TUTORIAL B2: Exploratory Testing on Computer Interfaces (APIs)

September 29, 2022 from 13:00 to 16:00

Speaker: Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Vaisala (FIN)

Maaret is an exploratory tester extraordinaire with a day-job at Vaisala as Principal Test Engineer. She is an empirical technologist, a tester and a (polyglot) programmer, a catalyst for improvement, a speaker and an author, and a community facilitator. She has been awarded the two prestigious global testing awards, Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person 2016 (MIATPP) and EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award (2020), and selected as Top-100 Most Influential in ICT in Finland 2019, 2020 and 2021 and awarded Tester Worth Appreciating Award in Finland 2022 . She’s spoken at events in 25 countries delivering over 400 sessions. With 25 years of exploratory testing under her belt, she crafts her work role into a mix of hands-on testing and programming, and leading and enabling others. She leads TechVoices enabling new speakers, blogs at https://visible-quality.blogspot.fi and is the author of three books: Ensemble Programming Guidebook, Exploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming.

Exploratory Testing is a skilled multidisciplinary style of testing. Many have learned to apply it on user interfaces that naturally speak to testers as their external imagination. Yet with systems of today, it is important we move that skill of smart thinking with external imagination to interfaces hidden from users – public and private APIs. How can you use exploratory testing on something that does not have a GUI? Let’s shape up our skills of exploring both the functional and parafunctional aspects of a system through its APIs in their operating environments, without forgetting developer experience of having to maintain and troubleshoot these systems. Let’s learn to be intentional with our APIs, instead of being accidental – through delivering relevant, timely feedback. Intertwining test automation and exploration, we include considerations of the best for today and for the future. For great testing bringing value now as well as when we are not around, we need to be great at testing – uncovering relevant information – and programming – building maintainable test systems. At the core of all of this is learning. What we lack in a set of skills, we can compensate through collaboration. Let’s work on code-oriented tests that are not regression oriented but aim at finding new information by means of exploratory testing..

  • Key takeaways:
    • Learn to uncover information on API that a typical automation focus would miss
    • Uncover how other people think when testing to learn from your peers
    • Learn to identify variables (things you can change) on an API or a method signature
    • Learn to prioritize your testing efforts for most relevant feedback fast