Specialized SkillsThe four specialized skills needed to be effective in black-box testing are:
- Inquisitive mind
- Domain knowledge
- Good memory
- Good written skills
Inquisitive Mind SkillsEveryone has done black box testing without knowing it. It usually starts out with, “what if..” or “what would happen if…”. These types of questions usually lead to other questions which are great for exploratory testing and ad hoc testing. Sample questions are:
- What if I took this route home instead of my usual route?
- What would happen if I stopped drinking coffee for one month?
- What would happen if I stop eating meat for a year?
- What would happen if I do this to the feature?
- What would happen if I do this to this application?
Domain Knowledge SkillsHow do you gain domain knowledge as a beginner? There are two methods to gain domain knowledge of an application: Reading the documentation which will tell the tester why the application or feature was built and exploration which will show the tester what was implemented versus what was designed.
Reading documentationReading the documentation is a quick way to understand why the product exists, what purpose it serves, and how it was designed or implemented. The document is normally written by the product team or the marketing team. It is the tester’s job to scrutinize the document until he/she fully understands the feature or application so that any confusion or misunderstandings are resolved at this point. Do not hesitate to ask questions to find answers. The documentation can serve as the foundation for all your test cases.
ExplorationThe second method to acquire domain knowledge is to explore the current application you’re testing. The more familiar with the application a tester is, the easier it is for the tester to anticipate the effects of adding a new feature and to add their feedback to the discussion. When exploring the application, use the “what if…” or “what will happen if…” to find the boundaries and limitations of the app. Pushing the application to its limits and sometimes going outside of its capabilities will yield the most knowledge about the application.