A Really Useful List For Exploratory Testers

A Really Useful List For Exploratory Testers

A curated list of the essential blogs, tools and sources for idea creation for exploratory testing

Content in review

The first time I tried exploratory testing I realised it was the thing I had to learn to move my testing career forwards. I was hooked! In my experience, exploratory testing is the key to continuous learning, better products and closer collaboration with your team. Check out this Really Useful Listℒ️ for all of your exploratory testing needs.

1. Get started

Resources to help you and others start exploratory testing.

πŸ“° What is Exploratory Testing? An Alternative to Scripted Testing and Try To Break It Testing: In this blog post, Simon Tomes compares exploratory testing with two popular testing approaches and shares practical steps to get started. [BLOG POST]

πŸŽ₯ 99 Second Introduction to Exploratory Testing: Dan Ashby and Mark Winteringham introduce you to the value of exploratory testing, with examples. [VIDEO]

πŸŽ₯ Start Exploratory Testing Today – Risks & Questions: This video guides you through the Risks & Questions technique as a simple exercise. After watching, you’ll immediately be able to use this exercise to test other products of interest. [VIDEO]

2. Triggers for test ideas

Use the following to trigger test ideas for your next exploratory testing session.

πŸ—’οΈ Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet: By Elisabeth Hendrickson, James Lyndsay, and Dale Emery. And further ideas from Andrea Jensen, Ady Stokes, Callum Akehurst-Ryan, Dave Dora, Deborah Sherwood, Mark Winteringham, and Simon Tomes. This cheat sheet is a simple yet unique resource for those moments you're stuck with what to explore next. It's fantastic! [PROMPT]

πŸ—’οΈ Welcome to the-internet: A handy oracle to trigger test ideas for typical web-based interactions. [PROMPT]

πŸ—’οΈ 37 Sources for Test Ideas: Enjoy this treasure trove of prompts for test ideas by Rikard Edgren, Martin Jansson and Henrik Emilsson. [PROMPT]

πŸ—’οΈ TestSphere: Teams brainstorm, share knowledge and experiences by using these cards as a conversation starter, a story telling game, a tool that facilitates workshops and as a guide for their testing sessions. [PROMPT]

3. Your questions answered

Sometimes it helps to ask questions and these are the places people are likely to answer.

πŸ’¬ Ministry of Testing The Club: Exploratory Testing Power Hour: Elizabeth Zagroba and Simon Tomes share their answers to an incredible set of questions about exploratory testing. [FORUM]

πŸ’¬ Ask Me Anything: Exploratory Testing: Callum Akehurst-Ryan's answers share a remarkable amount of useful information. [FORUM]

4. Tools for the trade

Support your exploratory testing efforts with these tools.

🧰 LICEcap: Create simple animated screen captures of your testing discoveries and share as a GIF. [APP]

🧰 MindNode: Capture your test ideas and notes on one of the best mind mapping tools. [APP]

🧰 Big List of Naughty Strings: Use this list of strings to increase your chances of causing issues when used as user-input data. [APP]

5. Places to practice

Use the following to hone your application of exploratory testing techniques.

πŸ–₯️ Products by Indie Hackers: A vast and excellent array of live/beta applications to hone your exploratory testing craft. [PRODUCTS]

6. Convince others

Good exploratory testing isn't just about you, it's about working with others. The following will help you convince others to believe in the value of exploratory testing.

πŸŽ₯ Talking with C-Level management about testing: Keith Klain shares awesome tips on how to talk to others about testing. [VIDEO]

πŸ“° Breaking the Test Case Addiction (Multiple parts): Use any or all parts of this multipart blog post to help you convince others of the value of exploratory-based testing. A brilliant series by the excellent Michael Bolton. [BLOG POST]

πŸ“° Explore Galore! 30 Tips to Supercharge your Exploratory Testing Efforts: Take these quick and easy tips and use them to inspire yourself and others. [BLOG POST]

πŸ“° Cultivate Your Credibility with Oracles and Heuristics: Lee Hawkins introduces oracles and heuristics. Learn how to use them to enhance the credibility of your exploratory testing discoveries. [BLOG POST]

πŸ“° The Awesome Power of the Debrief: Why Debriefing is the Key to Successful Exploratory Testing: Callum Akehurst-Ryan shares why debriefing will level up your exploratory testing efforts. Discover what a debrief is, how to overcome typical roadblocks and learn how to run successful debriefs. [BLOG POST]

7. On automation

Automation in testing supports your exploratory testing efforts.

πŸ“° A Balancing Act: Finding a Place for Exploratory Testing: Elizabeth Zagroba shares her team's journey into automating all the tests on a fresh new product. Discover what happens as they head out of beta towards general availability. [BLOG POST]

8. A deeper dive

Long-form exploration for the inquisitive explorer.

πŸ“– Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing: A brilliant book by Elisabeth Hendrickson is a must read for anyone who wishes to enhance their exploratory testing capabilities. It's packed full of useful advice on how exploratory testing fits into different contexts and what you can achieve with various techniques. [BOOK]

πŸ“– Exploratory Testing: Written by the incredible exploratory tester Maaret PyhΓ€jΓ€rvi, this book is about exploratory testing as an approach to thinking and learning while testing. [BOOK]

Simon Tomes's profile
Simon Tomes

Community Lead

Simon is the Community Lead at Ministry of Testing and his pronouns are he/him. He has a passion for all things testing with a career in various testing and tech roles since 2003. He particularly enjoys promoting and sharing the value of exploratory testing, leadership, collaboration, creativity and community.

Explore MoT
Managing Distributed QA Teams: Strategies for Success
In an era where remote teams have become the norm, mastering the art of managing hybrid and distributed QA teams is more crucial than ever
MoT Foundation Certificate in Test Automation
Unlock the essential skills to transition into Test Automation through interactive, community-driven learning, backed by industry expertise
This Week in Testing
Debrief the week in Testing via a community radio show hosted by Simon Tomes and members of the community