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Exploratory Testing in Agile Projects

As Agile projects demand quick delivery and continuous value addition to the end users, testers need to step up to the challenges and realize how they can add value to the teams. They have to identify the risks and be more vocal about how the product’s value might be in danger. Being a tester in an Agile team, testers might need to collaborate across stakeholders, identify the loopholes in plans, think of test ideas quickly, document the reports in a lean way and continue to apply the core skill of evaluating the product under test.

Most of the testers forget their core testing skills when they are part of Agile teams and blindly follow the team. Asking questions like “What If…”, “Why Not…” and also evaluating different tools to help the team, learning about different technologies and products helps not just the teams but also the end users who use the product. Exploratory approach in testing and especially in Agile teams can help us discover the risks early and be ready to respond to change. So, let us explore how exploratory testing in Agile projects can help everyone in the team through this hands-on workshop.

Who should attend this workshop?

Following members have found the workshop useful:

  • – Anyone who is involved in software testing
  • – Members of Agile teams who love to release quality products
  • – Teams struggling to release on time
  • – Teams struggling with changing requirements

Key Learning Opportunities:

  • – How to derive test charters from user stories
  • – How to plan better in sprint planning
  • – Find important bugs quicker
  • – Be the idea generator of your team
  • – How to deal with complexity, confusion and uncertainty
  • – Build a good relationship with the programming team
  • – Provide an on-demand test report

Course Outline: Introduction

  • – Understand the basis of good testing
  • – Know the different stakeholders and their impact on testing
  • – Why testers should get out of quality assurance business
  • – The roles of software testers in Agile teams

Key Idea: Test Idea Generation

  • – Use of Context Revealing Questionnaire
  • – Usage of Heuristics and Mnemonics
  • – Different sources of test ideas
  • – How can tools help us in test idea generation

Key Idea: Leverage the power of mind maps

  • – Introduction and benefits
  • – How to use them in different stages of the sprint
  • – How to use them to convey information better

Key Idea: Build your toolkit

  • – Scout for quick and cheap tools
  • – Make use of tools across the sprint
  • – Know the right tools

Key Idea: Bug Hunting and Bug Advocacy

  • – Find the right bugs
  • – Understand Heuristics and Oracles
  • – Deal with intermittent bugs
  • – Learn good bug reporting with highlights from BBST courses

Key Idea: Test Reporting

  • – Common problems with test reporting
  • – Impromptu reporting based on different contexts
  • – Usage of lightweight dashboards

Key Idea: Sharpen your Testing Skills

  • – What are the different skills
  • – Which skills does the agile team need
  • – Can we sharpen them daily

Testing Exercises (distributed throughout the workshop)

  • – Test idea generation and more heuristics
  • – Generate mind maps for feature tour
  • – Bug hunting and bug reporting sessions
  • – Live demo of a testing session
  • – Test reporting

Session Recap and Q&A

  • – Recap of the key points
  • – Session on the key problem faced by the team
  • – Any other questions and answers

Participants are expected to bring laptops with XMind installed and must have administrator
privilege to install applications. There will be hands-on exercises to highlight the concept.


Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas has hands-on experience of over nine years in software testing in a variety of contexts. Starting with Waterfall model, he has worked in Agile teams in multinational companies and startups that got acquired by MNCs. This workshop by Ajay Balamurugadas is heavily influenced by his experiences with different Agile teams building desktop, web and mobile applications. He has attended multiple workshops like Rapid Software Testing Intensive, Exploratory Software Testing, Black Box Software Testing courses and used the lessons to create a customised workshop experience for the attendees.

Ajay understands the pains the teams go through in transitioning to Agile, trying to maintain a healthy burn down chart, being part of a team where there are no more specialists and to investigate the intermittent bug. His unique style of using mind maps to convey the information coupled with hands-on exercises make his attendees fresh and learn quicker.


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