Friday, October 31, 2008

Exploratory Testing - the state of the art, Evening Talk

I am delivering a talk on "Exploratory Testing - The State of the art" at STeP-IN forum. This talk is happening at Intuit Campus at Bangalore on Nov 6th.

Find the announcement for this evening talk here.

I plan to cover mainly the advancements, tools, trends in last few years in the field of ET and shed light on controversies and myths associated with exploratory testing. There would discussions on SBTM, ET cheat sheets (Elizabeth Hendrikson), thoughts of Jonathan Kohl (analogy to music), Cem Kaner's thoughts on "ET after 23 years", Works of James Lindsay among others.

Here is a most popular myth... (can you beat this?)

"Exploratory testing is a technique"

Any suggestions, ideas are welcome...

See you there !!!

In the mean time, here are few posts that you can read about exploratory testing ...

Exploratory Testing Shock

18 Myths associated with ET
ET challenged



Michael M. Butler said...

Here's one of my favorites:

"Exploratory testing is just doing whatever you feel like doing."

That one can really get my engine running, especially when I hear a dismissive tone. When I remember to be diplomatic, I count to ten in my head and then ask "Why do you say that?"

Sometimes I don't remember to be diplomatic. But I'm getting better at that. :)

Anonymous said...

"Exploratory Testing is a Technique"

oh, you do love to play with words. I would say that ET is an approach that uses a set of techniques. Your statement isn't really a myth - it's just a poor choice of wording :}

Shrini Kulkarni said...

>>>oh, you do love to play with words.

Yes I do. I do it to get clarity on the intention and context behind those words. I believe this is an important skill for testers - questioning words and their usage. I have been often accused of "hair splitting". To me, that helped in many ways to communicate and engage in conversation better. It is general tendency of people to "just move on assuming whatever is generally accepted meanings". I am a tester and it is difficult for me accept anything without questioning it adequately.

>>> I would say that ET is an approach that uses a set of techniques.

Don't you think that is "different" from saying "ET is a technique"? To me, a technique is a recipe where as an approach or methodology is "way of doing things".

>>> Your statement isn't really a myth - it's just a poor choice of wording :}

Well, to me it is a myth as projecting ET as a technique sets "wrong" expectations from it. People perceive technique in a different way than the approach.
ET is not a technique simply because any technique (in the context of testing) can be performed in either exploratory or scripted way.

BTW, these are not my words ... but the words that I constantly hear when people discuss about ET and tend to discard ET thinking that it is a not viable technique.


Shrini Kulkarni said...

Alan ...

I happen to read about "General semantics" while exploring about "words" or "playing with words".

I was lead to Alfred Korzybsky's book "science and Sanity". This book is available on Google. Quick reading of first few pages made me think ... why words so important... especially the context in which they are communicated? What all this means to software testing .... chain of questions ...

I hope to get a (convincing) answer to your comment "you love to play with words".

I love to play with words ... but I am not sure why ...

Thanks for initiating a thread of thinking in my mind ...


Anonymous said...

I'm just teasing you Shrini - I tend to be careless with words sometimes and you always make me stop and think about what I say.

Ukkuru said...

ET is good. But I have seen a shortage of good testers in industry. So it is practical to have this technique. dont u feel ET is person dependant.? Can it be a substitute for Normal test case writing and execution.?

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Unknown said...

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