Masterclass: Exploratory Testing: What are microheuristics and how can you find and use them? with Alexandra Schladebeck

Here at Ministry of Testing, we host live monthly online software testing webinars that we lovingly call Masterclasses. All our Masterclasses are presented by software testing masters and are on highly interesting and relevant topics related to software testing and our industry.

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Did your spider sense ever just tingle? Have you ever been asked how on earth you knew to look there? Have you ever thanked your lucky stars that you decided to try that thing out?

When we are exploratory testing, our brains are working on multiple tasks and on multiple levels. One of the things we are constantly doing is to make the decision of what to do next, based on what we’ve just seen. And yet, when someone asks us how we knew what to do, we don’t often have a good answer.

Let me introduce you to “microheuristics” – the way we make decisions on what to do next based on what we’ve just learned. I’ve been collecting examples, which I’ll share with you – and I’ll talk about how you can go about identifying your own.

The motivation for doing this is to finally be able to describe the awesomeness and skill behind exploratory testing, as well as to be able to teach and practice it better.


  • Definition of microheuristics
  • Examples of microheuristics
  • How to analyse your testing to be able to describe it better
  • How to move away from “experience and intuition” to teachable practices
Alex Schladebeck

Alex fell into IT and testing in 2005 and has never looked back. She is now Head of Software Quality and Test Consulting at BREDEX GmbH and spends her time working with test consultants, developers and customers to help them towards great quality.

You’ll usually find Alex talking about quality and how it affects the whole development process. She’s also a frequent speaker at conferences where she likes to share her project experiences and learn from other practitioners.