Testing Research..Fact finding, investigation or groundwork. What else do I need to know?
Exploratory testing might be explained as an approach to software testing that involves learning, test design and execution. I’ve always attributed this approach to learning directly about the product, however lately my thoughts turn to the bigger picture of learning. You need to learn about the things that might influence how you build a product, such as business policy, legal implications, timelines, technology and so on. We could call it Testing research where we are studying materials in order to establish facts and research new conclusions. Other words instead of research could be fact finding, investigation or groundwork.
Questions that have helped me over the last few weeks is, What else do I need to know? What would be helpful and why? Research is like this. You are asking questions to yourself internally (not necessarily out loud to anyone else). Later on you are drawing your conclusions and presenting this to a wider group to be critiqued. For me, this is helping with big picture thinking and what are the factors that might affect how we build a product.
Some might include:
- Your stakeholders and what they are asking.
- What skillset the team needs to have.
- What are the company’s business policies?
- The law — How we handle data, such as GDPR and so on.
- Acronyms what they all stand for and what they mean.
- What the ways of working might look like.
- What testing needs — test environments, data etc?
It feels a little bit overwhelming with all the things you need to think about and it takes time to establish the facts. However, over time, you might be surprised at how much knowledge you do gain by being relentless and asking “What else do I need to know?”