Critical thinking for software testers

I spent about 8 years working in these environments and kept struggling to answer questions like: These questions are common in the industry, check out any forum or conference and you will find many similar questions being asked, and a plethora of tools, services and consultants willing and able to solve these problems. The more people I speak to about this, the more I realise that others feel comfortable with it to. Comfortable because they are operating in these contexts, or, more crucially, would love to operate in a context like this.

Critical thinking for software testers

My Top 5 ways to reproduce a "Hard to Reproduce" Bug! Well, you might be more familiar with the term "Non Reproducible" bugs! Because, I belong to the category of testers, who believe that every bug is reproducible and if something happened once it can happen again!


It depends on how much time and effort you are ready to invest on the investigation to reproduce the bug. Every tester likes to find bugs. But if it is a "Hard to Reproduce" type, then it could easily become a nightmare for the tester too!

Every tester faces such bugs during testing. As a tester, quite often I am asked to reproduce some "Hard to Reproduce" bugs, reported by other testers or users of the application.

» Test Anything

And I believe that some of you might have faced such situation too. Here, our aim should be to try and get more and more information regarding the bug who knows in the process we might reproduce it too!

These are five points, which I tend to adapt while hunting for a "Hard to Reproduce" Bug. Always be on your toes; be alert! Keep your eyes and ears open for any possible suspicious looking process going on in the system.

Look for those tiny little changes like flickering of the status bar, a missing button on the toolbar, a partially loaded dialog box, an empty dropdown list, slow to respond database queries and so on. If you happen to miss such a change in state, it might prove vital for your bug hunting!

Critical thinking for software testers

Trust but Verify; be suspicious! Take the bug report submitted by other tester or whoeverjust as a reference. Do it yourself and see whether things are working as they are supposed to.

Critical thinking for software testers

After all we testers get paid to be skeptical. And finally the client is going to thank us for being so! While trying to reproduce the bug, look for the possible patterns that are similar to a cousin of this bug.

Who knows you might be able to find a pattern which could help you to reproduce this bug!

Exploratory Testing | Satisfice, Inc.

Here I would like to share one of my own experiences. I was trying for long time now but was not able to reproduce it. Then I thought of searching for some similar bugs which might have been logged by other testers in the bug tracker. Going through the bug report suggested that it was a bug which could be reproduced when Unicode characters were used in input.

Critical Thinking Testing and Assessment

This was an important piece of information. I tried using few Unicode characters in my input string and bang! Note down the things you are doing while testing! Include things like the test environment, other applications that might be running simultaneously, database configuration, the test data you are using, other instances of applications that might be using your AUT Application Under Test etc.

How is Confidence Lowered?

Noting down these details can help to reproduce the bug. If you are able to get the bug but have not noted down the things you did to get the bug, then it might be difficult to recollect the exact sequence of things to reproduce it again.

As a tester you have to show lot of patience while hunting for such a bug. These bugs are not easily reproducible and hence sometimes may make you impatient. Venkat has written a nice post on a similar topic.

You might like to visit it.The Critical Thinking Company publishes PreK+ books and software to develop critical thinking in core subject areas.

A test is "a procedure for critical evaluation."The literature of software testing is full of descriptions of how to do software testing using procedures for evaluation, but it is nearly silent on why to do software testing.

To understand why to do software testing, a software tester . The above resources should give us the basics of the test writing process. Levels of test writing process: Level 1: In this level, you will write the basic cases from the available specification and user documentation.

Level 2: This is the practical stage in which writing cases depend on the actual functional and system flow of the application. Level 3: This is the stage in which you will. Critical thinking is the kind of thinking that specifically looks for problems and mistakes.

Regular people don't do a lot of it.

Example: A Mobile App Which Requires Users to Login All 32 displayed Inspect, test, or measure materials, products, installations, or work for conformance to specifications.
Software testing for serious people. Others have already made the point we make here:
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Critical Thinking for Software Testers | TEST Huddle