"The French don't care what you do, so long as you pronounce it correctly."
"My Fair Lady", Rogers and Hammerstien
Specifications provide a means to record the intentions of the developers. Test engineers use specifications to verify that the actual product matches the developers' intentions.
The degree to which verification is possible depends on the level of detail in the specification. The degree to which verification is necessary depends on the product quality goals.
All software products have some level of specification.
The maximum level of detail in the documentation tends to directly correlate to the maximal depth of testing. Testing based on the low level implementation (i.e. reading the code) is usually done in unit tests, which may or may not be the reponsibility of test engineers.
Copyright 1998 Anne Powell