Passing on the Ripple Effect in Software Testing

It’s been some time now that people are standing together in the support of Context Driven School of Testing & The Exploratory Testing approach. Yes, no more time spend in writing & maintaining waste documents like test cases docs. Instead people are spending more time in doing creative testing. Yet, there is a large part of India & other countries still performing their testing activities in a traditional way. I am not against any traditional way, only pointer is analyze different process in which we spend time but in reality it may not be much worth spending time. Like, spending time in preparing documents like Test cases, maintaining other docs which are not referred most of the times. The only reason why they do it is because these documents act like deliverables for their customers.

So, now let me talk about few changes what we all might want to consider in order to grow as a better tester & valuable organization. Here are few pointers which might help you to reshape the testing approach in your organization.

Out of Box Thinking:

Be it a freshers or experienced into testing, most important pointer is “thinking & observation skills”. These matters even if you are not so good in technical aspects. Your approach of observing things & learning from them is something which helps you in preparing more Test ideas or scenarios while testing (Note: preparing test ideas is not the same as writing test cases 🙂 )

Lateral thinking plays an important role in polishing our observation & thinking capabilities. One way in which we improve our skills is by continuously challenging our colleagues for testing challenges. There are different lessons you may learn from this activity:

  • Polish your “out of box” thinking abilities which in turn may help you to think better test ideas
  • It helps you to think of ideas from different domain sets instead of just focusing your ideas on single domain. Ex: Refer the below mind-map of “OK Screen Exercise” which depicts the ideas covered from different aspects/domains
  • Share the same interesting activity you worked on with your other colleagues within or outside your organization. This helps you to earn respect in the testing community & people will recognize the kind of work you do. Plus, the team you work with may become stronger by sharing & working together for such activities 🙂 

Here is the list of few exercise/links which we can refer for testing challenges or other activities which helps in improving our skills.

  • Mysterious Spherical Ball exercise
  • “OK Screen” exercise
  • Testing Challenges
  • Golden basket for such testing challenges can be found at bloggers site. There are lot of testers who keep blogging about testing challenges they want to share.

We all know about James Bach, Michael Bolton, Cem Kaner & other people who are making their efforts in reshaping the community. But do we know anyone across India who are spending their time for the same?

Here is the list of passionate testers across India which is compiled by Santhosh Tuppad.

Following is a small glimpse of what we mean by lateral thinking for the exercise “OK Screen”:

Ok Screen Exercise
Ok Screen Exercise

 Willingness to go beyond:

As a tester you may want to break your limits each time you test.

I finally completed preparing test ideas”.

Beware of the above thought. That thought is something we should never allow to make it’s way into our mind.

Example: First time when you are preparing your test ideas for testing any app or module then you may not want to think “Yep!! It’s done now…” We should make our efforts in order to refine it as much as possible. Try to perform a group activity & collect ideas from everyone. Talk to experts & further refine your test ideas. Creating test ideas is something that should never get freeze 🙂

 We should always keep thinking of crazy ideas & be ready to do some crazy stuff. We can’t reshape the thoughts of testing community unless we are not willing to go beyond & work on things which are non-traditional.

 Tricky part in real world:

There will be situations when your leads, managers, boss will not approve of the methods you are trying to follow. You may be discouraged & at times people may shout at you like:

  • Who in the world asked you to test it this way!!!”
  • Why would you test something which is not mentioned as a test case in the documents.”
  • Even when we ask to update the test cases in the document then the process itself to do so is lengthy one
  • Your seniors know that you are doing wonderful but they do not wish to share your experience in public via blogs, social networks, etc…
  • Many other situations…

If your organization is not allowing you test in a way which allows you to add more value to your client then do not get disappointed. The solution doesn’t mean that you “quit”. Change in this industry won’t come from quitting. If we are really passionate about the way we test then why not do a solid research & provide your seniors with facts that may change their working perspective. They can use those facts to their advantage & slowly try to embed the change in their approach. We all need to push these ripple effect by suggesting changes in your organization:

 Here is a sneak peak on what you may want to do to reshape the testing community or to make a stronger stance of Testing Services in your own organization:

Do’t be afraid of promoting & appreciating good work of your employees not only within your company but to the Testing community as well 🙂

Let’s do our best & go beyond imaginable to support this ripple effect of change in the Testing community. Let’s make an effort to change the traditional way of testing in India & across the world. Let’s inspire people to reshape the Testing community.



2 thoughts on “Passing on the Ripple Effect in Software Testing

  1. Hi Yagnesh,

    From your post’s preface, it might sound as either Context Driven School of Testing or The Exploratory Testing approach
    claims we should not spend time on “writing & maintaining waste documents like test cases docs.”.
    That may confuse the less experienced readers, as neither of these claim all documents are a waste,
    They claim to document as much as needed.
    For instance, If you would look at some SBTM reports –
    these may be much more detailed than any report you are used to.
    ET & some extent of ST complement each other – its not an issue of that OR the other.

    Does planning tests in advance has some benefits?
    (Like giving feedback earlier on before SW is ready)
    Then the ammount which is useful should be performed.
    (Maybe elaborate less, maybe design headers and elaborate just 1 sample of a type as proof of content)
    What ET says is: Keep your eyes open while testing,
    Seek for more ideas as you go.
    Report your results, brainstorm your results to get more ideas…

    You should not take this to the extreme of:
    Don’t document – this was not the intention.

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

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