No More Exploratory Testing

Th7     Start Time : 11:00     End Time : 11:45

When the term the term “exploratory testing” was coined by Cem Kaner 30 years ago, it was largely ignored for almost a decade. Since then, the idea of exploratory testing has moved through recognition, controversy, hostility, tolerance, and acceptance. Yet questions remain: is exploratory testing an activity or a technique – something that you do? Or is it an approach – a way or a style of doing something? If the purpose of testing is to notice and reveal new information when the landscape of the product is poorly known, described, or understood, isn’t all testing exploratory? Why do some organizations refuse to adopt exploration as an element of testing?

Recently, some of its leading proponents have begun to question whether the idea of exploratory testing is helping or hurting the testing craft. Is the term a source of inspiration or confusion? Has talk about exploratory testing served its purpose? Is the label ready for retirement? What should we be talking about instead?

In this talk, Michael describes his experience teaching testers about exploratory testing and explaining it to others. He outlines the conversations, confusions and controversies, past and present, on the topic, and some of the successes, failures, and ongoing problems when skilled testers try to describe their work.

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  • Speaker


    Michael Bolton - , DevelopSense, Canada

    Michael Bolton is a consulting software tester and testing teacher who helps people to solve testing problems that they didn’t realize they could solve. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly and credibly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure. Michael has 25 years of experience testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. For the last 15 years, he has led DevelopSense, a Toronto-based testing and development consultancy. Prior to that, he was with Quarterdeck Corporation for eight years, during which he managed the company’s flagship products and directed project and testing teams both in-house and around the world.

    Contact Michael at [email protected], on Twitter @michaelbolton, or through his Web site,