December’2020 update

I’ve made a workshop for this practice. If you interested in writing test cases and bugs titles better, take a look:


I am for more than 10 years in Software Testing already and during last several years I’ve become very interested in what QA Engineers write in their test cases.

I participated in a lot number of projects during last years, I looked at another projects test cases, I reviewed our test cases base (which is more than 100.000 test cases for today), I participated in a number of QA conferences where test cases design has been debated…

Test cases…


  • clean icon means: “empty inside”
  • icon with dot means: “something inside, but not steps”
  • icon with lines means: “steps inside”
Test cases tree in SQA Mate test cases management system


When we work with test cases design we often:

  • leave test cases without steps;
  • leave test cases without anything inside but the titles;
  • put information in test suites description;
  • etc.

This is a part of test cases design process. That’s normal! But what’s not normal to me — is that test cases management tools do not assist us in these situations. They don’t let us know what’s inside an item (test case or test suite) until we open that item.


Test Reports used to be the weakest part of SQA Mate test cases management tool. That’s because I knew that “the data first”. I needed tests first, then I need tests executions, and only after that I have had data to build test reports.

Time passed by. Required data has been collected. So, I started to build test reports. With JTBD concept in mind, of course. I also started to write an article “What job do we hire Test Reports for?” to show you ideas behind the great Test Report. The article is still under construction:

“What job do we hire Test Reports for?” article is in progress. Wait for it!

But I want to…


If you put as a dataset for pairwise online tool not only pairs, but also the words in between, then you can get ready-to-go titles for checklist or your test cases:

Screenshot from SQA Mate online pairwise test case generation tool

Details of the approach

Current situation

Almost everyone uses pairwise test generation tools only as the tools for all-pairs generation. I mean users get to the tool (online or offline), enter their dataset, generate pairs, get those generated pairs and disappear.

For example in SQA Mate online pairwise test case generation tool, users enter their input dataset:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Windows, Linux, MacOS

enter their exclude-pairs dataset:

Safari, Windows
Safari, Linux

and press “Generate pairs”…

— this is one of “jokes” told by Jared Spool at “Mind the Product” conference, at his speech “Building a winning product and UX strategy from the Kano Model” (full joke starts at 15m 10s):

2 weeks ago I’ve added 2 features to pairwise testing tool: “hotkeys” and “exclude pairs”:

I felt fine about “exclude pairs” feature, but was not sure about “hotkeys”. To track features usage I’ve logged requests for clicks and hotkeys and for using exclude pairs and not. So, I’ve got some stats to make the decisions based on data, not on my feelings.

“Hotkeys” feature usage stats

Only 8…

I imagine a world where test cases ideas are maintained and shared all over the world, so we — software developers of any kind — could use that global knowledge base made by engineers to test our software x10 times faster and better. Not to invent tests, but to get them from a global knowledge base like we take goods into the basket in supermarket — to cook them at home.

3 years ago, in January of 2017, I wrote an article, where I’ve put my vision on the table:

Described problem still exists. And no one still built any…

In early June 2019 on weekend and within 24h sprint I’ve built and launched a web-based, simple and easy to use pairwise tool based on allpairspy. And I also wrote an article about that launch and the process behind it:

I’ve noticed, that the tool was found useful: the number of users steadily grown up (usage has dropped during pandemic after-shock in spring-summer 2020):

SQA Mate pairwise tool stats for June 2019 — December 2020

People use it — so I decided to improve the tool even more.

First of all, I improved META-tags, keywords, description, texts — so people could find this tool even more. …

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash



Price: $25 USD for 2h class.

Why did this class appeared?

In summer 2019 I wrote a post on Medium:

By now it is one of the most viewed (2.5K) and read (1.5K) posts that I ever wrote on Medium. And I’ve noticed that people continue to be inspired by this post: they share it with their colleagues in their social networks. That’s why bursts of reading still happen from time to time:


Do you have an X in your product? Could you add Y to your product? If you had Z in your product we could buy thousands and thousands of seats… and we know that no one would use it, but we would use it!

Everyone knows such kind of customers requests! This is because customers want everything under the sun!

Even my 75-years old professor from military university in Russia told that even military want “tanshihelair”: which means tank, ship, helicopter and airplane — all in one.

And this “tanshihelair” concept is well explained with the picture below:

Image credit: Intercom blog

— where…

Alexey Sotskov

I write about practical and effective techniques that help me and my colleagues in everyday software development and testing.

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