More Ways to Test – Lights, Camera, Action, Bugs!

I recently read about what might be one of the worst movies ever made and clicked through to read some reviews and find out why it was so bad. Doing so, I discovered a list of bloopers appearing the film.

Reading about these bloopers was really useful and reminded me about some of the test techniques I use.

Consistency / Continuity

There are a lot of continuity errors. One example given is that:

The wine glass moves in and out of Lisa’s hands.

I sometime find consistency errors in programs I test where terminology differs on screens or the layout changes. Functionally each page would be correct, but going from one page to another would reveal the inconsistency.

There are also character errors. One example from the movie was:

Mark asks Lisa “what’s going on” with “the candles [and] the music,” but neither music nor candles are present.

I’ve encountered errors where the manual or the Help file had either not been updated or checked and would refer to items in the program that did not exist — very annoying for a user that is looking for guidance only to find that the help they are looking for is wrong.

Didn’t Know or Didn’t Care?

Mistakes in movies are so common that there are plenty of sites that detail them. One thing we don’t know is whether these errors were spotted but a decision was made not to correct them, similar to when a high-profile bug makes the news and the cry “who tested this?” goes up.

And even though all these types of error are well known and have been happening for decades, they still happen. Just like making software, producing complex things is hard. When humans are involved, mistakes happen.

Looking for more ways to test? Read some of the other posts in this series: