Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design, 1st edition

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional (August 25, 2009) © 2010

  • James A. Whittaker

Paperback

ISBN-13: 9780321636416
Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design
Published 2009

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How to Find and Fix the Killer Software Bugs that Evade Conventional Testing

In Exploratory Software Testing, renowned software testing expert James Whittaker reveals the real causes of today’s most serious, well-hidden software bugs--and introduces powerful new “exploratory” techniques for finding and correcting them.

Drawing on nearly two decades of experience working at the cutting edge of testing with Google, Microsoft, and other top software organizations, Whittaker introduces innovative new processes for manual testing that are repeatable, prescriptive, teachable, and extremely effective. Whittaker defines both in-the-small techniques for individual testers and in-the-large techniques to supercharge test teams. He also introduces a hybrid strategy for injecting exploratory concepts into traditional scripted testing. You’ll learn when to use each, and how to use them all successfully.

Concise, entertaining, and actionable, this book introduces robust techniques that have been used extensively by real testers on shipping software, illuminating their actual experiences with these techniques, and the results they’ve achieved. Writing for testers, QA specialists, developers, program managers, and architects alike, Whittaker answers crucial questions such as:

•  Why do some bugs remain invisible to automated testing--and how can I uncover them?

•  What techniques will help me consistently discover and eliminate “show stopper” bugs?

•  How do I make manual testing more effective--and less boring and unpleasant?

•  What’s the most effective high-level test strategy for each project?

•  Which inputs should I test when I can’t test them all?

•  Which test cases will provide the best feature coverage?

•  How can I get better results by combining exploratory testing with traditional script or scenario-based testing?

•  How do I reflect feedback from the development process, such as code changes?

Foreword by Alan Page     xv

Preface     xvii

 

Chapter 1    The Case for Software Quality     1

The Magic of Software     1

The Failure of Software     4

Conclusion     9

Exercises     9

 

Chapter 2    The Case for Manual Testing     11

The Origin of Software Bugs     11

Preventing and Detecting Bugs     12

Manual Testing     14

Conclusion     19

Exercises     20

 

Chapter 3    Exploratory Testing in the Small     21

So You Want to Test Software?     21

Testing Is About Varying Things     23

User Input     23

    What You Need to Know About User Input     24

    How to Test User Input     25

State     32

    What You Need to Know About Software State     32

    How to Test Software State     33

Code Paths     35

User Data     36

Environment     36

Conclusion     37

Exercises     38

 

Chapter 4    Exploratory Testing in the Large     39

Exploring Software     39

The Tourist Metaphor     41

“Touring” Tests     43

    Tours of the Business District     45

    Tours Through the Historical District     51

    Tours Through the Entertainment District     52

    Tours Through the Tourist District     55

    Tours Through the Hotel District     58

    Tours Through the Seedy District     60

Putting the Tours to Use     62

Conclusion     63

Exercises     64

 

Chapter 5    Hybrid Exploratory Testing Techniques     65

Scenarios and Exploration     65

Applying Scenario-Based Exploratory Testing     67

Introducing Variation Through Scenario Op

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