Exploratory Testing on an API? (Part 4)

As promised, (at last!) here are some follow-up notes on previous installments in the series that starts here. Let’s revisit the original question: Do you perform any exploratory testing on APIs? How do you do it? To review: there’s a problem with the question. Asking about “exploratory testing” is a little like asking about “vegetarian cauliflower”, “carbon-based human beings”, or “metallic copper”. Testing is fundamentally exploratory. Testing is an attempt … Read more

Agile Software Development and Rapid Software Testing

Michael Bolton: Agile Software Development and Rapid Software Testing

Over the last several years, a set of ideas and activities have been dumped into a big bucket called “Agile Software Development”. Agile development has hit mainstream recognition. Yet there is often uncertainty and turmoil around what “Agile development” means, in theory and in practice, and the confusion affects Agile projects and the people in them. There have been some discussion points, such as Mike Cohn’s Agile Testing Pyramid and Marick, Crisipin and Gregory’s Agile Testing Quadrants, and many people have found them helpful. Yet James Bach and Michael Bolton, authors of Rapid Software Testing, still hear testers expressing a good deal of pain over the role of the tester and the structures of testing activity in Agile projects.

Rapid Software Testing (RST) is a skill set and a mindset focused on doing the fastest, least expensive testing that still completely fulfills the mission. From RST’s perspective, testing is testing and Agile is context. Whether you adopt RST, working in Agile contexts, or neither, or both, Michael Bolton will provide observations and advice on how to adapt your testing to fit mission context you’re in.

Michael Bolton is a consulting software tester and testing teacher who helps people to solve testing problems that they didn’t realize they could solve. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly and credibly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure. Michael has 25 years of experience testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. For almost 20 years, he has led DevelopSense, a Toronto-based testing and development consultancy.

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Exploratory Testing on an API? (Part 2)

Summary:  Loops of exploration, experimentation, studying, modeling, and learning are the essence of testing, not an add-on to it. The intersection of activity and models (such as the Heuristic Test Strategy Model) help us to perform testing while continuously developing, refining, and reviewing it. Testing is much more than writing a bunch of automated checks to confirm that the product can do something; it’s an ongoing investigation in which we … Read more

Four (and More) Questions for Testers to Ask

Testers investigate problems and risk. Other people manage the project, design the product, and write the code. As testers, we participate in that process, but in a special way and from a special perspective: it’s our primary job to anticipate, seek, and discover problems. We testers don’t prevent problems; we don’t design or build or fix the product. We may help to prevent existing problems from going any farther, by … Read more

(At Least) Four Things for Testers To Do in Planning Meetings

There’s much talk these days of DevOps, and Agile development, and “shift left”. Apparently, in these process models, it’s a revelation that testers can do more than test a built product, and that testers can and should be involved at every step of development. In Rapid Software Testing, that’s not exactly news. From the beginning, we’ve rejected the idea that the product has to be complete, or has to pass … Read more

A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing

(We interrupt the previously-scheduled—and long—series on oracles for a public service announcement.) Over the last year James Bach and I have been refining our ideas about the relationships between testing and tools in Rapid Software Testing. The result is this paper. It’s not a short piece, because it’s not a light subject. Here’s the abstract: There are many wonderful ways tools can be used to help software testing. Yet, all … Read more

On a Role

This article was originally published in the February 2015 edition of Testing Trapeze, an excellent online testing magazine produced by our testing friends in New Zealand. There are small edits here from the version I submitted. Once upon a time, before I was a tester, I worked in theatre. Throughout my career, I took on many roles—but maybe not in the way you’d immediately expect. In my early days, I … Read more