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We’ve got used to thinking about Agile testing as mainly automated testing. This aspect is really important as it enables a short feedback loop and through this feedback loop it enables safe refactoring which is one of the core aspects of Agile development. Nevertheless we tend to forget about manual testing at all. This presentation will cover one of the pillars of Agile testing that is not possible to automate. I’d like to talk about exploratory tests. I will show how we can use exploratory tests to test non-functional areas of our product – like design or domain model.
Exploratory testing is difficult. It requires a great deal of knowledge and what is even more difficult a great deal of a gut feeling that develops in the guts of an experienced tester. During my talk I will present techniques that can be used to make exploratory testing efficient and not get lost in the meanders of the product. I will show concrete heuristics that can be used to find so called hidden variables that are crucial to identify in order to go beyond the obvious. I will tell how to recognize so called trusted zones of the software and how we can leverage the area outside of a trusted zone to put a pressure on the software we’re testing.
Furthermore I will explain how exploratory testing can be used to enhance the design of the software, how we as testers can play a crucial role in defining a business domain model that is used in our software, what we need to pay attention to in order not to loose these aspects out of sight.
I will also cover an aspect of a Confirmation bias – a psychological phenomenon that used to be our best adviser in the stone-age times but right now prevents us from being a good exploratory tester or even a good tester at all. In order to fight with it we need to recognized its existence.
Finally I will give few hints on how to organize the testing process in the Agile environment as a whole, so we actually have time to explore, so we do not waste the time on finding the obvious.