Last Saturday the first German Agile Testing and Exploratory workshop took place in Hamburg, Germany. As the content owner I asked every participant upfront in an e-mail to prepare a statement on the following three questions:
What is your position in regard to Agile Testing?
What is your position on Exploratory Testing?
What is happening in the field with regard to Agile and Exploratory Testing?
The participants for this first workshop were (in the picture from left to right)
As we have received fewer submissions so far than we hoped, I think I need to write something about my expectations as I consider myself the content-owner of the German Agile Testing and Exploratory Workshop. What strikes me when I visit teams claiming to do Agile, I often find their teams doing either of the following:
Exploratory Testing – applied bad, without debriefings, charters, and without the collaboration that would make it more structured, and provide product owners and managers with the information they are asking for
Test Automation – mostly done by programmers or testers who have a strong background in programming, sometimes not even beyond unit tests on an integration level between multiple classes
As I see immense drawbacks focussing on one or the other of the two approaches, I am convinced that Agile teams can do better by using a combination of both worlds. Exploratory Testing alone might leave an Agile team with the problem, that exercising all the tests becomes a burden over time – especially when programmers lack proper unit tests. Test Automation – even with ATDD – alone ends with the drawback that for human obvious holes are left in the software.
That said, I am interested in good applications of Exploratory Testing on Agile teams, what helped them succeed, and what could help them manage their Exploratory Testing. I am also interested in Test Automation topics, how they helped Exploratory Testing gain momentum. Finally, I am also interested in talks about how to prepare the tester’s mind, and where the connection between traditional testing techniques and Agile testing techniques might be.
So far, there is a strong balance towards Exploratory Testing in the schedule. I like this to some extent, but I would also see more attendees on Test Automation, ATDD, BDD, you name it. So, if you think you have something to contribute, drop Maik or myself a line, and we may have a discussion about that. IF you’re unsure what GATE will be, read my initial blog entry on it.