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    What questions do you ask to illicit more information about the thing you are going to test?

    We’ve all got them. A classic list of questions that we always tend to ask when we’re about to test something. Questions we ask inside our own head or indeed to another person such as a tester, designer, developer, business analyst, product owner, stakeholder, customer etc.

    Here are some examples to get started:

    • What config is required to test this?
    • Is there anything that doesn’t work that has already been found?
    • How should the tests be prioritised?
    • Are there any scenarios that have to be absolutely working or is there a bit of leeway?
      What test data set-up is required?
    • How do we expect the user to use this?
    • What type of users are we catering for?
    • What’s the quickest way I can break this?
    • What set-up are we expecting the user to be using?
    • Is there anything else that I need to know about that hasn’t already been mentioned?
      How has this been tested?
    • Are there any ambiguities in the requirements?
    • How could this go wrong? and how likely is that to happen? and how easy would that be to discover?

    Hi Simon,

    There is an interesting webinar by Karen N. Johnson entitled: The Art of Asking Questions which might be of use to you.

    The following members were at the webinar: Alt, Dave Mitchell, Melissa Bingham, Richard Forjoe, Neil Studd and Nithin Shenoy. Do any of you guys have any feedback for Simon?


    Nice list of questions.
    Just scanning through it, I can think of two questions I feel are good to ask as well:

    • Are there any external dependencies we need to take into consideration ?
    • What are the error states / messages?

    What risks causes you not to sleep at nigth – for this project, that is 🙂
    Then if I can we can work from known pain points, to unknown pain points… using Rumsfeldt[1], Cynefin og even johari window. I search for what unknown to test

    1: http://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/rumsfeld_rectangle/


    I also ask things like

    – When and how often there is a change in the code?

    – When there is a change in the code, what parts are most likely to be affected

    – Architecture and hardware details are also important in some kinds of testing like performance

    -Any 3rd party interfaces

    – Points of contact for various issues / queries / support

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