Posted in exploratory testing

Exploratory state of mind

@KingaTestaboutExploratorytesting

Exploratory testing is like agile methodology or unicorns – they’re fashionable, everybody talks about them, but no one actually had seen them.

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Let’s start from a little confession – for me – exploratory testing is finally a way to get to the basic of what a software testing is. The pure activity of testing and a joy that comes out of it, without rules and limitations.
You could argue with me now

– Come on ! – exploratory testing without limitations? What about time boxing? What about time frames? What about plan?

Calm down –  I don’t neglect all of that. You can breathe now 🙂

I just wanted to say that exploratory is your state of mind. For some mysterious reason
I found exploratory a way of braking things from scratch. Am I an expert? No. Should I be one to preach you? Sort of… maybe 🙂 Does exploratory work for me? SURE – it does – that’s why I want to share it with you.

Discovering James Bach

Back to square one. James Bach is your must, if you wanted to play with exploratory testing. His famous lecture (from 2011!!!) would give you some hints of how to start with exploratory. What I mean by that is not to tear your ISTQB Foundation Certificate apart and throw it out of the window – but to re-think the way you perform testing.
Jamse’s publications, keynotes sessions and the work that he does may destroy your structured thinking about testing like it destroyed mine. And still –  it’s fine.
The problem might exist in the organisation you are working for – so if exploratory suites you – find yourself a good place to play with it. 🙂

Take your shoe off and smash the keyboard

There is a fantastic tester in my organisation – Elisabeth – who loves exploratory testing. During my work interview she explained exploratory testing as taking your shoe off and hitting the keyboard with it. Surprisingly – it says a lot about exploratory way of testing things. If you don’t know the product – and have no idea how does it work, what does it do and how to approach to testing – every method is good. The more you try – the more you learn about the product and its flaws.

Destroying your expensive keyboard may not, obviously, be the best approach to testing (unless you’re testing external hardware) – however – destroying an expensive software before your customer does that – sounds like the activity you’re paid for. 🙂

It may happen that that there would be a developer from your team asking – Why did you do that in the first place? – but it’s the result that matters.

I had this situation last week – I took out my internet cable off my laptop and plugged it in again during the test session. My test affected the functionality and exposed an error that we had. The result was fantastic, because now we know what to fix now – but the face of a developer when I demoed my test in front of him was unforgettable 😉

Note taking

Exploratory testing is fun when we play around certain functionalities, but our memory is sometimes not as fresh as we would like it to be.

That’s why taking notes during each exploratory session is essential. You may want to prepare mind maps or use some software to help you with gathering notes out of your sessions. In order to take notes,  you can use your laptop, phone or any tool you want

BUT

I would recommend you to do go old school.

This is a pencil:

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This is a notebook:

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These are post-its:

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Grab them and take your notes like a pro. At first – doing things manually would stimulate your brain – maybe you’ll came up with another crazy idea for testing? Secondly, nothing would drag your attention from testing. There will be just a feature an you.

Note all important thoughts such as:

  • questions
  • bugs (possible bugs)
  • random notes
  • areas to further exploratory
  • any other important stuff.

Taking notes might be extremely useful to reproduce the path to discovered defect. Additionally, you can record your sessions or combine all methods together. Whatever suits you best.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi thought me this one little trick – to put a sticky note on the top of my notebook page with a purpose of my team (or sprint) written down. It acts like an anchor. I’m reminding myself all the time what is my purpose – to avoid sailing away from the functionality that was supposed to be tested in the first place.

Conclusions

Since my beginnings as a software tester – exploratory – for me – was an appendix for regular testing, according to the plan. It appeared here and there, but has never been fully approved by management or team. It is a main theme now and that suits me best.

As Maaret Pyhäjärvi said at SeeTest conference in Sofia – we all do exploratory testing when we play around different functionalities even during regular test plan – based sessions. We just don’t name it.

On the other hand, it feels like everybody does exploratory now, just like everybody is working in Agile. It’s on the internet, during conferences and in the books. And, just like with the methodologies Agile – it comes with different kinds and flavors.
Is it a bad thing this not defined definition? I don’t think so, as long as we find new bugs and expose issues in our software.

Exploratory testing is not a big bang, it has to be structured somehow – and
IT HAS TO HAVE A PURPOSE.

Testing without a reason and purpose is just a hitting a keyboard with a shoe. Nothing more. I think that it’s all about being a better tester every day, so learn as much as you can about exploratory – read a book Explore it! by Elisabeth Handrickson and dive into it.

Now – every time you see a unicorn – think about exploratory testing 🙂

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You can share your discoveries in the area of exploratory testing in comment below – on Twitter or Facebook. See U there!

Cheers!

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Posted in conferences

Just after SeeTest conference in Sofia

@Kingatest

Hi Guys!

It’s been an intense time for me recently.

My very fist testing conference abroad. My very first testing conference abroad with me as a speaker 🙂 And – again – speaking in English (which is obviously not my first language) in a country that I have never been before. Sounds exciting, isn’t it?

Where are we?

Bulgaria -> Sofia -> Hotel -> original conference rooms with sparkling crystal chandeliers(!!!!)

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I was very looking forward to the conference and was not disappointed in the end. I have to admit, that the organizers did a really good job, both – speakers and attendees – felt comfortable and were provided with any necessary piece of information. Props for that!

Bulgarian coffee is really black and strong though – I don;t know how they prepare this …. anyway 🙂

The spot was tremendous – really.

You would probably like to know how it was. Let’s do pros and cons then.

Pros first:

  • awesome tutorial sessions
  • great mixture of ideas
  • people from several countries discussing testing
  • different point of views

For me, the most inspiring thing within the hole conference, was a tutorial session run by Maaret Pyhäjärvi – Exploratory testing explained and experienced. OMG – it was so good. I’ve learned much about teamwork and exploratory, that I’m about to start a revolution since Monday (prepare yourselves, team!).
At the beginning of the class people seemed shy, but after couple of exercises everybody got open and share their ideas about exploratory testing.
Maaret did a keynote session on the next day, which was inspiring as well. We’ve learned a lot about Making team awesome during that session. For example – how to improve your value for the organisation you’re working in – and for your team at the same time.

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I’m really happy that I had an opportunity to meet her in person.

This two-days conference was fully packed with technical, agile and exploratory sessions. It is good to hear different approaches to the same problems.

I had a chance to speak as well. I think that my session – Yes, you need time for bug fixes  -energized the audience and made them think more about scheduling their project time. We had a lot of fun (again) with my funny exercise, so I think it went well. Great energy, fantastic testers and nice comments / notes afterwards.

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Could it be any better for a newbie on an international software conference?

Unfortunately, each software conference has it’s cons as well:

  • too many sessions in a row
  • too little time for questions/discussions and leisure
  • time tracking 🙂

As I said in my session – Not to track time is a crime. It’s bad for the projects and for such events as software conference as well.
In my opinion – schedule of the conference (day 2 – sessions) was so filled with sessions, that it was hardly possible to even notice what’s next. There were no brakes between some of the sessions – so we ended up with delays or speakers getting upset about their session times. It was also tiring – at the end attendees felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of sessions.

It was inspiring

Having a chance to attend this event was extremely beneficial for me as a speaker and as a software tester. I find it very useful to talk to people from different countries – struggling the same problems as you do on their daily basis. It gives you an impression that software industry is nowadays a one living organism.

Additionally, it was also a unique opportunity to meet people that I know from Twitter in person. It was really fun!

I hope to meet at least some of you soon!

Cheers 🙂

Posted in agile, conferences

Wrocław – the meeting place

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Last week I had a chance to participate in two fantastic events in Wrocław. There is a lot going on in here. My beloved city is a fantastic spot to meet people, exchange ideas and get more involved in testers’ community.

Apart from Wrotqa – we have quite fresh meetup for testers run by DataArt company.
I had a chance to speak at that event. Great energy, warm welcoming and breathtaking view from the window:) You should definitely attend their next events.

Wrocław Agile Day

Yesterday there was an amazing event for agile-maniacs 🙂 New Voice Media organized Wrocław Agile Day. Apart from the spot and atmosphere – it was an unique opportunity to take par in workshops run by experienced agile coaches – such as Helen Lisowski or Will Jacobs.

It seems that real agility is more and more visible in software development. 🙂

I had a chance to present my new talk “Yes, you need time for bug fixes” as well. As you can see in the picture – people had a lot of fun! I’m happy about that. 🙂

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It seems that developers, testers and other IT people have similar experiences when it comes to projects and rush incorrectly called “agile”. It was fun to meet all of you and exchange ideas.

Thanks to Michał, I have this fantastic photos! Awesome 🙂

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Keynote

The keynote speaker of Wrocław Agile Day was the one and only – Rob Lambert. I wish that every newbie in public speaking had a chance to meet him in person and listen to his advises. Rob was like a shepherd – going among us and repeating “You’ll be fine“. It was a bit like live version of his “simple” guide for public speakers. 🙂

THANK YOU!

Not only was Rob mentoring us, but also delivered a keynote presentation “Releasing Agility – A journey to frequent releases“. Everyone that I spoke to afterward were impressed and excited about the talk.

All of that should be accessible on YouTube soon, so you would be able to listen to all of New Voice Media presenters.

See you all next year in Wrocław!

Cheers.

Posted in accessibility testing, mobile testing

Accessibility testing is your social responsibility #AccessibilityTestingDoIT

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New school year in Poland has began, so for me it is time for new professional goals even more than January 1st.

It is almost a year of me writing this blog and if you are a frequent visitor, you may have noticed, that aspects of testing, coaching, agile and conference stuff are mixed up here. It is basically because I do believe that all of these are equally important parts of tester’s professional life. We can never say that agile or mentoring is not our job. It is. Not obligatory for everyone, sure, but still valid.

On the other hand, as I wrote a while ago, I think that working in the fantastic software industry is a opportunity. At first, it is a chance for us to gain knowledge, feel the modern software vibe, know what’s on and simply to make money from exciting activities. Secondly, it is a chance for the others and ‘for the world’ (sounds like Miss Universe, doesn’t it? 🙂 ) to let us make it a better place. I think that testers, developers, graphic designers, UX specialists  can still make a change, not only by creating stunning websites or mobile applications, but also by making the accessible to all users, especially to people with any kind of disabilities.

I’m going to make a series of articles focusing on certain impairments, to give you a chance for having a closer look to the problem and possible improvement solutions. I know that each of you work in different software industry branch, so all together we are quite powerful.

For a tester – it will be a matter of one – two additional test cases or test suite in our daily basis activities – for developers – it will be a better code maybe, for graphic designers an UX specialists – it will be yet another tool to make developers following THE RIGHT path 🙂

pobrane

 

Action points:

Let’s start from scratch:

  1. What is an accessibility testing you can read here in one of my previous post.

          2. Where to look for mobile development tips:

3. Is it software – related subject only?

NO

It is both hardware and software.

4. What kind of impairments would I like to cover?

  • visual
  • physical
  • hearing

I’ll try to create a separated section at the top of this website – so you’ll be able to access content at any time in order to practice your accessibility testing skills.

         5. At the same time – if you have any cool websites, services, books, articles…….. AND SO ON to share with me or with the entire community – don’t hesitate to paste it in the comment, on Facebook.

  6. Tweet any accessibility testing – related stuff using hashtag #AccessibilityTestingDoIT

Cheers!

Posted in exploratory testing, mobile testing, production bug, tools

(Live) slow connection mobile testing

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Holidays are these times when we go outside, fly abroad, spend a lot of time on wasting it and basically doing nothing. What is a common feature of such places?
Slow internet connection – no matter if it is within your network or WiFi.
I, an addicted smartphone user, find it as a one of the most annoying things EVER!

As I probably wrote at least once, I use my smartphone (Android) as a mother ship 😀
(It would really be a pain if I lost it).
Anyways, I use my phone for shopping purposes as well. What is more, taking into account a ‘typical woman‘ stereotype – I do a lot of shopping. 90% of which I do online. The conclusion is simple – the more time I have to waste – the more I buy 🙂 Having said that, imagine my frustration during online shops explorations, when I do experience slow internet connection.
In addition, I am not talking about websites only, but about well-known native apps, which , as it turned out, are not supposed to handle limited network range.

Today, I would like to present you a true wall of glory, basing on my holidays explorations. I’ve called it – the SlowCo Art Gallery of inspiring issues.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it to be pure hate only, but maybe an inspiring feature to test for all of you working with any kind of mobile application or websites.

How to handle such testing (to avoid irritating me in the future)? Short introduction down below or in one of my old posts here.

Shall we begin?

Pic.1. Where is my CSS? – Example from douglas.pl

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Pic.2. A journey through classes? – Example from H&M Android app

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Pic.3. We don’t know what the hell just happened, so we’ll provide you with a random message – Example from native Twitter app
(
Translation from Polish: An important service, without which this application is not able to run, is currently not available. Try later.)

Screenshot_2017-08-15-21-02-44

Pic.4. We are creative in producing 404 pages – Example from jednosc.com.pl website

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Pic.5. At least one of those messages is valid. Hopefully. – Example from Google Play app

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As you can see – the range of failure possibilities is really vast BUT the issue is the same in each example. In the end, all those bugs may seem funny 🙂

On the other hand, we are able to protect our applications and websites against SHAME by performing sets of basic network connection test cases.

How to stress the app, pretending slow connection?
My favorite option is to open Chrome, click F12 on your computer and go to Chrome Developer Tools.
Navigate to Network -> Throttling and select a connection version that you are interested in. Slow your connection down, and see the magic 🙂
You can also connect your mobile app with Chrome Dev Tools and stress it.

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It may sometimes seem as an edge case, but imagine all the people, who live most of their lives in the area of slow internet connection. How frustrating might it be for them?
Hey mobile testers – Let’s make apps great again! 🙂

Like!, Share, Hate, Comment on Facebook
Stalk me on Twitter
or comment down below 🙂

Cheers!