Testing Mnemonics as a Card Deck

I have an interest in helping testers new to exploratory testing or experienced testers who may feel be at a loss for testing ideas from time to time. That interest is the primary purpose behind a new class I’m working on currently titled Brainstorming for Testers. I taught the class yesterday at CAST 2012 for the first time.

One of the exercises in the class is to give each group a deck of index cards, the cards have about 20 testing mnemonics listed – each card has a mnemonic on the front and back of the card. The mnemonic is meant to inspire testing ideas.

The basic premise is for a tester to flip through the card deck until a testing idea comes to mind. A tester may find one mnemonic in particular helps generate ideas or they may find ideas come from one word of multiple mnemonics. There is no right or wrong way to use the deck. The deck is meant as an idea generator.

For each mnenomic I’ve listed the author as well as a URL to find more information about the mnemonic. If you’re an experienced tester, chances are a single testing-related word generates ideas and if you’ve been around the testing community awhile, you’re probably already familiar with the mnemonics and seeing the mnemonic will be enough of a jumpstart.

As a practical matter, I’ve formatted the mnemonics to an Avery template so that printing card deck is fairly easy to do. Here’s the deck.

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