Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Method Used for Our Session Based Testing

I didn't really go into much detail about the methods and techniques we used for session based testing in my last post. So this is a follow up post with the details of how I actually ran the test sessions. I used a very simple process with three phases per iteration:

  1. Planning
  2. Execution
  3. Retrospective
In the planning phase I considered the areas of test coverage with each tester tackling a core component of our system. Our core components are already defined in Jira, this gives us rapid, lightweight, low overhead traceability.

Things that I considered for coverage in the next session were:
  • Testers feedback given during the previous retrospective.
  • Areas of the system under test that had been fixed since last time - would therefore require some testing.
  • Areas of known risk from tacit knowledge - Areas of the system where we knew there had been big changes.
  • Areas of the system under test that we knew had some gaps in the test coverage.
  • Areas to leave alone - hot spots - areas with known bugs that were yet to be fixed.
In the planning phase I also gave an informal brief to the testers and sought feedback on the coverage plan.

The execution phase was time-boxed to an hour. We used Jira as our tracker and the Bonfire plugin to record session logs.

At the end of a session, in our retrospective we discussed:
  • Areas of the system under test that the testers felt needed more testing - this information gets fed into the next session plan.
  • Areas that were OK - also gets fed into the next session plan.
  • Feedback on how we would do things better next time.
  • Feedback on how to better use our tools that also encompassed new ideas and tips and tricks when session based testing.
  • Feedback on how session based testing was going, mainly to ascertain buy-in from the testers.

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