Joe and I have just released our first podcast of Test Reactor. You can find it at testreactor.com or for iTunes people at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/test-reactor/id990641984 . The first episode does not have much test related stuff but the future podcast will.
So you are a Software tester by trade but how does that affect the rest of your life. Well weather you know it or not you test everything you are given to see if it meets your standards. Personally every time i get a new item or software I test it out for Quality. That is how I am wired but I only do Ad-hoc testing. Ad-hoc testing anything you get is good to prove you got what you paid for but when is it important to run a test plan and a thorough test. This is important in major purchases and life saving devices. Like buy a car seat or a car you will need to test them thoroughly.
With a big purchase you may even want to run preliminary testing. Such a s a test drive with a car or researching with reviews. You want to understand everything about what you are going to purchase. My dad drilled this into me in a early age and it seems to me that all testers would want to do the same. This is testing for your purchases and not just the purchases of your clients. Why don't you demand Quality in the things you buy? Also I am sure when you make something you will test it as well. This is just our nature but knowing that maybe you can test your life and figure out how to make it a quality life.
This is a basis my co-worker Joe and I are working on and we hope to get a podcast up. We will be testing all nerd things. Bring 2 worlds together. Check out www.testreactor.com in the future for podcast.
So I started out and still work today testing desktop software using no coding. There are still jobs out there that require you to be a user and test their desktop apps. With an ever growing and changing industry is this still viable? Currently it is viable but with everything changing into apps and websites how much longer will desktop apps last? When going through freelance testing the majority of jobs are in websites and mobile apps. Testing blogs are even turning to them as well. Even a company I am familiar with that has grown as a desktop app is soon be moving to a web app in order to stay alive.
Another thing is that automation is becoming bigger and bigger and in a desktop society this is not viable. The application can move which means the UI recorder is hard to keep up with something that can be moved around the screen. However websites and mobile apps are locked into their screens and so you can use automation to test the sites and apps. Testers are now being expected to know how to write these automation test. They are also expected to write and know unit test. This is nice to know but your developer should be using TDD therefore the developers should be writing test first and coding to meet the test they wrote but a lot of Dev are still against TDD.
So for your future in testing I suggest you pick up how to test websites, mobile apps, and writing automation. Who knows what the future of QA will need in the future.
So not to long ago James Bach posted these 2 blogs, Exploratory Testing 3.0 and History Definitions of ET. If you have not read them you should. They tell of the history of Exploratory Testing from the beginning to the now and how the meaning has changed over the years. So the misconception is that most people still believe that ET is ad-hoc or the same as it was when first defined. It has changes definitions over the year and that is why you should check out the articles. Think of 1.0 as you are in a search for Waldo but you don't know where he is so you look for him. At first you might not have a plan you just want to find him. So your eyes are exploring the page for him and you might find him. In the case of bugs you are sure to hit one or two you haven't hit before his way because it is a different way to look for bugs but it is not that efficient.
So now we are looking for Waldo and guess what happens after you explore for him for so long. You develop a pattern you may not be running a scripted test but you mind is now running it's own. With this test you find Waldo as well as other bugs. but you thought you were practicing ET when in reality you just scripted your own brain. So what is ET 3.0 how should we be testing?
Well all testing is exploratory, it is defined to be all testing now. If you are looking for a bug or Waldo weather looking using a script or looking in the woods with a flashlight you are exploring for him. So what should you be practicing if you want to exploratory test. Well think or ET as a mind set you write your script and as you are running your script think outside the box. Use the 2 in conjunction with each other. This will allow you to be a better tester. You write the script so you test what yo need and you also use that script to remind you to think outside the box. The script can remind you of things you might not have thought of and it can also point out the things that may need ET. Use all your tools available to you and you will find those Waldos.
When you get a new build and it crashes on login
Exploratory testing when you hit a new bug
When you hit a new bug that was not there before
Testing a new feature without unit test
When you get a new feature to test
QA Hipster is a Quality Assurance Technical Lead for an software company, mostly working with Macs. I have been in the field since September 2013, and have a bachelor's degree in Management Information Services. I started my studies at Iowa State in Software Engineering. I have been working on moving my company forward with the latest QA techniques.