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Are You A Thinking Tester?

Tuesday July 3, 2012

Thinking Testers: An Exploration and Celebration of On-the-Job Creativity and Critical Thinking in Software Testing

Testing is not just about executing well-formulated and pre-defined test cases any more. With the evolution of thinking testers at a rapid rate in the field of software testing, testers are being challenged and motivated to go beyond the execution of regulated test scripts.

While a normal tester may get bored because of repeatedly testing the same set of test cases, thinking testers motivate and educate themselves to look for more and go beyond the usual mundane task of executing same test cases. In some cases, exploratory testing and monkey testing are approaches that can help thinking testers discover hidden and unexpected bugs.

thinking cap

Thinking Cap

How are Thinking Testers Different?

Rather than executing test cases that have been written and executed over and over again, thinking testers adopt a more fitting and flexible approach to testing. Thinking testers delve into the unspoken assumptions and subject the product to a series of tests to determine its stability under different contexts and circumstances.

Thinking testers are known to question the current testing methodologies and frameworks in order to find out the best-suited approach to a testing project. They will combine several different approaches to come up with a customized and suitable approach specific to the context of a project.

If needed and feasible, thinking testers will rewrite old test scripts as well as write new ones. In some cases, thinking testers may test randomly without writing a test case or following a series of defined test steps.

Value Add from Thinking Testers

Thinking testers are known to think creatively, critically and broadly. They change the perspective of the whole team towards software testing. Thinking testers adopt a brave and more flexible approach towards testing and challenge their teammates to do the same. Thinking testers take away the boredom that may frequently be associated with testing.

Rather than simply testing the functionality and validating the product, thinking testers explore the product under different circumstances it may be susceptible to. Because of this, the delivered product is of a very high quality and has the highest chance of succeeding in the live environment.

What Challenges the Thinking Tester?

Since thinking testers do not have a strict rule of testing to follow, there are probable chances of failure. Thus, thinking testers must overcome fear of failure and go beyond the normal testing standards.

Lack of proper documentation might sometimes give thinking testers a hard time with their managers and higher management. Documenting the approaches sought after by thinking testers is quite challenging and sometimes almost impossible. Thus, thinking testers must have strong evidences and observation reports in order for the bugs to be accepted.

Thinking testers must be empowered and given the freedom to indulge in critical and out-of-the-box testing. Managers must not limit the thinking testers’ territory or define a clear-cut approach. Enough and sufficient time must be provided to thinking testers so that they can deviate from the normal procedure of testing and go the extra mile without having to skip a deadline.


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