Exploratory Testing with qTrace 2.0

One of the key advantages of qTrace is its support for exploratory testing. As a single stop shop tool to record defect, capture environment information and submit to defect trackers, qTrace removes most of the manual screen-capturing and note-taking activities out of the testing process, allowing testers to focus on exploring the application at hand. Yet, as we listen to our users for their feedback, there is a limitation in the way qTrace supports exploratory testing.

When doing exploratory testing, testers generally don’t follow a predefined test scripts with clear starting and final steps.  Instead, they let their intuition and emerging discoveries guide the next step.  With the current qTrace workflow, during an exploratory session, whenever testers find a defect, they need to turn on qTrace recording mode and re-perform the flow.  This is inconvenient for several reasons:

  • Testers have to repeat themselves by performing the flow causing the defect twice
  • With hard-to-reproduce defects, testers might have a hard time recalling the exact test steps they had performed
  • Finally, this type of continuous interruption certainly affects testers’ productivity

Some qTrace users have to work around these issues by turning qTrace on for the whole exploratory session.  Whenever they find a defect, they will stop the recording and retain only the most recent screens and steps relevant to the defect at hand.  Assume not-too-long sessions, this work around certainly works because the effort of removing irrelevant details can be less than the effort of performing a flow twice and having to reproduce a complicated defect.  Yet, it is still an interruption that these users wish to eliminate.

Given that, we are very pleased that the new release of qTrace comes with a feature addressing this issue, making exploratory testing with qTrace as joyful as it can be.  Specifically, qTrace 2.0 allows testers to turn on recording for as many testing sessions as they want while retaining the last N number of screens exercised.  For example, testers can start the recording and instruct qTrace to retain only the last 10 screens.  After that, they can perform exploratory testing on the application while having qTrace run in the background and keep track of every screen and action.  Whenever a defect is found, testers will stop the recording and qTrace will present them the last 10 screens with all associated steps.  Testers can then make necessary editing before submitting the defect.  No need to repeat themselves, no need to wonder why that defect does not occur this time around, and no need to delete dozens of old screens and steps just to retain only the most recent ones!

Astute readers might not be so excited, now that qTrace actively records most of the testing time, what if it consumes too much system memory?  To that concern, I am pleased to let you know that we have engineered qTrace to maintain a low and constant memory footprint for as long as you record.  As a matter of fact, you can have qTrace running in recording mode for days and it only takes up a very small portion of system memory!

So what are you waiting for?  Go ahead download qTrace 2.0 and start improving your productivity today!

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