Qapitol QA

Improve Your Testing Skills

Table of Contents

Testers need to be sharp in their thinking and be alert amidst the constant flow of information from multiple stakeholders. Once you start testing in a project and seem to be very comfortable with a project, there comes a stage where every tester gets into a comfort zone. The skilled testers are aware of this stage and take every effort to come out, not let any bias affect them and keep challenging themselves with authentic problems.

A good testing team is measured by how consistently the team is adding value to the project. To do the same, we worked on few games with our teams to keep our testers alert and at the same time, focus on few skills necessary for skilled testing. The teams loved these games and have promised to keep sharpening their skills throughout the project.

Try these with your teams as well and let us know how it went.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes –
The objective of the game is to defuse the bomb before the time (5 mins) runs out by using the instructions found in the Bomb Defusal Manual. There was one tester who had access to the bomb and two testers were helping by reading out the instructions from the manual (20+ pages). 

It was fun to see the testers shouting out instructions and using different tactics to solve the same problem. The ones with the manual couldn’t see what the defuser had access to. Skills like quick reading, staying calm under pressure, asking the right questions, communication came to the fore. There was no time to wait for the right approach. The defuser was supposed to convey what they saw and attributes of the bomb like count of wires, the color of buttons, order of symbols, the way text is written and the ones with the manual had to quickly find out from the 20+ pages manual, the relevant sections which had the instructions.

Though testers might not be involved in life-threatening projects all the time, it is a good exercise to emphasize the importance of every second, every instruction, the way it might be misinterpreted and general knowledge of the overall systems at play.

Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe –
As kids, we must have played the Tic-Tac-Toe multiple times. Soon we would have realised that it is easy not to lose. Multiple games were drawn till we discovered the Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe. It amplifies the complexity of the game and makes it more interesting. To be a winner, you now need to win three tiles either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. You restrict the square where your opponent can move their next move. If the tile is already conquered, the opponent gets a free ride.

This game helps you improve your forward thinking. One cannot just make a move as their move has a direct influence on the opponent’s move. A move can win or break the game. One can get better at recognising patterns, come up with a strategy and clear traps one by one.

It becomes even more fun when you add the element of time and time box this game as some teams can take a lot of time analysing all the combinations possible. Observe how teams work it out under constant time pressure. Forward thinking, Clearing traps, strategizing, pattern recognition

Black Box Puzzles by James Lyndsay –
What do you do when faced with multiple systems at play and affecting each other’s behavior and it is not documented. You need to change one factor at a time and observe how this action has an impact on the overall system. Can you come up with the right set of actions when you don’t know the total set of actions possible?

Does it sound like your day at work as a software tester? You need to carefully design your experiments, observe the product behaviour, interpret the results and conclude on the results. The puzzles also help you learn to explore a product under test. You can have mini-missions while interacting with the puzzles. Some of the interesting missions could be to find out the quickest way to light up a particular bulb, the maximum number of ways a bulb can be lit up, the list of related components and the list of unrelated components, critical factors for the overall puzzle.

If you are looking for skilled testers who are continuously sharpening their skills across different domains, industry practices, testing and technical skills, look no further than Qapitol QA teams. Write to [email protected] for further discussions.

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