STARWEST 2024 Concurrent Session : The Theatre of Exploratory Testing: Going Off Script


Wednesday, October 4, 2023 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

The Theatre of Exploratory Testing: Going Off Script

Ask a handful of testers to define exploratory testing. Some will respond that it’s simply poking around—try something, see what breaks, and then try something else. Many will identify it as an iterative process of learning and experimentation. But ask about what makes exploratory testing hard, and you find that practitioners are challenged in knowing where to start, what to test, when to stop, and how to know if they’ve found a bug. What makes for good exploratory testing? Join Philip as he examines the techniques of the actors of the Commedia dell'Arte, the 16th century approach adopted by Disney's character entertainers to bring joy to millions of park visitors every year. Success in improvisation on this scale requires preparation and the use of stock, archetypal characters. In this session, we will adapt Commedia dell'Arte's methods, and the use of personas, which they inspired, to the art, science, and process of exploratory testing. Of course, anyone who has ever visited a Disney Park understands that a successful day requires a plan, and exploratory testing is no different. Inspired by art, and with the added focus of “testing tour” goals, we will unleash our testing creativity, learn practical new ways to guide our exploratory testing, and maybe have a little fun along the way.

Insider Intelligence

Philip Daye is a seasoned software quality professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Currently the QA Team Lead at Insider Intelligence, he has a diverse background as a tester, manager, architect, and leader, and has worked with companies of all sizes to ensure the delivery of high-quality software. Philip is deeply committed to staying current with advances in the field, and actively shares his knowledge and experience with others through speaking engagements at conferences and meetups, as well as by founding internal communities of practice.