Monday, July 30, 2018

Going Meta: Writing an Article about What Is Exploratory Testing

I'm working on my book: Exploratory Testing, published on LeanPub. LeanPub is a lovely platform, because I can publish versions of my book and the magic of people paying me for the work I'm still in progress of contributing is the best cure for procrastination as an author I know of. Also, paying for this book is a way of financially supporting all the work I put into defining testing and helping people learn it. Obviously, you can also get it for free.

There was a chapter I wanted to write, that was particularly difficult for me: What is Exploratory Testing?

My first version was a list of bullet points:

  • more productive
  • better testing
  • multidisciplinary
  • intertwined test design and execution
  • difference to *manual* and *scripted* and *automated* 
  • starting from scratch vs. continuing on a product
  • product as external imagination
  • empirical, evaluation as intent
  • allows moving into scripting and out of it based on feeling - discretion of the tester centered
  • recognizing exploring based on what it gives you
  • it’s about HOW we do testing in a skilled way. Not when, on in what kind of process, or by whom. 
  • performance, improvisation, intentional
  • learning and modeling for multidimensional coverage
  • next test influenced by lessons learned on previous tests
  • can’t tell in advance which tests should be run or in particular how they should be run in detail
  • test cases documented as an output of testing
  • scripted approach takes ideas out of designers head and puts them on paper, and assumes people follow that as instructions
  • three scopes, many ways to manage
  • premature writing of instructions hinders intellectual processes
  • limited only by breath and depth of our imagination and willingness to go investigate
  • enable intake of new ideas into the work immediately
  • automation is a modern form of documentation
  • focused intent on what to evaluate, appropriate documentation
  • discover patterns, opportunities and risks
  • instead of pass/fail, “is there a problem here?”
I wanted to write something that Medium says you can read in five minutes. This is what I ended up with:

So now you see the short and the long version. What should I leave out of what I wrote to include more of what I left out?