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30 April 2022

Explore It by Elisabeth Hendrickson

by Željko Filipin

Three sentence summary

Testing = checking + exploring. You can plan some testing in advance, that’s checking. You can’t plan some testing in advance, that’s exploring.

Random thoughts

A co-worker suggested we should read Explore It for our book club at work. When I checked its ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, I was very impressed. I can’t remember when I’ve seen such good ratings. Goodreads 4.30 (302 ratings, 29 reviews), Amazon 4.7 (77 ratings, 39 reviews). After reading the book, I completely agree with the ratings.

Book Club

Once a month, we have a book club meeting. We usually read a book for one or two months. So, we have one or two meetings about the book. This was the first time we were reading the book for three months. As with Lessons Learned in Software Testing, I wanted to invite the author to the meeting.

After a bit of searching my archives, I’ve found that I’ve reported a bug on her website in 2005 and she sent me a journal and a couple of bracelets as a thank you note. I met her in 2013 while visiting San Francisco for business. In 2014 she gave a talk on exploratory testing at the Wikimedia Foundation office (video). So, I didn’t feel like a complete fool when I asked her to come to the meeting.

To my big surprise, she agreed to come! 😅 My biggest takeaway from the meeting was the discussion about how hard it was to write the book and how much a good editor (the person, not the text editor) contributes to the end result.


I would like to thank Tyler Cipriani for reviewing the article and a lot of advice on how to make it better.

tags: book - book-club - youtube