Wear Your Creative Hat While Testing

Wear Your Creative Hat While Testing
Dictionary meaning of CREATIVE is ” involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something ” and Out of Box thinking means ” thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects ” . The idea of this blog is not to explain the literal meanings of these 2 words but to express the importance and significance of these in world of Software Testing.
Both words are associated with each other but while doing ” Testing” maximum QA professionals forget the implementation of these words in there regular tasks. Effective software testing requires Out of box thinking / Creativity , Methodical Hard work, Knack to find defects and Passion for TESTING. So here we talk about creativity while testing.
If we test the software in the same way or same approach we will start getting less defects and in return gets less motivated to test the system. That is the reason we should always take one step back or two steps forward while testing so that we get unexpected defects and try new flows while testing. Any individual can ave creative bent of mind only when a perfect blend of following characteristics is present which are:
Curiosity , Imagination , Complexity , Originality and Abstractness
When individual uses all these characteristics and implies on testing the product with strong QA fundamentals the end result of the product will be with less of bugs, Usable and easy to understand
Manual Testing is much more wide and interesting instead of just Matching Actual Results to the Expected Results .It is about Pinpointing functionality gaps in the product and pointing out the implicit(Non- Functional ) gaps.

Suppose we take an example of any website – As standard QA expert anyone will read the specs (FSD, BRD’s, Wireframes) created by Business Analyst or shared from Client’s end and start writing the high level scenarios and then detail Test cases in the end after the build is received test execution will be started. All the bugs which will be logged executing those rest cases will be functional flaws missed for implementing by Development team or some minor goof ups made by HTML person .But, what about the scenarios which a normal user will face they will be left unknown and untested.

After that comes out a huge list of UAT QA bugs missed, and then a team comprising of Dev’s and QA sits for analysis and derives the conclusion that no or very less creative scenarios were zeroed down, written and then executed so this comes under Bad QA. Though the basic functionalities and flows in application may be working fine but By that time the damage is made to the product so while going through all the testing phases it becomes very important to think of Out of box ideas and also test from the user’s perspective.

Few Traditional methods for Creative Testing are as follows:

1. Pair Testing :

 

Pair testing is a software dev/testing technique in which two team members work together at one keyboard to test the software application. One does the testing and the other analyzes or reviews the testing. This can be done between one tester and developer or business analyst or between two testers with both participants taking turns at driving the keyboard.

Usage of Method: This is more applicable where the requirements and specifications are not very clear, the team is very new, and needs to learn the application behavior quickly.
This follows the same principles of pair programming; the two team members should be in the same level.

2. Group Brainstorming :

 

With Group Brainstorming, we can take advantage of the full experience and creativity of all team members. When one member gets stuck with an idea, another member’s creativity and experience can take the idea to the next stage. We can develop ideas in greater depth with group brainstorming than you can with individual brainstorming.

3. Six thinking hats:

 

The premise of the method is that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can bedeliberately challenged, and hence planned for use in a structured way allowing one to develop tactics for thinking about particular issues.
Six distinct directions are identified and assigned a color. The six directions are:

  • Managing (Blue) – what is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal?
  • Information (White) – considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
  • Emotions (Red) – intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification)
  • Discernment (Black) – logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative
  • Optimistic response (Yellow) – logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony
  • Creativity (Green) – statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes

 

4. Mind Mapping:

Mind mapping is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Though this method used at levels like Test Managers but QA’s can use it at a very abstract level if they wish to do so.
Creative thinking becomes very Critical for the betterment of the product and makes any product user friendly as well.

So while summarizing this, Important point comes when should a QA include or think of creative ideas to test the application. Implementing creative ideas will be better while creating test cases or scenarios or while test execution. Creative thinking takes a stronger hold in Test planning stage when you are devising your thought process. As, it let you flow into what kinds of tests needs to carry out or what kind of scenarios can be generated out of the simple piece of code.

If it is done in Test planning phase it would be better as writing these types of scenarios encourage generation of more creative ideas while test execution or at the later stage. Though getting new ideas or thinking of new ideas is not bounded by time frame or testing phase. Mind should be open to think and derive new scenarios. Though above mentioned points are the traditional methods which can be used but nothing works better, fast and generates Creative ideas like Human Brains. If software is analysed and studied well with strong QA fundamentals and creative testing then surely many defects will be generated. It definitely reflects the passion for Testing of an individual. At the end motive of any QA is to “ Crack the Code”.
 

Cheers to Creativity!

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