Following my previous post about test videos where I asked why don’t people record them, I opened several discussions at several QA communities across the web regarding the subject:

The people have spoken. All of the above discussions were great and yielded some powerful feedback, so I’d like to say thanks to everyone who participated.

Below is a summary of the most common opinions about recording test and bug videos following the above discussions. Even though Steve Swanson beat me to the punch with his summary about recording test videos I would like to present my own. Here we go!

Most people don’t record test videos for tests and bugs

  1. Text and screenshots are sufficient.
  2. Video file sizes are too big and take up too much space on our servers and databases.
  3. It takes too much time and hassle to take videos of tests and bugs.
  4. Videos can’t be searched.

Some people do record test videos

  1. As an aid to bug reports, not a replacement.
  2. When doing Exploratory Testing.
  3. For hard to reproduce bugs.
  4. For complicated scenarios.
  5. For bugs that are graphical by nature.

Conclusion – videos of tests and bugs are useful in certain cases, but aren’t necessary in others. They really help as an addition to a textual bug report, but cannot completely replace it.

Therefore, we shouldn’t expect to see test and bug videos being recorded all the time, and maybe even not most of the time. Yet according to our statistics we rarely see test videos being recorded!

Some people seemed to have a certain resistance to testing videos mainly due to technical constraints. However, most of them simply aren’t true.

  1. Text and screenshots are sufficient
    As quite a few people noted in the discussions, there are cases when text and screenshots aren’t sufficient. Such is the case with hard to reproduce bugs, complicated bugs, graphical bugs, and more.
  2. Video file sizes are too big
    We use our own custom and top secret compression algorithm to make test and bug videos really small. Download the Testuff Video Player and check it out.
  3. Video files take up too much space on our servers and databases
    Testuff videos for tests and bugs are actually uploaded to the Testuff servers, so it’s our worry if they take up too much space.
  4. It takes too much time and hassle to take videos of tests and bugs.
    When running a manual test in Testuff, the test runner already includes the video recorder controls. All you need to do is target a window or area to record, and hit the record button. If some step fails, the video is automatically attached to the bug report. See the video recording help section for more info.

Of course, there is a whole lot more that could be done with testing videos to make it even better and simpler, and we have plenty of interesting ideas. Still, assuming that we did solve these technical constraints in a decent manner, we should see more videos being recorded.

The only conclusions that I can draw from the above is that either people are way too lazy to make videos, or the idea is still too new so that only a few stray sheep are using it while the rest of the herd continues along the known path.

Well, if you aren’t recording test and bug videos today and haven’t even tried, you might be missing on something. There isn’t a need to record a video for every bug, but quite often they come in very handy. Give it a try. Besides, recording videos can be fun and magical too. I highly recommend you to watch Be Kind Rewind and see why: