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Exploratory testing

A message of hope to all software testers

In the name of Exploratory Testing – with echoes of Charlie Chaplin

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer any tester.  I don’t want to dictate what you should do, how you do it, and what you should think. I should like to help every tester if possible. Manual testers, automation specialists, automation engineers… I want to help each one.

I want to facilitate your thinking skills, not your coding skills. I don’t want to make your work harder. I want to make it easier, more fun, and more productive. There is room for every tester; we can provide for everyone. The way of testing can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the right way.

Greed for gratuitous test automation has poisoned tester’s souls, has barricaded the testing business with blindness, has pushed us into mechanical, repetitive testing tasks. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Unreasonable test automation has made us cynical, our testing cleverness hard and unkind. We check too much and test too little. More than testing hard, we need to be testing smart. Without these qualities, testing will be misguided and all will be lost.

Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing rookie testers, junior testers and senior testers, victims of a testing system that tortures all testers and imprisons innocent testers. To those who can hear me I say: “Do not despair!” The misery of excessive test automation that is now upon us is but the passing of greed. Its bitterness and cruelty will pass and the power it took from the testers, will return to the testers  – liberty in testing will never perish.

Testers – don’t give yourselves to mindless test automation. It will enslave you, regiment your testing routines, tell you what to do, how to do and what to think. It will drill you, treat you as cattle, as human execution machines.  Don’t just give yourselves to these unnatural tools with machine thinking, with machine minds, and machine hearts. You are not execution machines. You are not just resources. You are testers. You have the love of pure testing in your hearts. You don’t just unquestionably automate – only the unloved unquestionably automate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Testers – don’t just fight for doing things right, fight for doing the right things.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written: ”the kingdom of exploratory testing is within man”– not one man, nor a group of men – but in all men – in you, the testers. You the testers have the power, the power to expose issues that test automation will miss, the power to go beyond the obvious. You the testers have the power to make testing free and beautiful, to make your daily testing a wonderful adventure.

Then, in the name of exploratory testing, let’s use that power – let us all unite.  Let us fight for a new approach to testing, a decent approach, that will give testers a chance to explore the unknown, a chance to avoid the unthinkable happening to the anonymous.  By the promise of these things, bad tools have risen to power, but they lie.  They do not fulfill their promise, they never will.

It’s not about them, it’s about you – it’s about your richness of intellect. These tools promise universal improvements, but they just enslave the testers. Now let us fight to break these chains of sin. Let us fight to free testing, to do away with mechanical checking, to do away with only monitoring known risks. Let us move towards analyzing potential risks, let us fight for a testing world of reason, a world where efficiency and effectivity will lead to all testers’ happiness. Testers – in the name of exploratory testing, let us all unite!

Learn More About Exploratory Testing: The New Hope for Software Testers

Exploratory testing is the perfect way to balance quality and speed. It provides the flexibility needed to keep pace with constant change while still enabling you to deliver valuable quality feedback, even if testing time and resources are limited.

Join our upcoming Exploratory Testing webinar to discover how exploratory testing removes bottlenecks for agile teams—and see how to get started. You’ll learn how to:

  • Introduce exploratory testing into agile sprints and continuous delivery processes
  • Apply exploratory testing in a way that complements and accelerates your existing testing strategy
  • Choose among exploratory testing strategies (session-based, tour-based, polychrome, etc.)
  • Plan and coordinate exploratory testing involving a variety of team member perspectives