May 2021 Virtual QASIG: Exploratory Test Automation

“Exploratory Test Automation” (ETA) may sound strange or even self-contradictory, but the idea is not new. In fact, if you have ever used a fuzzer or a ‘monkey’ program to type in random strings looking for crashes in an application, you were using a type of exploratory test automation. In the past 20 years, ETA has moved beyond fuzzing and crashes. Our presentation will demonstrate how simple programming techniques can amplify an exploratory tester’s effort in many areas, resulting in better coverage and testing than can be achieved through manual testing alone.

About our Presenters:
Harry Robinson has been using and promoting model-based testing and exploratory automation throughout the industry since the mid-1990s.In 2011, he contributed a chapter on exploratory test automation to the book, “Experiences of Test Automation.” In 2013, he and Doug Szabo created exploratory automation that easily detected bugs in industry-recommended sorting routines(“People Should Think & Machines Should Test”, Better Software magazine). Recently, he and Doug created a tool to facilitate flexible, automated, state-based testing of large applications.

Doug Szabo started his career as a software developer in1994. His career trajectory was altered during a project in 1999 when each business day a parade of bugs were delivered against his precious C++ code thanks to one of Harry Robinson’s automated model-based testing (MBT)systems. An adversarial developer-tester relationship thrived between Doug and Harry. By 2007, Harry convinced Doug to stop creating bugs and take up the helm of software test automation. During the past 14 years, Doug has written test programs to perform a variety of tasks, including smoke-test database procedures, qualify software installation programs, detect sequencing errors in REST services, qualify monthly and quarterly business processes via evaluation of end-to-end simulations, and ferret out race conditions between microservices and within multi-threaded processes. These days, Doug is dabbling in iOS application programming, AWS services, and working with Harry Robinson to develop new test automation tools.

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