Adventures in Exploratory Software Testing

Exploratory testing is an approach to software testing that is defined as doing in the same activity application learning, test cases and test design and execution. In this article, Martin Jansson and Greger Nolmark propose to perform exploratory testing using a storytelling game format. This is a game where two or more persons collaborate on telling a spontaneous story.

When you use storytelling for exploratory testing, the storyteller role is filled by the test lead, coach or similar function. The other software testers are the players. Software developers and business analysts can participate as observers that can give and gain feedback from this activity.

The article explains how to perform a storytelling game around software testing and provide an example on how this was done in a particular event. Martin Jansson and Greger Nolmark conclude that “to use improvisation to be more creative and to enhance learning is not a new concept, still it is not often seen as part of peoples repertoire. Part of the reason is probably that many testers for different reasons work alone, instead of collaborating. Exploratory test adventures prepare the testers for the unknown by forcing them to go together through various simulated experiences where they need to improvise, which in turn nurtures creativity.”

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