How to Test Like a Pro? Master the Art of Creative Testing!

Do you think software testing is a boring job? Well, let me tell you, as someone who has been a software test engineer for over five years, it’s not as dull as it seems! In fact, the secret to making testing exciting lies in bringing out your creative side. By adding a touch of creativity and innovation to your testing process, you can turn it into a thrilling one.

When a tester is assigned something to test, they always approach it from the perspective of the end user. They consider how their test results will impact the end user and how the product can be enhanced to provide a better user experience. This user-centric approach can lead to more effective testing and the development of a superior product.

Furthermore, it fosters better communication and collaboration among testers, developers, and designers, ultimately resulting in a more cohesive and successful product. Creativity in testing allows us to think outside the box and find unique solutions for even the most complex problems.

Creative Testing Techniques

There are testing techniques that demand creativity. By utilizing these techniques, testers can identify more defects, improve software quality, and deliver better products.

Exploratory Testing

Rather than following predefined test cases, this technique focuses on discovering and learning about the software as we test it. It provides flexibility, and adaptability, and encourages creativity. Testers uncover hidden and unexplored bugs using this approach.

Exploratory Performance Testing – Use Case

During exploratory performance testing for one of the leading players in the chemical production industry, the testing team performed load testing on a module that was outside our project scope. The decision to test this module was based on the tester’s intuition since it was responsible for data input and the client requested a maximum load of 250 users at a time. During our testing, we discovered that even with 100 users, the module caused the entire application to crash. Further investigation revealed that the issue was caused by a database problem. The project team immediately worked on optimizing it to improve the site’s overall performance.

Exploratory testing techniques can be effective in finding issues that may have been missed by traditional testing methods. In this case, the team’s decision to explore this module allowed them to identify a critical issue that could have impacted the application’s performance in a real-world scenario.

Exploratory Security Testing 

During exploratory security testing for several clients, we usually uncover potential vulnerabilities in a web application’s login feature. We use a systematic and creative approach to identify common security flaws and enhance the overall security of the application.  This includes examining the authentication mechanisms, input fields, and other security features implemented for protecting user accounts. Here is an additional list of the items scrutinized by the testing team:

Input validation: The team meticulously tested various inputs such as injecting SQL queries, special characters, and excessively longer values. By doing so, they aimed to determine if the application handled these inputs securely, preventing common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS). Further, they proceeded with validating the authentication mechanisms and checked the effectiveness of additional security layers such as two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA in ensuring robust protection against unauthorized access.

Checking session management vulnerabilities: As session management played a crucial role in maintaining the security of user sessions, the team scrutinized the application for vulnerabilities such as session hijacking, session fixation, and insufficient session expiration. By doing so, the team aimed to prevent potential attacks and protect user privacy.

Assessing password security: The storage and handling of passwords are paramount to user account security. The team closely examined the password policies, storage mechanisms, and encryption practices implemented by the application. This helped them to identify weak password policies, insecure storage practices, and other password-related vulnerabilities.

Analyzing Security Headers: Inspecting the HTTP response headers provided valuable insights into the application’s security posture. The team examined headers including Strict-Transport-Security (HSTS), Content-Security-Policy (CSP), X-Content-Type-Options, and X-XSS-Protection. Evaluating their implementation helped the team to gauge the application’s resilience against common web vulnerabilities.

Detecting Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerabilities: To identify potential cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, the team went on to inject malicious scripts through the login fields. They closely observed the application’s response, evaluating if it sanitized or blocked these scripts effectively. In fact, uncovering and addressing XSS vulnerabilities is crucial to ensuring a secure browsing experience for the users.

Unveiling Other Common Vulnerabilities: As part of the exploratory security testing, the team scanned the application for other common vulnerabilities such as CSRF, clickjacking, directory traversal, and insecure direct object references. Identifying and addressing these vulnerabilities bolsters the application’s security.

In short, the exploratory security testing provided invaluable insights into the intricacies of web application security. Embracing exploratory security testing for the software development life cycle can help organizations address security concerns, safeguard user data, and protect against potential cyber threats.

Ad-Hoc Testing: This informal approach involves testers attempting to break the software in unexpected ways. It requires the tester to devise new and unique test scenarios, enabling a more realistic evaluation of the product.

Risk-based Testing: This approach demands creativity in identifying and prioritizing potential risks. Testers design tests specifically to uncover these risks.

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What Enhances Creativity?

A mindset of questioning and a hunger for learning are the driving forces behind creativity. Seeking out new information can provide fresh perspectives and ignite sparks of inspiration.

Engaging in continuous discussions with professionals from the same domain can stimulate creativity and offer new perspectives on things that you may not have previously considered. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with new ideas.

Reliability of Creative Testing

The reliability of creative testing in real-life scenarios depends on the chosen approach and techniques employed. With proper planning and execution, it can be highly reliable. However, one potential drawback of creative testing is its time-consuming nature, which may not be feasible for projects with tight deadlines or limited budgets.

Overall, a creative testing approach can provide valuable insights into a software’s performance and usability, as well as contribute to improving the user experience. However, it should be seen as a complementary approach rather than a replacement for traditional testing methods. So, let your creativity flow and make your testing adventure an exciting one!

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