Explore It!


Top 3 things I learned:

NOTES: Chapter 1: On Testing and Exploration

SUMMARY: Introduction establishes the two sides of testing  (checked and explored).  Gives three definitions of exploratory testing from Cem Kaner, James Bach, and herself.  Gives details on the 4 verbs of exploratory testing: designing, executing, learning, and steering.  Ends with the concept of time-boxed.

TERM: GML: Galactic Modeling Language.  Diagrams using Line, Box, Label.  G++ adds an arrow.

IDEA: Difference between exploring and lost is “insight”

IDEA: Tested = Explored + Checked

TERM: Exploratory Testing (Cem Kaner): Exploratory software testing is a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the value of her work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project.

TERM: Exploratory Testing (James Bach): Exploratory testing is simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution.

TERM: Exploratory Testing (Elisabeth Hendrickson).  Simultaneously designing and executing tests to learn about the system, using your insights from the last experiment to inform the next.

NOTES: Chapter 2: Charter Your Explorations

SUMMARY: There are 3 concepts here. First is the template of a charter. Second is what makes a good charter. This is a technique to develop a charter. Oops and a fourth item is how to generate charters.

CONCEPT: A charter template:

Explore <target>

With <resources>

To discover <information>


<target> is where you are exploring. A feature, requirement, or module.

<resources> what you bring with you: a tool, a data set, a technique, a configuration, or perhaps an interdependent feature

<information> what are you hoping to find?

IDEA: A good charter offers direction without overspecifying test actions.

CONCEPT: The Nightmare Headline Game

  1. Step 1: Set the Stage: You have your morning cup of coffee and you open the newspaper
  2. Step 2: Gather Headlines. Embellish with details
  3. Step 3: Chose a Big Risk to work on
  4. Step 4: Brainstorm Contributing Causes
  5. Step 5: Refine causes into charter

NOTES: Chapter 3: Observe the Details

NOTES: Chapter 4: Find Interesting Variations

NOTES: Chapter 5: Evaluate Results

NOTES: Chapter 6: Vary Sequences and Interactions

NOTES: Chapter 7: Explore Entities and Their Relationships

NOTES: Chapter 8: Discover States and Transitions

NOTES: Chapter 9: Explore the EcoSystem

NOTES: Chapter 10: Explore When There Is No User Interface

NOTES: Chapter 11: Explore an Existing System

NOTES: Chapter 12: Explore Requirements

NOTES: Chapter 13: Integrate Exploration Throughout

NOTES: Appendix 1: Interviewing for Exploratory Testing Skills

NOTES: Appendix 2: Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet


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