Know Yourself as a Tester

Who are you? How do you behave? And how does it affect your testing?

I was pair-testing with a colleague, which gave me an excellent opportunity to study his testing behaviour. He had to enter a five digit number repeatedly, and in this particular test it was irrelevant which number was entered. To my fascination I noticed that nine times out of ten he would enter “12458”.  Of course I had to ask what was so special about “12458”, and it turned out he was completely unaware of his behaviour – on the contrary, he was convinced he was entering random numbers!

To me, this served as a bit of a wake-up call, making me contemplate my own behaviour and how it affects my testing in general and my exploratory testing in particular. Do I to have favourite numbers that I tend to enter more often? Am I more prone to using keyboard short-cuts than the mouse pointer to navigate? How often do I think I am exploring new, untrodden, trails when in reality I am just walking down the same well-beaten path as always, and might almost as well have run a scripted test?

Here session reports in the spirit of SBTM work as a support for me, helping me to be more creative and my testing to be more exploratory. By making short notes when I do exploratory testing it is easier for me to identify patterns in my testing. These behaviours are not necessarily bad, but I believe I need to be aware of them. Furthermore, I use my old reports as inspiration – or “seeds” – for the next session.

Everyone has little quirks, even when testing, and I think it is important that we are aware of them.

About Christin Wiedemann

Christin Wiedemann (@c_wiedemann) is the Co-CEO and Chief Scientist of PQA Testing. After finishing her PhD in Physics at Stockholm University, Christin Wiedemann started working as a software developer for the Swedish consulting company HiQ. Christin soon discovered that software testing was more interesting and challenging than development and subsequently joined the Swedish test company AddQ Consulting. At AddQ, she worked as a tester, test lead and trainer, giving courses on agile testing, test design and exploratory testing throughout Europe. Christin developed a course on exploratory testing, and is a co-creator of the exploratory testing approach xBTM. Christin currently lives in Vancouver, where she joined Professional Quality Assurance (PQA) Ltd. in 2011. In her current role as Chief Scientist, she drives PQA’s research and method development work. She continues to use her scientific background and pedagogic abilities to develop her own skills and those of others. LinkedIn Profile
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