the list please share it. I, for one, would be very interested.


I have been working on a paper on accessibility and tried a number of open source and limited trial commercial tools and putting together an analysis for my coming up blog. My focus would be on WCAG 2.0 guidelines than tools itself. Testing for WAI-ARIA can be done through tools such as Inspect Object and Accessible Event Watcher available on Windows OS accessible via Start\All Programs\Microsoft Windows SDK\Tools. These can also be downloadable by following the link. If you want to try out Inspect object then you can use the testcase for Firefox to experiment. I am struggling with another free Microsoft tool designed for developers called UIAVerify downloadable here. I hope this helps.

Hi Darren,


Interesting presentation. As above, would love to hear it!


In terms of innovation, it doesn’t just need to be about new apps. I think it could involve new ideas or concepts on software testing. The one that jumps to mind is differentiating between testing and checking. Although this was first put forward by Michael Bolton back in 2009 (three years ago! Doesn’t time fly?!), we are still as an industry getting to grips with the idea.


Although I didn’t always agree with him, James Whittaker mentioned a few ideas/innovations around testing at the EuroStar conference.

And what about using Mind Minds to drive the testing? I forget who wrote a few posts about that ;) 

Althought Mind Maps have become one of the hot topics recently, a little digging found this from 2006... and this

+1 to 'Testing vs Checking'.

I can now claim to have implemented testing vs checking in 2 of my projects :)


I'm not sure of your timescale when looking for innovations but a subject which I think would certainly merit some discussion around the potential benefits and risks is that of Specification by Example and the tools to support this. The concept of creating "living documentation" which self validates is certainly an innovation worth discussing. At the Birmingham Software Tester meetup last November Simon Knight presented on his experiences with Cucumber and the subsequent discussion with James Bach around the use of these tools raised some great points, both positive and negative. Gojko Adzic has recently created a Wikipedia page Specification by Example which includes a list of some relevant tools.



twitter: adampknight

Hi Darren

I just had a thought, you might want to post a discussion up in this relevant group: http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/testingtoolsdiscussion

It's the actual Testing Tools Group in the Software Testing Club. There are 31 members and so you might get some good feedback as it would be to their interest.

Seems like most of you missed Darren's point as written: 

"other than new fresh tools ... , are there really any other innovations in our field?"

While more Dev oriented, I might raise Continuous Integration which is gaining speed and respect lately (though I am not sure when was it invented).

I don't think there is any confusion. This is a fantastic post for good discussion and he does in conjunction with what you quoted also ask this:

"p.s. If you have any tools you think I should discuss out with my current list please feel free to mention them: FireEyes, WAVE Toolbar, CloudTest, YSlow, WAI-ARIA markup."

Great topic although slightly worrying how little really has changed. I was wondering how long Exploratory testing has been acceptable? I know I did it when I started out but I wouldn't have admitted that to the client (and I'm sure there are plenty of places where you still test against scripts and only scripts).

Otherwise it must be the shift in role, working closely with developers, pairing up to automate tests and maybe even having testers as an active contribute to requirements gathering (if you're lucky).

My personal approach has shifted from bug hunter where the number of bug reported each day was a direct measure to how hard I had worked to a bug preventer, now the absence of bug reports makes me very happy.

Probably the biggest innovation I have seen (although it is not explicitly mentioned) is a general acceptance of the need to question -everything- about the way we test. Not just within the testing community, but among the corporate community as well. Ten years ago, when I made the switch to doing software testing full time, the norm was to use "accepted" methods of testing. Now, no method or approach appears to be acceptable unless it addresses the specific needs of the organisation, project, and team to getting the job done.

You might think that this is covered in Context Driven Development or the general panning of "best practices", but I think it goes even deeper than that. The interactions available at STC, on twitter, and other social web tools has created a culture of scepticism that appears to grow every day.



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