My coworkers from other domains and skillsets often ask me where I use my creativity in testing. People believe that testing is a tedious and monotonous process that lacks creativity & innovation.
But having been a software test engineer for several years now, I firmly believe that creativity is a crucial skillset required to become a successful QA person!
Let me explain.
One of the critical tasks of a tester is to evaluate and test an application from the end user’s point of view. While testing for user experience, testers must learn to think out-of-the-box. Once you develop the thinking required for user experience testing, this thinking is naturally reflected in other testing activities.
Creativity is using our imagination or original ideas to create something. And that’s what we’re doing when we try to use our imagination to extend our approaches, experiment, and explore our ways while doing software testing.
Are we already using Creativity in Software Testing?
Yes, we are!
We use creativity in many ways in software testing. Here are some testing techniques in which we employ our creativity & diligent thinking skills to create a valuable product:
Ad hoc testing is software testing performed without planning and formal documentation. It focuses on logical and illogical scenarios used with divergent thinking. When performing ad-hoc testing, we tend to find bugs/defects that we wouldn’t have found while following the formal process. This testing technique gives ample freedom to testers to test the product more realistically.
Exploratory testing is an essential skill for a QA tester because this type of testing focuses on having an instinctive approach to finding bugs. When performing exploratory testing, a tester is their own master. They do not choose the default path for testing the application. Instead, they try the maximum possible ways a user can perform any action incorrectly. In this way, the tester exceeds the testing boundaries and discovers hidden and unexplored bugs. When a tester moves out of their comfort zone, that is when the magic happens.
Be curious, Be creative!
Creativity in real-life
Can you recall when you appeared for an interview for a testing role, and your interviewer asked you about your creative skills? Well, no, right? There is minimal focus on creative talents in the job market, which might explain the dearth of innovative startups around us.
Society needs a collective mindset shift in understanding that creativity & innovation are interconnected. Several methodologies and experiments are available to assess creativity, one being the “Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TCCT),” created by Ellis Paul. This test is a creatively-oriented alternative to the IQ test, and it tests for divergent thinking and problem-solving skills.
Creativity is a core skill that includes critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability. QA Testers should develop creativity as a key skill to keep up with the ever-changing industry.
It is high time that the testing domain made a paradigm shift in testing methodologies, and it is up to us, the testers, to turn testing around from a repetitive job to an innovative job.
“Creativity flows when curiosity is stoked”- Neil Blumenthal