September 12, 2013

Book: Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing

Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing
Elisabeth Hendrickson

I've been a fan of Elizabeth Hendrickson for a long time - from her Quality Tree Software days, to her Test Obsessed blog. I've had a copy of her famous "Test Heuristic Cheat Sheet" (included in the book) pretty much forever. And on my bookshelf, I even have a copy of her Bug Hunter's Journal that she sent me many years ago.

So I was thrilled when Elizabeth asked me to review a pre-publication version of her upcoming book on Exploratory Testing titled "Explore It!" I had read other books on the subject, and was less than thrilled with what I had read, so I was eager to see Elizabeth's treatment of the subject.

I wasn't surprised with the results. In her usual informal writing style, Hendrickson has packed the book with real-world, easy to understand examples sprinkled in. I found it both interesting and fun.  copyrightjoestrazzere

The chapter titles will give you an idea of the topics covered in Explore It!:
  1. On Testing and Exploration
  2. Charter Your Explorations
  3. Observe the Details
  4. Find Interesting Variations
  5. Evaluate Results
  6. Vary Sequences and Interactions
  7. Explore Entities and Their Relationships
  8. Discover States and Transitions
  9. Explore the Ecosystem
  10. Explore When There Is No User Interface
  11. Explore an Existing System
  12. Explore Requirements
  13. Integrate Exploration Throughout
  14. Interviewing for Exploratory Testing Skills
  15. Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet
In each chapter, Ms. Hendrickson encourages you to think, to experiment, and to explore the various aspects of your system-under-test. Then, she provides real-world, practical ideas for how to do just that.

Unless you are the kind of unfortunate tester forced to do nothing but follow a pre-written script, you already perform some exploratory testing. 

In "Explore It!", Elisabeth Hendrickson teaches you how to think about Exploratory Testing, and how to make it a regular, planned, and effective part of your testing practice.

This is the kind of book I purchase for everyone on my Test Team. Maybe you should get it for your team, too?

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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