When you come up with a new test idea, you are using your knowledge and experience, but there is also some sort of stimuli that triggers the idea. Something you see, hear, understand or think about.

You seldom think in totally new ways, you rather combine things in a new way.

These are my favorite test idea triggers:

* think about each feature (and connect with testing or technical knowledge)

* create or understand a model of the software

* think about interaction between items in the system

* thinking about quality attributes (CRUSSPIC STMPL + Accessibility)

* read bug report titles for similar functionality

* read test idea lists

* play around with the software, or a prototype, or a previous version

* change perspective, see your software as a little box among many others


What triggers you?

Do you get help from Session Tester Primers?

Joe Strazzere June 22nd, 2009

“read test idea lists”

Kind of a circular reference?

Henrik Emilsson June 22nd, 2009

“read test idea lists”
In my experience this can mean going through other peoples test idea lists; or test idea lists for other areas; or your own test idea list two days after it was created.

Some examples of what that can trigger:
* test ideas that are missing from the list
* test ideas that are more powerful than the existing test ideas
* new variations on existing test ideas
* combinations of existing test ideas (and new ones) that make up new test ideas

Rikard Edgren June 23rd, 2009

I meant looking at other test idea lists, but looking at your own is very good as well. Especially after waiting a couple of days, so you get a bit of fresh eyes.
A very good method is to let someone else look at your test idea list; my most recent is available at http://clearspace.openqa.org/message/63905#63905

Henrik Emilsson June 23rd, 2009

I often use risk to come up with new test ideas.
I.e., I think of a way the application (or the surroundings) could fail and try to come up with tests that investigate if this could happen.
Often there are several different ways to provoke (or try to provoke) the specific failure, so the test ideas might vary a lot (which is good and can lead you in to new areas of interest).

Martin Jansson June 25th, 2009

When creating a new feature that is already on the market I like checking:
* Forums where customers complain about the feature and hopefully flame about details that go wrong. These are excellent seeds for test ideas. In some cases they can be used by the sales and marketing personel to especially point out that “our feature” does not have these kind of issues. That is, if we are able to test it and fix the possible issues.
* Support systems from other manufacturers, they will list problems, work-arounds and so on. This will give some info on what kind of problems expect that are really hard to resolve.
* Blogs, some expert/geek explaining in detail about a certain issue with the feature.