The other day, my friend was asking how do you learn to test products, few years back you were not familiar with that product and now ! I was trying to explain to him that we testers start our journey of testing by using any product and playing around with that .. So it struck me that I should note down few points about how any tester would go for testing...
When I am asked to test any product that I am not all that familiar , I treat myself as a user of the product. I start exploring the product and its functionality.
1. I play around with the product. See what are the user options given and how the system behaves.
2. I look into the any help thats available to find out what I can expect out of each functionality and try out the same operations.
3. I then slowly try and manipulate to find if I could violate the normal course of actions to see what happens.
4. While trying out the operations, I keep in mind the factor "usability". How user friendly the product is? How good the error messages are? Did the system exit gracefully in case of issues?
5. Find ways to enter non allowed values. try boundary conditions.
6. As a tester, I would also validate the help files and manuals provided to see any gaps or wrong information provided.
Tester is a user of the product first, how ever, s/he has systematic approach of using the product with "what to expect" at each step. And these systematic approaches are converted into formal test cases to validate the product behavior each time the test is run.
As just a user, I may not abuse the system since I am not interested in breaking the system, Vs as a tester, I would be happy to find a scenario/point where the system breaks.
This is just the beginning. More on testing to come :)
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