STARWEST 2024 Tutorial: Exploratory Testing in the Heat of the Sprint


Tuesday, October 3, 2023 - 8:30am to 12:00pm

Exploratory Testing in the Heat of the Sprint

Agile teams are burdened with the challenge of delivering working product increments after short iterations of development. Getting software from an ambiguous terse, incomplete requirement–to a done, working, solid, valuable, high-quality code requires testers to continuously adapt to change in a turbulent context and deliver actionable results. Chris Blain will illustrate how charter-driven session-based exploratory testing techniques can empower agile teams and help them learn quickly and adapt based on what really matters. Testers can design and execute tests on the fly as they explore risks and build product knowledge. Chris will share examples of the applied “Fieldstone” approach to test automation, showing how scripts can be developed as testers explore. He will also share examples in scripting languages such as Python, Ruby for Rest API, web-based and desktop exploratory testing. You’ll leave with an understanding of how testers can combine skills in context-sensitive risk analysis, test work breakdown, task analysis, test design, test automation, and active feedback. All members of an agile team can all benefit from this tutorial.

Chris Blain
Chris Blain has over two decades of experience working in software development, on projects ranging from embedded systems to cloud applications. He offers students and companies a powerful mix of real-world experience and the latest research knowledge. He has worked as an engineering manager, test manager, developer, coach, and test architect in a wide variety of domains, including developer tools, security, test and measurement, regulated health care, real-time systems, and large-scale distributed systems. Chris is a former board member of the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference and a regular conference speaker and instructor. His main interests are testing, distributed systems, programming languages, and helping teams deliver higher-quality software.