For a Software Tester writing test cases is not enough to test a software, one should also explore and think of different test ideas. Here, Test cases and Test Ideas different, Test cases are written in a systematic manner to test a software application and there is no exploring. But a tester will get different Test ideas when he / she explore the software and test effectively to ensure the maximum quality of a software application. Exploring a software application is like investigating a software application.
In exploratory testing we gauge the Testing efforts and time spent to test an application by our Test Ideas that is; instead of writing the Test cases we simultaneously explore the software and note down our different test ideas performed to test the software. Where, test cases written to test only what we see in an application. It is limited testing when we write test cases, but what about the hidden bugs which cannot be seen inside the application? Those bugs can be found during the investigation or by exploring the application with different Test ideas.
When I explore and investigate software application I get different ideas. Exactly like how a gamer explores the hidden treasures in the game. Exploring is all about how your mind-set is and how interested you are into the work you do. The more you explore the more chances to find out the hidden bugs in the software.
We can relate our feelings to testing an application. How? Let me tell you how, when you are irritated / bored and you need to fill a web application form which has some fifty fields in the application form. Assume that 45 fields are mandatory. You have filled all the fields with the proper data. Finally instead of clicking on “Submit” button you clicked on “Cancel” button. Here you can generally think of 2 ideas, what if the application has the auto-fill feature so that user can click in the text field and select the proper data from the drop-down instead of typing it again. And one more thing, what made the user to click on Cancel instead of Submit? May be the Cancel button color is Green and Submit button color is Red, user might just saw the color of the buttons and clicked. Testing is not only about finding bugs but it is also about user experience.
How do I get different Test Ideas?
- TestInsane Mind-map repository (http://apps.testinsane.com/mindmaps) Mind-map repository is a contribution to the Software Testing community by TestInsane Technologies Private Limited. Anyone from anywhere can access these mind-maps and use it for testing or knowledge purpose. Here, in our mind-map repository you will find more than 100 Mind-maps on different topics in Testing. And the best thing is, you can also contribute your own mind-map to the testing community through our mind-map repository.
- I always keep a backup of test ideas which I performed to test different projects. If I get a similar project in future, I just go through the test ideas document and I use them again (as per the new application needs). When I get a new project which is very different from the past experiences, I discuss with colleagues and we help each other to get different test ideas. We enjoy the session when we discuss about new test ideas. It is all about passion, interest and being creative in what you are doing.
- I play games, Chess, Carrom, PC games, Mobile games, Sudoku etc. And to get more clarity and test ideas, I ask right questions to stakeholder or anyone who is the right person to ask questions about the software to be tested. For reference you can follow this link http://www.developsense.com/blog/2010/11/context-free-questions-for-testing/
- I read testing related blogs below are some blogs which I follow continuously to learn and to get more test ideas by discussing with other Testers.
- I participate in Software Testing workshops and meetups, so that I can meet new testers, I can discuss or share my knowledge and I can learn new things.