Exploratory Testing an API

Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Half-day workshop - in English

How can I use exploratory testing on something that does not have a GUI?

Exploratory testing is a systematic approach for discovering risks using rigorous analysis techniques coupled with testing heuristics. A lot of times we test before there’s a graphical user interface or finalized features available, and exploring is the mindset that helps us uncover things we do not know. Still I often hear people expressing surprise at the idea that you can explore an API. Something that is intended for programmers.

In this session, we will work together in a mob with one computer to learn about exploratory testing of an API. We’ll look at exploring usability of an API (also known as “design”), internal and environmental variables we can tweak, and prioritizing information we will find relevant in relation to it’s purpose. Let’s work on code-oriented tests that are not regression oriented but aim at finding new information by means of exploratory testing.

Learning outcomes:

  • Uncover how other people think when testing to learn from your peers
  • Learn to identify variables (things you can change) on an API or a method signature
  • Learn to prioritize your testing efforts for most relevant feedback fast

Presentation format. This session is a workshop. From the audience, we pick 6 volunteers to form a mob that engages in testing an API within the constraints and support given by the facilitator. The facilitator will (whenever needed) interrupt the mob and step in as a temporary navigator to introduce exploratory testing tools and concepts that makes the testing experience flow smoother. The rest of the audience observes, and in the end of the session, we reserve time for a whole audience retrospective focusing on lessons learned in the session


Primarily for:

Participant requirements: