Even testers hear words like out of the box thinking or creative thinking, but does anyone really knows what they truly mean? Do you know?
They don’t teach you in school how to think outside the box as a tester. What do you think outside the box means in fact? If you are given two choices as a software tester, you will go for those two. If you are given only one tool and people tell you to use only that, you will use only that. BUT, if you start searching for other tools, for other ways of testing, you will start thinking outside the box. It’s that easy. Outside the box doesn’t mean wrong, or weird, it means creativity, spontaneity, and vision. If we want different results, we have to do different things, right?
Creativity is a domain and a skill that can help you to have outstanding results and develop a strong and self-aware career in this business. At the end, what will differentiate you from the others?
How to think outside the box as a tester?
Here you have some ideas on how to make sure that you can constantly improve your work as a freelancer and become outstanding.
- Rapid-fire technique
In a previous article, I told you about the importance of test cases and how to write them effectively. The rapid-fire technique speaks about how to create test cases faster. This technique links testing to performance. How to think outside the box this time? Don’t go for the scenarios which are given to you, don’t follow the stereotypes of following the documentation, stop and think what you are about to do and play the 1-minute ideas – write as many scenarios of your own as you can.
Please share the results, I am really curious! If you want to read more about this technique and how you can develop your creative skills, this article might help you.
- Take advantage of your experience
From time to time, you will work on applications similar to what you did in the past. When that time will come, remember what you did back then. You will be able to identify similar issues in a faster way and solve them faster.
All you have to do is check if the app you test now behaves the same way as the app you used to test in the past. Also, by knowing already how to handle with the issue, it will be easier to come also with more ideas.
- How does an end user think?
Stop thinking as a tester and start thinking as an end user. We all tend to follow the development process, follow the direction that covers most of the positive testing and so on. An end user might have a totally different path, my fellow.
You know what I would do if an app told me not to upload a file that exceeds 10 MB? I would upload a file that has 11 MB. Because that is what end users would do. Try the water with their fingers. It’s in their nature, so make sure you save some time and start doing what they’d do. To understand them better you can ask friends of yours to give you feedback while you are working on something.
- Do you research
What challenges were faced before? Ask this!
What seems to be the problem at a first glance? Ask this!
What did the tester before me think of that? Ask this!
Do your research and find out what issues did other testers encounter if this is possible. Don’t start to test immediately. Take time to find out the bigger picture and understand everything.
In general, what will help you in boosting your creative thinking is to not become a robot. Most of the creative flows come in the moments when we are relaxed and we allow our minds to be open to new ideas. Working all the day and all the night won’t help you on the long term. From time to time take a break, take a walk, enjoy your meals, have a real conversation with others… great ideas occur when you are not in front of your computer, trust me!
How do you exercise your creative thinking? Share with me in the comments below, or get in touch with me here.