An Example Of Exploratory Testing Vasca da Gama Charter By Neil Boyd — Tentamen Software Testing Blog

Vasco Da Gama, credit: Wikipedia


Now that we know Simon’s third diagram, Problems, Questions, Ideas, and Praises (PQIP), let’s explore Neil Boyd’s example of session-based testing. The Charter is to find in the fifteen-century, a new route from Europe to India via sea. This is a part of the Exploratory Testing Pathway. Many thanks to Marcel, who sublimed this great resource on his blog, That’s the buffet table.

Fifteen Century Charter

The best way to check do we really understand some topic is to provide the example of how we would use that knowledge on some real problem. In this post from 2016, Neil provides proof of his understanding of exploratory testing on the Vasca Da Gama’s problem from the fifteen century.

credit: Neil Boyd

Group Session

Based on his experience, Neil suggests that it is better to execute exploratory sessions as a group of testers. Based on my experience, I think that group sessions should be combined with single sessions. Charter is performed separately by several testers, and in debrief session, we compare their notes. The reason is that each tester has its own mind flow, which could be easily broken with other mind flow.

Keeping A Record

Neil here suggests to keep a record of three things:

  • defects found
  • areas covered
  • issue
  • fact
  • oracle
  • risk
  • heuristic
  • idea
  • opportunity

Founder of Tentamen, software testing agency.