Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tetris as Test Management tool

I just had a crazy idea. What if we use the famous game Tetris as Test Management tool instead of other plannings tools like Microsoft Project?

Wikipedia has some information about this game: Tetris

On this site you have some key-words which are similar to testing:
Gameplay: "The object of the game is to manipulate these tetrominoes, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90 degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of blocks without gaps."

In testing we also trying to plan every activity without leaving gaps, so testers are not sitting still.

Variations: "It is difficult to place a standard on the game, as newer releases frequently progress it either to make the game better or to keep players interested."

As in testing: there are several standards, schools, methods and approaches.

Tetris variants: "A number of Tetris variants exist. Some feature alternate rules and pieces, and others have completely different gameplay."

Like said to variations: Some methods have similar approaches and some are approaching the test process completely different.

Is it possible to play forever?: "The conclusion reached was that a player is inevitably doomed to lose"

We are not allowed to test forever. There is always some kind of project management who is speeding up the time and makes us stop.

How can we use Tetris as management tool?

  1. Pick the proper version of Tetris which suites your needs;
  2. Identify the types of blocks of your Tetris game;
  3. Name those types in testing terms like: Plan & Control, Preparation, Specification, Execution, Regression testing, and so on;
  4. Define your rules: perhaps: every complete line is a successful planned iteration; or another variant could be: every level is one iteration.
  5. Make screenshots after a predefined number of blocks, this can be your test process planning.

I know there are a lot of reasons why not to use it. Only what could be the reasons to use it instead? And what are the risks if we use it?

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