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Johnny Mnemonic - ICEOVERMAD

Fairly early in my testing journey, I attended (and interacted with) the Rapid Software Testing course, showing me the power of consciously introducing mnemonics into your testing (and life) toolset.

After this initial experience I noted that even in the most linear of environments where the testing process was seemingly restrictive these techniques could be leveraged. On even further reflection I realised we are all using mnemonics to complete certain testing tasks in a subconscious manner and not acknowledging their fallibility.

So 3 years on, having used a number of the mnemonics created by others I thought I would give it a try. I picked something I have worked on a great deal recently, creating test approaches for and executing testing of Application Programming Interfaces (API’s), henceforth referred to as, ‘the service.’

So, without further ado, I can now reveal:


Integration – How will consumers integrate with the service? When will consumers integrate with the service? Is it intended to be rendered on a browser? Output into a file and then consumed?

Consumers - Who will be consuming the service? Is the end user a human or a machine? What problem does the service solve for each consumer?

Endpoints – What form does the endpoint take and how is it reached? Is it a single endpoint, multiple endpoints or routed through a load balancer. What level of security is applied?

Operations – What business functions does the service perform? Can they be mapped to current functions performed via a user interface for example? Are the operations descriptively named and readable for both human and machine? Do the operations handle sensitive data?

Volume - Will the service be used at high volume concurrently or sparingly with single high value requests? Are the single transaction sizes an issue? How will API sessions be managed? Is the target architecture clustered?

Error Handling – How will the service handle server side errors? How will the service handle client side errors? Are errors informative and/or verbose? If database connectivity is lost is that handled?

RESTful – does the service have the characteristics of a RESTful service? Is this desirable in context?

Modularity – How are the components of the service distributed? How do they interact? Can they exist on their own? Can they fail over to one another?

Authentication – how do users authenticate within the service? What permissions are applicable and how does that change the operation of the service? What levels of security are used? Is data sent or received encrypted?

Definitions – What defines the inputs and outputs to the service? Is a WSDL, WADL, XSD, XSLT or Other used? What limits does this impose on the service? Which HTTP methods are used and for what purpose?

While I was creating this, it felt like I could have added a great deal more to the mnemonic but to be effective (and memorable) I have focussed on (what I believe to be) the key areas. So, please feel free to give this a try. Amend, enhance and critique as you see fit.


  1. Thank you... reached this page from Katrina's API Pathway


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