The Awkward Teenager of Testing: Exploratory Testing

We think we understand that awkward teenager.

Many experienced testers will claim exploratory testing expertise, but too few have ever written an exploratory testing charter, and even fewer have applied a heuristic in that charter. We think we understand exploratory testing just as we think we understand teenagers, because “we have been there”. However the reality is that many of the words currently used in exploratory testing are foreign to us and we feel awkward about our lack of knowledge. The goal of this talk is to give people experience writing and executing exploratory testing charters, creating mind maps, and applying exploratory testing heuristics.

The talk is intended to introduce people to the exploratory testing techniques described by Elisabeth Hendrickson in her book Explore It! with some added material from the work of Cem Kaner and James Bach.

 

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The talk is broken down into 5 areas; two talks bookend three demonstrations:

  1. Introduction to Exploratory Testing (talk)
  2. Charter writing (demonstration)
  3. Create a Mind Map (demonstration)
  4. Apply an Exploratory Testing Heuristic (demonstration)
  5. Adopting Exploratory Testing (talk)

Each of the three demonstrations is structured with a brief description, an exercise, and then a group discussion. A website familiar to most (google.com) is used for the exploratory testing demonstrations. Throughout the talk, I highlight best practices and lessons learned from leading several traditional testing teams that have transitioned to using exploratory testing techniques. The talk concludes with a brief discussion on lessons learned adopting these techniques and a roadmap for adoption.

 

The timing will likely run like this:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:05 Part 1: Defining Exploratory Testing (Talk)
  • 0:15 Part 2: Creating a Charter (Demonstration)
  • 0:20 Part 3: Creating a Mind Map (Demonstration)
  • 0:25 Part 4: Applying a Heuristic (Demonstration)
  • 0:35 Part 5: Adoption
  • 0:40 Final Q&A

Learning Outcome

  • Define exploratory testing and its key terms
  • Design and execute an effective exploratory testing charter
  • Design and create a mind map
  • Design and evaluate an exploratory testing heuristic
  • List challenges and solutions when adopting exploratory testing techniques

Target Audience

Testers, Project Managers

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

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