Good Writing Leads to Good Testing

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someone who will be challenged but not overwhelmed by it.

When writing as a part of the software testing process, the most dangerous pitfall is equating quality writing with quality planning. It may be tempting to assume that, since you have written a quality, professional document, you have put together an equally good test plan. Remember that the process of planning your test efforts should always take precedence over the process of documenting that plan. No well-written, but ill-conceived, test plan will save your company the millions of dollars lost when a fatal bug is released to the public. And it probably won't save your job, either.

Key Points to Remember
I hope you agree that the ability to write well can provide a number of direct and indirect benefits to your testing efforts. More important, I hope you've found a few new ideas on ways to improve your own writing skills. In the ten years that writing has been a part of my work, I've found that the following things are important to remember each time I write:

  • there are no hard-and-fast rules in writing (despite the availability of numerous lists like this one)
  • better writing leads to better thinking
  • always write in your own voice
  • always keep your audience in mind
  • use the tools available to you (such as spell-check, grammar-check, and reference books)
  • use the people available to you (peer reviews, technical writers' suggestions, and marketing professionals' suggestions)
  • always review your work, particularly after several days (when possible)
  • writing does get easier with practice, but it never gets easy

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