what is Rapid software Testing

Few days back, I read an article about Rapid software testing written by James Bach. I am summarizing this article into few points here in this blog. You can read the full article from link given above.
Rapid Software Testing, the skill of testing any software, any time, under any conditions, such that your work stands up to scrutiny. Based on the ideas of James Bach, Michael Bolton, and Cem Kaner, with substantial contributions by other members of the Context-Driven School of software testing, this is the closest thing in the business to a martial art of software testing.

Why rapid testing?
Rapid testing is a way to scale thorough testing methods to fit compressed schedule.
Rapid testing doesn't mean "not thorough", it means "as thorough as is reasonable and required, given the constraints on your time."
A good rapid tester is a skilled practitioner who can test productively under a wider variety of conditions than conventionally trained (or untrained) testers.
Most of the value of testing comes from how testers think, but even excellent testers struggle to articulate or justify their ideas about how to test. Rapid testing is a personal discipline, teachable and learnable, that allows you to think and talk about testing with confidence. By contrast, a conventionally trained tester generally is limited to complaining about how the requirements aren't fully documented.
Rapid testing is vital when you are asked to test something on short notice, off the top of your head, early in the development process, or when you're in the process of developing test cases and procedures for future use.
This approach is also useful even when you're called upon to test more thoroughly, and given the time and resources to do so.

How does rapid testing work?
A core skill in rapid testing is the ability to think critically and a good tester thinks like a scientist or a detective.
Rapid test design is an organized process, driven by a set of concise heuristics (think of them as guidelines) designed to assure that you don't forget to test anything important.
For new testers, the heuristics provide basic guidance. For experienced testers, the heuristics help you organize and access your experience, so that even under pressure, you perform like an expert and feel like one, too. With practice, you get better and better at testing rapidly while still being fully accountable for your work.

Where did the rapid testing ideas come from?
From 1987 to 1995, James Bach worked mostly alone to develop a systematic heuristic-based test methodology that applied to commercial mass-market software projects. Traditional test methodology didn't work well for market-driven test project. Starting in 1995,
He began to collaborate with other thinkers and writers in the field, who helped find and fix errors in his work, and helped extend it beyond the scope of market-driven projects.
Some of his colleagues eventually came together to identify themselves as the Context-Driven School of software test methodology.
Others helped create the Agile Alliance, which published the Agile Manifesto.
Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Brett Pettichord published the first context-driven testing textbook Lessons Learned in Software Testing. James and his colleagues speak and write regularly about testing, doing their best to advance the state of the art.


  1. Hi

    Nice post....

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  2. The Context Driven school of testing is in my view the best approach there is to thinking about testing.

    At the June 2009 BCS SIGiST in the UK I gave a talk on ‘Pragmatic Testing – the Middle Way’ where I tried to challenge the current paradigm of thinking in terms of traditional, agile or other forms of project and test approaches. I feel these lead us astray and the only reality we encounter is the need to take a holistic, contextual approach to testing that calls on our skills and abilities as technical professionals.

    My view is that the Context Driven approach will become ever more important to us as a professional body. We should all strive to have a tool-box of approaches and solutions that we can draw on given the testing challenge we face. Just thinking in terms of traditional or agile will not serve us well. What if we encounter one or the other and have no skill or technique to apply? Not very professional is it.

    Be sure to check out James Lyndsay who collaborates with Michael Bolton on Rapid Software Testing. His site is at:



  3. Mark.

    Thanks a lot for your valuable comments, i really appreciate your time you spent while replying to my post

  4. It is worth noting and I really liked the presentation as well. I will surely come back for more of intersting post

    Software Testing training chandigarh


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