Questions to help figure out what to test, question 5

On many projects, you aren't the subject matter expert and you don't write the code. In those cases it can be helpful to talk with the subject matter experts and programmers to better understand the subtleties of the software. I often find it helpful to get them to help me design different types of tests. To help pull out the information I need, I use questions.

A couple of questions (or theme of questions) are "At what level do you interact with the various algorithms? Do you test one algorithm at a time or many algorithms at a time? Or do you know?" This can help you understand the level of complexity in their testing in terms of visibility into the specific algorithms. You can better understand if they are testing one factor at a time, or many factors at a time. Knowing this can help you understand where they might perceive interactions between variables that might be of interest for your testing. Or it might even clue you into some dependencies you didn't previously know about.

It also might just get you a blank stare.... "Algor-what?"

Based on how they answer, you might come up with a lot more questions on that theme.