Testing From Trenches, A Complicated Error Message

Image by Nicholas Demetriades from Pixabay


Software development is hard because the number of combinations of program statements could be infinitive. We present you with one instance of a complicated error message.


The application tries to solve a very complicated engineering problem, way beyond simple CRUD application.


I used part of the application that runs the business process, where the process consists of several steps. The business process depends on data that needs to be prepared using another part of the application. My Charter was to create a REST API client that would enable the team to automate business process actions. I did not know is it possible to put the process in the initial state without recreating the prepared data. I found that we need to recreate process data, but the system did not help me with a meaningful error message. Developer who created that application left years ago. Documentation is Java source code, debugger, and my Ruby REST API client

The Error

In the second process run, the second step appeared with a different name, it contained the text “problem found”. The application UI part works with several backend services. On Daily Scrum, I got a hint of where to look for exception. In that backend service log file, there was no exception, but a log entry with a path to file that contained in name text “error.” I opened that file, and there it was an error message. Not very helpful, but helpful enough to give me a hint that prepared data needs to be recreated.

Do you still claim that testing is not fun!?

Originally published at https://blog.tentamen.eu on June 28, 2020.



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