Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ExploreIt Book Launch Party: An SF Selenium Meetup

This is a day that I've been waiting to see happen for quite awhile. For those who may remember, I started reading and covering ExploreIt! during the Summer of 2012. Through several beta revisions, I've seen the book grow and develop, and today it is now officially available in print form as well as e-book format. This isn't going to be a book review... I already wrote that ;). Nope, in this case, I'm here to discuss what Elisabeth will be discussing, which will be "The Top 5 Reasons Your Team Needs Exploratory Testing".

For those not familiar with Elisabeth and her background, Elisabeth is a tester, programmer and agile advocate. She believes strongly that Exploratory Testing is more necessary now than it was five or ten years ago.  One of the points that she puts forth early on is that "Users do not (and often will not) complacently follow the path you set for them". In short, "you just can't trust your users to use your system the way that you hope they will use it". They might, but frankly, users are often unintentionally creative. We think we control the file system. We think we control the database. We even think we can control the user... we don't. In fact, the areas we really do have control over is very small. Thus, it's critical that we actually explore these areas that we can't trust.

Another point Elisabeth makes is that "no one can reason through all of the possible parameters of a change".  Also, she makes the point that "sometimes things just don't connect the way you think they do". Additionally, the biggest goal and reason why exploratory testing is more relevant today than ever is that, if teams actually use these exploration tools, we will "increase the odds that if there is a problem, you will see it".

Short and sweet, direct and to the point, and now it's time to draw for books (ten of them, in fact). Must be present to win, and I WON ONE! YAY :)!!! Since I have all of the previous beta copies, I think I will give this to the test team over at Socialtext, so that everyone on my team can see the stuff I have been trying to evangelize all these years...

And with that, it's time for cake. Catch you all in a bit :).
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