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It seems to me that having Acceptance Tests is a must have, and possibly testing sessions for bugs...but I'm wondering if the old school type of test plan....really make sense?

Acceptance tests are based on a ticket's Acceptance Criteria. A testing session for bugs... I think you mean a smoke test. Which I advice before every deployment, at a minimum. The "old school test plan" is exhaustive and benefits no one. Check out our discussionour discussion on this topic.

Right now i've been researching Automation testing in my spare time trying to figure out the best course of action, while doing exploratory sessions and recording the bugs in Excel (Lame I know, but I gotta start somewhere)....Where do you go from here?

If you want to learn automation, most people start out with Selenium IDE. Get your bugs into a shared system. At least, use Google Docs so you can share the sheet easily with devs and no one who wants to look at it will need M$ Office. There are plenty of online tools for Issue Tracking. A popular one is JIRA. I have used alternatives like BugTracker and FogBugz, but JIRA is by far my favorite (beating out TFS, too).

It seems to me that having Acceptance Tests is a must have, and possibly testing sessions for bugs...but I'm wondering if the old school type of test plan....really make sense?

Acceptance tests are based on a ticket's Acceptance Criteria. A testing session for bugs... I think you mean a smoke test. Which I advice before every deployment, at a minimum. The "old school test plan" is exhaustive and benefits no one. Check out our discussion on this topic.

Right now i've been researching Automation testing in my spare time trying to figure out the best course of action, while doing exploratory sessions and recording the bugs in Excel (Lame I know, but I gotta start somewhere)....Where do you go from here?

If you want to learn automation, most people start out with Selenium IDE. Get your bugs into a shared system. At least, use Google Docs so you can share the sheet easily with devs and no one who wants to look at it will need M$ Office. There are plenty of online tools for Issue Tracking. A popular one is JIRA. I have used alternatives like BugTracker and FogBugz, but JIRA is by far my favorite (beating out TFS, too).

It seems to me that having Acceptance Tests is a must have, and possibly testing sessions for bugs...but I'm wondering if the old school type of test plan....really make sense?

Acceptance tests are based on a ticket's Acceptance Criteria. A testing session for bugs... I think you mean a smoke test. Which I advice before every deployment, at a minimum. The "old school test plan" is exhaustive and benefits no one. Check out our discussion on this topic.

Right now i've been researching Automation testing in my spare time trying to figure out the best course of action, while doing exploratory sessions and recording the bugs in Excel (Lame I know, but I gotta start somewhere)....Where do you go from here?

If you want to learn automation, most people start out with Selenium IDE. Get your bugs into a shared system. At least, use Google Docs so you can share the sheet easily with devs and no one who wants to look at it will need M$ Office. There are plenty of online tools for Issue Tracking. A popular one is JIRA. I have used alternatives like BugTracker and FogBugz, but JIRA is by far my favorite (beating out TFS, too).

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kirbycope
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It seems to me that having Acceptance Tests is a must have, and possibly testing sessions for bugs...but I'm wondering if the old school type of test plan....really make sense?

Acceptance tests are based on a ticket's Acceptance Criteria. A testing session for bugs... I think you mean a smoke test. Which I advice before every deployment, at a minimum. The "old school test plan" is exhaustive and benefits no one. Check out our discussion on this topic.

Right now i've been researching Automation testing in my spare time trying to figure out the best course of action, while doing exploratory sessions and recording the bugs in Excel (Lame I know, but I gotta start somewhere)....Where do you go from here?

If you want to learn automation, most people start out with Selenium IDE. Get your bugs into a shared system. At least, use Google Docs so you can share the sheet easily with devs and no one who wants to look at it will need M$ Office. There are plenty of online tools for Issue Tracking. A popular one is JIRA. I have used alternatives like BugTracker and FogBugz, but JIRA is by far my favorite (beating out TFS, too).