Bug Bash Testing is the rising trend in the industry. As per Wikipedia – “A Bug Bash is a procedure where all the developers, testers, program managers, usability researchers, designers, documentation folks, and even sometimes marketing people, put aside their regular day-to-day duties and ‘pound on the product’—that is, each exercises the product in every way they can think of.” The main principle behind bug bash testing is to gather as many bugs as possible with varied perspectives like functional exploratory testing.
The idea of bug bash testing has now also grown from involving the non-testing team members to actually having crowd sourced testers and using their expertise to find more bugs and gather real-time feedback for the product. Testers participating in such bug bash testing can be sourced from popular forums like 99test.com and can be engaged in the project at different levels for different types of test cycles. People with knowledge of testing looking for freelance projects sign up at these forums to participate in such test cycles and get paid for their efforts.
Testers need to have certain specialised skills to participate in bug bash testing. The obvious skills needed are – knowledge of testing, performing functional tests, reporting bugs, writing and understanding test cases and such which are inherent skills to any tester. Apart from these there are specific skills which a tester needs to attain to perform such Bug Bashes like a pro!
Here are 3 major ways to do Bug Bash testing like a pro
- Read – Observe – Understand
Testers participating in Bug Bash cycles need to read and understand the product and the project context, need to step by step read and re-read the project overview provided and understand the requirement and expectation out of the test cycle. This helps in providing relevant and useful bugs during testing and prevents bugs getting rejected later on. Clients as well as testers get benefitted with this and helps build a long term relationship of trust and appreciation. So a Bug Bash tester needs to have-
- Attention to detail
- Quick grasping power
- Patience in reading and understanding the context before jumping to testing
- Limit actions to the scope of test cycle
- Curiosity and insight
2. Communicate as much as possible
Testers need to provide defect reports in a systematic format since there is no verbal communication to support and discuss the bugs later. Testers must prefer to use the provided defect report format and also must provide as much proof as possible to support the bug like screenshots, videos, system logs and crash reports etc. Also, have clarity and be precise in communications with project leads, fellow testers and clients in form of emails, bug reports and discussions & chats.
- Communicate more and well
- Learn to save screenshots and video recordings in different devices like mobile phones, tablets, iPads, Windows etc.
- Save and attach System logs , application logs, crash reports wherever possible
- Ask questions when needed
3. Organised Exploratory Testing
Testing for Bug Bashes needs more of an exploratory approach since the products are new and tester needs to perform simultaneous learning as well as testing using exploration. Testers need to use an organised approach in this to achieve maximum value out of the effort and time spent on a project. For this testers can make use of many techniques like
- Time-boxed test sessions on the software – focussed on a single feature or objective, typically 1-2 hours of test session would lead to appropriate learning along with finding quality bugs which can then be reported
- Another good practice is to use screen recordings for all test steps that are performed during the test session- as a record of the coverage and test data used, which can later help during logging of issues.
- Keep a test log – which is a brief record of areas covered, bugs found and questions or doubts- which can later be clarified with the test leads and fellow testers.
- Even after logging the issues, keep the supporting data handy in case any clarifications or more information are requested and be available for discussions and re-verifications.
Testers can gain much more value out of their efforts spent in bug bash testing by using these tips and tricks and can excel in the projects. This will help them showcase their work in the best possible way, shine out in the crowd and also quickly rise the ranks. This also benefits the clients by giving more confidence and assurance, avoiding conflict of scope and providing most useful results out of the test cycle.
Clients can encourage the best test efforts and results by keeping incentives for most valuable test reports and bugs; by involving many people as possible having different personas, different geographies and different environments; and by being open to feedback from new perspectives without too many limitations. Let the testers be creative and bring out their best by encouraging innovative ideas and creativity.
Overall, the use of the above techniques, tips and tricks can make bug bash testing a win-win for the participating testers as well as the clients!