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Testing Excel Files

Testing Excel Files

This week I’m testing the budgeting file since we made some changes to it. There is definitely some level of discipline and method to it. At SAIC, the type of files I created were rather simple and did not require multiple entry points, so testing the files were easier to crosscheck. You basically tested the totals and either compared the results to the totals of some download or some basic, easy calculation.

This budget file that I’m revising has multiple places to enter data and each section may have a different calculation, depending on the type of revenue or expense. It is not a simple matter of checking the totals. Instead, I am reviewing cell by cell to make sure I made the revisions correctly, and it’s a good thing I’m doing that. There were a few instances where I forgot to extend the Sum formula when I added more rows.

There was also a section where the logic did not make sense but I did not become aware until I was testing it, and even then, I almost missed the flaw because I was in a testing haze. It can get mind numbing testing each cell and trying various permutations of data entry.

I think my methodology for now will be to do a good 3 hours in the morning when I’m fresh, take a break for lunch and then in the afternoon, test for an hour and take a 15 minute break in between each hour to ease the eyes and brain. I’m finding that in the afternoon, I run into the sleepy attack if I don’t back off and redirect my brain.

It’s all very methodical and tedious but it’s the only way I know right now to test the file.

I read somewhere that there is a company that hires autistic people to perform testing because they are very good at it. They must be able to do repetitive actions without going into a mind haze.

I have maybe 2 more weeks of testing before we start the budgeting season in earnest. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with some interesting testing to enable me to keep going.

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