A blog post by Stephen Janaway, got my attention with regards to a book he just read. As I was searching for a good read on Exploratory Testing, I decided to purchase the book and start reading immediately.
As a technical oriented tester, I often found difficult to see the true value of Exploratory Testing, perhaps due to my very technical background where I wastaught that 1+1=2 without further dues. When I started my adventure into exploratory testing a couple of years ago, it made me realize that testing is not only about software engineering and theoremproving, as Michael Bolton, pointed out to me very recently in a reply to his post on “stop ISO 29119”. Is also about psychology, social sciences and people. I also read James Whitaker book on “Exploratory Testing” where he described various strategies and approaches and paths to make the best of the approach, but Elisabeth’s book had something additional.
It provides a more hands-on approach on the benefits of E.T with real life scenario and practice sessions which enables the reader to try things out and experience a new testing approach. Elisabeth states multiple times that “Exploratory Testing is important” and “it can be learned” as it “offers fresh approaches to traditional problems”.
She also points out the importance of a stakeholder and the powerful opportunity of asking the right questions in communication with the team or a client. This book complements the approach described by Paul Gerrard in the “new model of testing” by describing that software never exists in isolation. Having in mind that knowing and understanding the model is a big win, but it also depends on libraries of reusable components, hardware and 3rd parties which provides a wide variety of testing opportunities. As you continue with the read, you’ll find out how to “identify the boundaries of your system” and once identified, “your task as an explorer is to violate that trust”.
I’m not going to tell you more about the content of the book, as I share Stephen’s advice that is a “must own”. It’s a short read (160 pages) which will make you start all over again to make sure you didn’t miss any bits.