Monday, November 16, 2009

How do you test?

About a month ago I attempted to write an article describing how I test. It's a very hard thing to put into words since a lot of my exploratory testing feels as if it comes from instinct, i.e. just a natural gift at being critical and knowing where bugs are hiding.

However, it is very important to try to figure out how you find bugs. Without knowing what you do today, how can you strive to make improvements? Or how can you coach and mentor a new tester?

My article is available here:

It seems rather short considering the subject matter is so complex and mysterious.

How do you test? Can you put it into words?


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I liked the article.
    Just please remove or modify the following example in your text: "Load testing – what happens when I load a very large file into the software?"

    Load testing - is when you connect hundred (or thousand) of users to a client and dynamically monitor how it withstands that load, both on the client machine and server machine.

    Thank you,
    Albert Gareev

  2. Hi Albert,

    Thanks for your comment, glad you liked it.

    With regard to load testing, I believe we are both right.

    What load testing is will depend on the context, i.e. the software you are testing.

    The product I'm testing right now, for example, can only be used by a single client at a time. And, when we load test, we are examining how the software behaves when you load a large file, or many many files at a time.

    You introduce a very interesting point though - we can have different definitions so when communicating how we test, we shouldn't assume that there is a common understanding in terminology. We should explicitly define what we mean in our context.

    Introducing this clarity will ensure that we are all on the same page!

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I very much appreciate it.

    Best Regards,