Power Of Exploring In Software Testing

I am not here to explain in detail about exploratory testing . Please read James Bach, Cem Kaner and Michael Bolton to learn about exploratory testing.

This is just to share my experience how exploratory approach is powerful in finding bugs and solutions in software testing. This is about my experience in getting a solution to a problem by exploring. The same holds true in finding bugs as well.

Let me start off with Bangalore Weekend Testers (BWT), to know more about BWT check here and hereBWT 9 was my first experience of testing with a group of enthusiastic testers. We tested an online photo editing tool splashup.I would say this really tested my inexperience towards reacting to some unprepared situations. Though I didn’t come out with flying colors, but was able to react quickly and found some interesting bugs (at least for me). Here is my test report. This really helped me to analyze and understand my testing skills. So my testing skills got tested🙂 in BWT. I think every tester has to experience this and evaluate oneself. I had done a lot of buddy testing in my workplace, but still this is the real buddy testing, because what I do in my organizations is a restricted buddy testing🙂 .

Coming back to exploratory testing (ET), I am always interested in doing ET as it is always fun, interesting and a real learning experience to become a true tester. After finishing my BWT 9, I read a post by fellow tester in BWT Amit Kulkarni, about why the error messages does not stick to their places? and I was able to find a workaround for the problem.

Brief about the defect and solution

Moving the error message out of visible window area made it disappear. And user has to close the application ‘abruptly’. I was able to find a workaround for this without user closing the application.

Here goes the story in detail

I was able to reproduce the defect by following the steps provided by Amit (very well explained steps to reproduce), but I am not happy with closing the application ‘abruptly’. So started exploring (note exploring not googling) is there any option to get back the popup window. With my limited knowledge on Windows OS, I started with ALT-TAB option, but no use. Then I was thinking what can be done??? suddenly Mr. Task Manager  flashed in my mind. So I Right clicked on Task Bar to open Task Manager. Wow! The message pop-up window is back in the window pane. But wait!  I tried these steps again, but no use. So started investigating on the steps I tried

First Attempt:

1. Right clicked on Task bar

2. Clicked on Task Manager

Result:

1. Task Manager Window did not open

2. The Error message Pop Up reappeared in the window pane.

Second Attempt:

1. Right Clicked on Taskbar

2. Clicked on Task Manager

Result:

1. Task Manager Window opened up

2. But the error message Pop Up is not visible this time

This concluded that on first attempt I didn’t click on the Task Manager instead I clicked on some other options. So I looked into the nearest option available to Task Manager, and found that on clicking “Lock the Taskbar” option made the pop up to appear back. I didn’t stop here because now I am not sure whether the Lock up task bar was checked or unchecked initially. So tried all possible options with that and the conclusion is simple one liner “Toggle the Lock the Toolbar option to get back the pop-up to Visible window”🙂

So to conclude, As a Tester

  1. I do a lot of exploratory testing
  2. I don’t stop just finding bugs, explore for reasons and also solutions
  3. I don’t Google as soon as I am struck; I explore various possible solutions before hitting Google. (Google might give the perfect solution at first page itself, if you are lucky. But what you might miss is hundreds of other valuable learnings, solutions and more importantly experience.)
  4. I do find solutions and bugs accidentally. Accidents don’t happen if you sit idle without exploring. (Wow! A new philosophy🙂 )

How about you?

Read  http://www.satisfice.com/articles/et-article.pdf and http://testingeducation.org/a/nature.pdf to learn  more about ET.

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