Testing dojo – Testing The Time machine

Through scouring the different testing challenges & realising the potential limitations (such as its a big ask to expect everyone to bring a lappy on the 1st night) I really like the idea of ‘hypothetically’ testing an object.


Several of the challenges refer to testing an object not yet invented, from the future, or technically interesting. I liked the idea of all of these, so I put the challenge in the context of Back To The Future
How would Doc have gone about testing the time machine? How did he test the components? Why did he build it into a Delorean?

I’m hoping most people attending will be of an age to remember the movie & if not, it may inspire them to go watch it again!


I’m thinking of giving a high level overview of Exploratory Testing, how heuristics are used to focus an exploratory session & finally apply ET & heuristics to test the Delorean.


I intend to provide a fair amount of information to help guide & kickstart the dojo, with the intention of not leaving everyone baffled!

I’ve included a mindmap of my thinking so far – there is obviously other documentation, but I don’t want to spoil the excitement too much!

testing the time machine ideas mindmap
I gave a demo of the presentation to my team on Friday & I received some great feedback. There were a lot of obvious changes that I need to make that I just plainly missed.


One major point being the length & relevance of the FCC CUTS VIDS heuristic – People might not be aware of the FFC, nor what they get upto. Also, its a very long heuristic & it was felt the scope was consequently too wide & would take too long.


As such, I’ve come up with the Back To The Future heuristic! Its an amalgamation of several other heuristics, will have limited scope, but will hopefully give the right idea & enough focus for a good ET session:
  • Boundaries (domain testing)
  • Time & Date
  • Testability
  • Functions

One problem I’m struggling with at the moment is that Boundaries and Time & Date are going to be very similar in that loads of the boundaries will be a time &/or date!

Many thanks to the following sources for inspiration for challenges:

http://www.testingdojo.org
http://www.shino.de/2010/04/16/testing-dojos/
http://www.shino.de/2011/01/13/test-challenge-on-the-first-software-testing-team/
http://www.testing-challenges.org
http://www.bettertesting.co.uk/content/?p=190
http://www.bettertesting.co.uk/content/?p=395
http://www.bettertesting.co.uk/content/?p=501
http://blog.testyredhead.com/2010/05/18/beam-me-uphypothetical-question.aspx
http://www.developsense.com/blog/2011/01/when-a-bug-isnt-really-fixed/