This post will be a short elaboration of presentation that I have given last Friday, 10.06.2016. for members of Test`RS club with the topic – Generating test ideas. The Idea for this presentation I have got from a friend and colleague – Uros Stanisic(
@uros_stanisic ), who was giving a talk earlier this year @CPHcontext , and returned from it with some presents for fastest testers. As I was fast enough I got this poster from him:
which had put in one place several great testing heuristic mnemonics that I liked and used for a while.
As I got invited to give a presentation to members of Test`RS club on some topic of interest I have chosen to present some of the ways I used to generate test ideas. So, I have started creating the mind map with agenda. This is one of the tools that I use on regular basis, and if you are interested I could write more about it, but it is not subject of this post. Finally , after some thinking and couple of iterations, I got to this list of topics I would like to cover:
Why this list? Our job is all about Quality, so I just wanted to share several quotes from great minds through time about what Quality is, and how it is subjective and changes over time. If we start working on one product with one idea of expected quality, we must be aware that by the time we finish a lot of things could change.
To assist in producing quality products for our clients we are doing testing, so, my question was, what is testing? There were some interesting answers, couple overlapping with those that I have offered.
This was just introduction to get to the main subject – test ideas. And, again, my question was, what is test idea? Is it a step of test case? Is it a one-liner reminder on which part of functionality needs to be tested? It can be many things, does it matter how we call it? We just need it in order to do our job better and faster. As we should be aware that we need to provide value for the time we test.
As testers, we should provide valuable information to stakeholders in proper time, so it always helps to have helpers, or in this case, as I call them, generators for test ideas, and they are located on right side of the map.
When I was starting to work as a software tester, I was given the task to prepare for ISTQB foundation level exam. It was not mandatory, but it was recommended, and it was my first source for generating test ideas. But, it was not enough. A lot of things were missing.
So, several pieces of advice and internet searches later, I have discovered a lot of resources, some of those summarized what have I been missing, and given the explanation those feelings that I had. I was testing desktop, web and mobile applications and all of this resources were there to help me find new ways to test. Context-driven testing gave context that was missing, online community, free resources, I was surprised to hear from several club members that they have not heard off or read Black Box Software Testing course, or of Rapid Software Testing and Heuristic Test Strategy Model.
After giving a short explanation of HTSM, next topic was Heuristics and Mnemonics, so I have shared a couple of favorite ones, that I have used on projects.
For the last topic, I have left introduction to some ways of using lateral thinking methods to generate better ideas. As I`m really passionate about learning and thinking, and ways how we can improve them as any other skill, sharing this kind of knowledge I find especially useful. One of my favorite psychologists and writers about new ways we can improve thinking is Edward De Bono. I admire his work and I am using his method of Six hats for solving life problems, on several occasions with students, and with development and test teams, to give new perspectives to our product.
For each of hats, there is a list of questions that you could use in order to switch perspective and a couple of questions tester, or anybody from the team could ask.
This part of the presentation was particularly interesting to attendees, and as one of the feedbacks was that presentation could be split into two, or even three new ones, I`m considering creating one just for Six thinking hats method.
At the end, what I have learned from giving this presentation, what was feedback?
People liked mind map as the presentation tool, and a lot of valuable information they have received, so I have made this map publicly available, anyone can use it. It is full of links that are my source of ideas, and I have used them while creating this map.
The presentation took longer than planned, and it had too much content for only one, and my desire to transfer too much information in short period of time is not possible, so I should be contained next time.
If you have some comments, please do not hesitate to leave them. I`m just starting this blog, so any kind of advice is welcome.
See you soon!