Why Practise Pairing Testing


Testing a new product, feature software or anything IT related, can, at some point, become a bit repetitive. Sometimes looking at the same line, entry, button, etc. can cause you to miss some things or not be able to see anything new. This is why pairing testing can prove to be a very useful testing method since, as the saying goes, two heads (or more) are better than one.

Benefits of pairing

These benefits have been taken from the listed references and grouped into three themes:

  • High creativity
    Working in a pair forces each person to explain their ideas and react to the ideas of others. The simple process of phrasing ideas seems to bring them into better focus and naturally triggers more ideas. A discussion between peers on a subject is always more helpful than being alone in your head with a single point of view.
    Applying the information and insight of two people to a problem can lead to the discovery of how easily a person working alone can be a victim of tunnel vision.
    Pairing brings people into close enough contact to learn about each other and practice communicating and resolving problems. Bouncing an idea can cause another person to see the same idea in a different light. This will help creativity both to boost it and to customize ideas.
    The companionship and the running commentary about the process, necessarily maintained by the pair to coordinate their efforts, tends to increase the positive energy in the process.
  • High productivity
    Each person must stay focused on the task or risk letting their partner down.
    Pairing allows the person at the keyboard to follow their train of thought without pausing to take notes or locate reference information. It encourages dogged pursuit of insights.
    Sitting down with another person and looking at your product in parallel can help you see something new.
    Two people working together limits the willingness of others to interrupt them. Productivity is increased by one person pushing the other forward and causing a progressive jump forward for all involved.
    Discussing the features, seeing each other’s expectations of the product, using it in different ways or simply having a fresh pair of eyes will help shed a new light on the job at hand. Pairing testing is not just for when help is needed, but also when another perspective would help the testing process further
  • Training Technique
    This presents an opportunity for people to learn from one another, as those involved will complement eachother. Training process can become shorter when one person has more experience than the other and adding to the knowledge of a newly hired colleague. At the same time a new person can throw a new perspective to someone who has seen several similar tests.
    Pairing is a good way for novices to keep learning by testing with others. It’s also useful for experienced testers when they are new to a domain to quickly pick up business knowledge.


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