September 30, 2019

Red Herring in Test

A Red herring is is when an irrelevant topic is introduced during an argument to divert the participants from the original issue. Sometimes this is used to make false assumptions. This is commonly used in books and drama TV to mislead the viewer of the actual issue.

Red Herring in Test

In testing, a Red Herring is when multiple issues are found around common functionality. The multiple issues are the Red Herring. The core feature is what should be addressed.

Example Situation #1

Roxana is testing a new login page, and notices that the Credit Card field is not doing any server-side validation. In further testing, it is discovered that users can submit an form with an empty name and zip code. Separate tickets are filed for those issues.

The important question in this situation is the form field validation. What are the requirements and why are the "basic" functionality not set up.

Example Situation #2

During weekly testing its discovered that the local server keeps running into issues. The Release Engineering team fixes the issue and QA is able to move forward.

When testing, Its important for QA to look at the big issue and not get caught up with Red Herrings that can be distracted from the main issue.

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