Testing an application you're unfamiliar with - where to begin?
Very often, when applying to jobs you may get a task to test an app you're not familiar with, or you might not know who to start testing the product on your new job. In these situations, you can try to use heuristics (general rule of thumb) if you are unfamiliar with the application's domain. For the issues you do find, try to think about the from the user's perspective: is something blocking (like login or registration being completely broken) you completely from accessing the rest of the app? Is an issue annoying, but you can work around it? Is it a minor glitch or a text typo? To help conceptualize this approach you can use Personas-based testing.
Here is a list of some techniques that can be helpful for testing most apps.
For a lot of apps, you can use the CRUD approach to testing:
- Can you create resources, like registering for an account?
- Can you read data, like opening website pages without issues?
- Can you update data, such as changing your username?
- Can you delete data, such as removing your profile image?
Also, consider using tools that could make this easier:
- You can use an exploratory testing tool to help you take notes, screenshots, etc.
- If it's a web app with input fields, check out the BugMagnet browser extension - it will allow you to test for very common boundary values to see how the app handles it
- Again, if it's a web app while testing keep the Developer Tools open, look at the console to see if any errors are being logged, and check the network tab to see if any requests are failing
All in all, if it's a good company, their goal is not to have you find every single bug there is in a short amount of time allocated to the task. They want to see how you think, how you approach testing, how you organize it, and how you prioritize what to test. If it's for a job application after you submit your task talk about everything you did, and try to show that you're curious, willing to ask questions, and eager to learn more.
This article was curated as a part of #77th Issue of Software Testing Notes Newsletter.