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Good Testers are Often Lucky – Using Serendipity in Software Testing


In a sampling business like testing, it’s no wonder that serendipity is a key factor.

But testers seldom take pride in this “luck”, as they are unaware of all skill involved.

This has the unfortunate consequence that few testers utilize the chances of serendipity.

Rikard believes that serendipity can be increased with:

  • preparations, like Error-Prone Machine or Background Complexity
  • variations, in your tests and your strategy (“diverse half-measures”)
  • ongoing test ideas, like quality characteristics violations
  • sagacity & altamirage (Liestman) that help you connect observations and experience to new ideas

Rikard will explore these areas with the hope that you can identify your own unique serendipity saviours.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand how serendipity is useful in testing
  • See examples of testing serendipity
  • ideas about how to introduce more good fortune in your organization

To get a copy of the slides click here.

Editor's Image

Rikard Edgren (LearningWell, Sweden)

Rikard has been testing since 1998 and sees himself as a context-driven, humanistic and technical tester, enjoying the dynamics between people/machines, objective/subjective, whole/details.

After a couple of years with Microsoft’s localized products, he spent 11 years with Spotfire, producer of interactive data visualization products. The learnings resulted in the free e-book The Little Black Book on Test Design.

Since 2011 he has been as a test consultant also doing testing education at companies and higher vocational studies programs, with a slight preference towards exploratory testing and test strategy.

He is a regular at national and international conferences, with seven appeareances at EuroSTAR (two of those as program committe member.) Member of the think-tank The Test Eye, author of Den Lilla Svarta om Teststrategi (in Swedish), co-author of Software Quality Characteristics, and co-organizer of SWET, Swedish Workshop on Exloratory Testing.

d international conferences, with seven appeareances at EuroSTAR (two of those as program committe member.) Member of the think-tank The Test Eye, author of Den Lilla Svarta om Teststrategi (in Swedish), co-author of Software Quality Characteristics, and co-organizer of SWET, Swedish Workshop on Exloratory Testing.

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