Ever solve a jigsaw puzzle?  Do you typically design and document all your pieces before assembling the puzzle or know anything about the kind of picture formed by the puzzle?  Hardly.  Usually, the specifics of the puzzle, as they emerge through the process of solving that puzzle, affect our tactics for solving it.  

This analogy is at the heart of Exploratory Testing (ET) - a fun, focused and powerful approach to testing that has been gaining in popularity in recent years.  While not a new idea, it is often misconstrued as being a random, flailing at the keyboard approach to uncovering problems.  Not quite.  ET is a disciplined practice that involves simultaneously learning about the software under test while designing and executing tests, using feedback from the last test to design the next.  It leverages traditional test design analysis techniques and heuristics, but design and execution become a single inseparable activity.  Within the agile context, there is a need for agile teams to augment their scripted automated tests with a manual testing practice that is adaptable, and ET provides the right fit.

In this session oriented towards beginning explorers, we will gain a deeper understanding of what ET is, what it isn't, and discuss the essential elements of the practice with practical tips and techniques for: learning the system under test and capturing our understanding to design tests; designing tests on the fly using heuristics; executing tests and observing results; and finally, integrating ET into the cadence of an agile process.

 
 

Outline/structure of the Session

- What is Exploratory Testing (and what it isn't)

- Why Exploratory Testing and When to use it

- Exploratory Testing Cycle

  • Learning the System
  • Test Design
  • Test Execution & Observation

- Integrating Exploratory Testing into the Agile Process

- Concluding thoughts

- Q & A

Learning Outcome

- Understand what exploratory testing is and how it contrasts with traditional manual testing practices

- Explain the essential elements of exploratory testing to your team members

- Be able to take the basics of these practices to your own company and experiment

- Kindle a desire for deeper exploration (pun intended) of a misunderstood and under appreciated topic

Target Audience

Testers, Analysts, Test Managers, QA, IV&V, Anyone interested in driving Quality

Requirements

Projector, flipchart

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Ellen Grove
    By Ellen Grove  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Raj!

    I think this is a great proposal about a widely misunderstood topic. 

    A couple of questions:

    Will you be including any stories about your exploratory testing expieriences in the wild? For this theme, we're really hoping to include a lot of content about what's happening in practice.

    Any chance you have a recorded talk or podcast you could share a link to?

    Thanks

    Ellen

     

    • ☕ J. B. Rainsberger
      By ☕ J. B. Rainsberger  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      I love this proposal. It clearly describes the intended value and audience of the session. It has enough jargon to sound impressive, but also clearly articulates its purpose, even to those who don't already know the jargon. The sentence "It leverages traditional test design analysis techniques and heuristics, but design and execution become a single inseparable activity." wonderfully compares ET to evolutionary design for programmers. (I'd make that even more explicit by adding, "...you know, like coding and design are a single, inseparable activity!")

      I would want to attend this session. I will want to see a video of it, if possible.

      • Raj Indugula
        By Raj Indugula  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Thanks for the positive comments on the proposal. I do like your analogy to evolutionary design on the programming front and the contribution of XP practices that allow for evolution to become a viable design strategy. An idea worth weaving into the conversation.

        I recently delivered this talk for the first time at AgileDC, but don't have a video recording of the session.  Here's the link: http://www.slideshare.net/RajIndugula/dare-to-explore-discover-et.