Introducing the software testing ice-cream cone (anti-pattern)

As previously explained, I like using the software testing pyramid as a visual way to represent where you should be focusing your testing effort, and often switch between using a cloud or an Eye of Providence to represent the manual session-based tests at the top of the pyramid that you should use to supplement and test your automated tests.

I often see organizations fall into the trap of creating ‘inverted’ pyramids of software testing, and only yesterday did a colleague point out to me that if you invert my pyramid with the cloud, you end up with an ice-cream cone! So, introducing the software testing ice-cream cone (anti-pattern)!

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

9 thoughts on “Introducing the software testing ice-cream cone (anti-pattern)”

  1. Hah! Love this. Going to show my manager so that he understands where we stand and where we should be. Thanks Alister!


  2. The best part of the metaphor is that over-reliance on manual testing will result in a symbolic melting of the tests down the cone, turning it into a soggy lump and causing the whole thing to become a messy puddle.


  3. I think the ice cone is not quite like that, the order is a little different.
    The ice-cream itself is still the manual testing.
    But the Automated GUI tests is the bottom. What comes below the ice cream is the unit tests, and under that the integration tests.


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