Test vs Vacation

I have started to plan for my next vacation and it struck me how similar it is to testing. From planning the trip to the actual travel.
Here are a couple of points that sprung to mind.

  1. Scripted vs exploratory testing – Should you book hotels, excursions and other from home or should you wait with deciding how long to stay at each place when on site to be more flexible for unseen things (might be more to see than you first thought, things might be closed …).
  2. Preparations such as setup system, buy HW/SW find people with right competence – Do you need vaccination, apply for visa, ask boss for vacation and so on
  3. Securing resources e.g. HW, personnel – Hotels, excursions might be fully booked (especially during holidays)
  4. Learn as much you can about the system you are testing – Study the culture, fauna, maps, things to do, things/places to avoid…
  5. Learn the systems language – Learn the language (maybe not needed but can sometimes simplify things)
  6. Cost vs time – Is it worth to pay that extra to get direct flights, get a business ticket…
  7. Unforeseen things might happen which will affect your time-plan – Jepp exactly
  8. Sometimes you have a lot of time to plan the test but not much time to test (e.g. when renting a test lab) – If you are staying one or a couple of weeks you need to plan what to see when, but if you are staying half a year then maybe you can afford (time wise) to take it as it comes.
  9. Cost vs value (more resources, better tools, hire test experts…) – Do you want to do day trips, live in fancy hotels eat good food or live in tent and eat fallen fruit
  10. Outsourcing – Use of travel agency or book it yourself (stay home and travel through someones photos and videos, this I don’t recommend)
  11. Use of tools – Flight search engines, Tripadvisor, google maps, dictonary…
  12. Late changes can be expensive – Re-booking of flights, hotels, excursions are usually costly
  13. Session notes and screenshots helps you remember what you did during your tests – Diary is really good to remember what you did, and of course your photos will help
  14. Blink test – Buy a hop on hop off bus to ride around and stop at places that look interesting
  15. Communication is key (talking to developers, stakeholders) – So many hidden treasures can be found by talking to locals, people who have been there…
  16. Lessons learned can be really useful – Updating Tripadvisor and similar or talking to your friends about the trip can really help out if someone is planning on going
  17. You need to consider the risks – Well this is the same
  18. Priority – You usually don’t have time to see and do everything
  19. Ask stakeholders what is important and beware of shallow agreement – It can be bad if you book something your travel companions don’t want to be part of
  20. Budget & deadline – Which you of course also have when traveling
  21. Visualization – I have found that visualizing my time-plan and what is needed to do really helps me in my planning of the trip
  22. Exploratory Testing Tours – Explanation probably redundant
Well you can probably go on forever in the parallels. Which parallels do you see between testing and travels?

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