Track Talk Th15

Exploratory Testing As Code

Brendan Connolly

14:15-15:00 CEST Thursday 15th June

Across the software industry, development has a uniform process: pull a work item, analyze requirements, code, review, merge and release. Testing processes however, vary wildly across teams and this variation of process only increases when considering exploratory testing.

Exploratory testing is one of the most powerful and effective techniques available to highlight the value that testers bring to teams, but its adoption, impact and evolution is inhibited because there isn’t a standard widely accepted process to enable the transparency and traceability to make it a non controversial de-facto standard across the software industry.

Instead of introducing test specific process and tooling, what if we followed the lead of revolutions in infrastructure and configuration management. What if we treated our exploratory testing like we do code?

In this session I’ll make the case that there are meaningful benefits to modeling testing processes after development processes. Comparing the development life-cycle of to the testing life-cycle I will briefly discuss:

  • Benefits and transparency of version control
  • True value of peer review
  •  Network effects of common tooling


Then expanding upon a foundation of session based test management, I will introduce the tooling and process needed to implement a light-weight, scalable, transparent, and traceable approach to managing exploratory testing modeled after how code is treated.

Sharing insights and lessons learned along the way from implementing this approach across multiple teams, products, and countries I will cover:

  • Transitioning existing testing efforts to an “as Code” approach
  • Best practices for capturing and structuring testing notes for source control
  • Repository Organization and Branching Strategy
  • Use Cases for Peer Review
  •  Benefits of existing development ecosystem and async collaboration