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Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing


Cover image for Explore It!

Explore It!

Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing


Uncover surprises, risks, and potentially serious bugs with exploratory testing. Rather than designing all tests in advance, explorers design and execute small, rapid experiments, using what they learned from the last little experiment to inform the next. Learn essential skills of a master explorer, including how to analyze software to discover key points of vulnerability, how to design experiments on the fly, how to hone your observation skills, and how to focus your efforts.

Customer Reviews

Reading this book taught me new skills and heuristics; but even better, it helped
me channel my tester “spidey sense” more creatively and usefully. I keep this
book handy at all times and occasionally do one of the practice sessions to keep
my awareness keen. Explore It! helps me make sure our customers and our company
get real value from our software. It’ll help you too.

- Lisa Crispin,

Coauthor with Janet Gregory, Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

Explore It! starts with a bang. Elisabeth catches your imagination and has filled
the book with practical ideas for exploring everything from your typical GUI scenarios
to testing ideas (requirements), and she even includes suggestions for
programmers on how to explore low-level code. This book should be on every development
team member’s desk, not only testers. It is the book I carry with me
whenever I introduce exploratory testing to development teams.

- Janet Gregory,

Coauthor with Lisa Crispin, Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

At Moolya, we were wondering how to get newbie testers started with exploratory
testing. Explore It! appears to be timely and useful to the problem we have in

- Pradeep Soundararajan,

Founder, Moolya Software Testing Private Limited

There’s a hidden secret to Explore It! While attempting to capture the nuance and
depth of exploratory testing, Elisabeth Hendrickson has managed to write one of
the best books on test design I’ve ever read. Good test design comes from good
test ideas, and this book is overflowing with both great test ideas and pragmatic
stories to back them up.

- Alan Page,

, Microsoft

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Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents

  • Establishing Foundations
    • On Testing and Exploration
    • Charter Your Explorations excerpt
    • Observe the Details
    • Find Interesting Variations
    • Evaluate Results
  • Adding Dimensions
    • Vary Sequences and Interactions
    • Explore Entities and their Relationships
    • Discover States and Transitions excerpt
    • Explore the Ecosystem
  • Putting it in Context
    • Exploring When There is No User Interface excerpt
    • Exploring an Existing System
    • Explore Requirements
    • Integrate Exploration Throughout
  • Appendices
    • Interviewing for Exploratory Testing Skills
    • Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet


Elisabeth Hendrickson is a tester, developer, and Agile enabler. A seasoned veteran, she wrote her first line of code in 1980, and almost immediately found her first bug. In 2010 she won the prestigious Gordon Pask Award from the Agile Alliance. She is best known for her Google Tech Talk on Agile Testing as well as her wildly popular Test Heuristics Cheatsheet. She splits her time between teaching, speaking, writing, programming, and working on Agile teams that value her obsession with testing.