Getting a Grip on Exploratory Testing

I’m on the train home after a very thought provoking exploratory testing training session with James Lyndsay.

My utility belt has also gained a fair few extra tools to help me back at work on Monday…


James’ workshop revolves around his charming character & now famous blackbox puzzles whereby each puzzle is used to demonstrate an aspect of exploratory testing.

This is a fantastic way of keeping the course participants engaged with the material – who doesn’t want to play with a shiny machine?!

As with most courses I’ve attended, there was far more material in the handbook we received than could be covered in the 2 days. This information will not only serve as a reminder for the material we did cover, but also as a great starting point for further investigations.

Key takeaways for me were mapping systems in terms of events & behaviours (state transition diagrams) to potentially discover rich seams of bugs & tools & tips diagnosing behaviour of the software (bug triage / polishing)

Numbers are kept to single figures which really helped to keep the course personal & more importantly safe. It did not take us long to build trust & familiarity with each other & our various approaches to testing.

James is back in Manchester in April (hopefully when the weather will be kinder to him :-)) – at the time of writing, his super early bird price is still available until the new year & is phenomenal!

That said, I’d posit that any course James is running would be worth attending (including Black Ops Testing which I wrote about here) – I’d give him a follow on Twitter if I were you…