SBTM with iTester and Google Drive

A bit of context

Lately, I’ve been working as a tester on a project where I do a lot of work in the field. I am testing (among other apps) a mobile application that controls a certain device remotely and, to see it working in real time, I often have to be either in our internal lab or at a specific site that has the devices in use.

In this context, taking notes during an exploratory testing session can become quite difficult. I found that I was often using my iPhone either to take notes or to record short audios with the steps I was following and the bugs I had found.

So I decided, at first, to write an iOS application that would allow me to take notes and help me keep a record of my sessions. This is how iTester 1.0 was born. After receiving feedback from testers that were willing to try it out in this initial phase, I decided to add more functionality and also focus on creating an easy way to gather all the relevant session-based test management metrics.

In this post, I will try to explain:

How to use iTester to record your exploratory testing sessions

The iTester app  allows you to take notes during your exploratory testing sessions, and is useful especially if you are working on the field and have no access to a computer.

When you start the app, you can set a test charter for your session, set a session length, and you can enter any environment details that you might find useful. You can also set a area or a feature that the session will be focusing on, and this info will be used to gather coverage info on the summary report.

When you start the session, you will be able to enter different types of notes:

  • Test
  • Bug
  • Setup and
  • OffCharter

are notes that will affect time calculations. Whenever you touch Setup, the app will calculate that from that moment until you touch another one of these note types, you are working on setting up your environment.

The other note types (Note, Question, Next Time and Data) will not affect time metrics, and you can save notes and questions as part of the session test-time.

When you finish a session, you will be able to either share it by email, or upload it to Google Drive to use it later and add it to an SBMT Report.

How to create an SBTM report on Google Docs using your iTester sessions

I have created a Google Drive template that you can use to create your SBTM report:

and you here’s a screenshot of the report in use with my own account:

To start using the report:

1. From iTester, upload one of your session to Google Drive or email it to yourself so that you have at least one session file at hand.

2. Click on the template link – you will have to sign in with your Google Account.

3. Click on “Use this template” – this will create a copy of the spreadsheet in your own Google Drive. You can rename if needed.

4. Click on the Sample 1 sheet and delete all data inside.

5. Open your iTester session file – either from your email or from Google Drive – select all data and copy-paste it in the Sample 1 sheet in your SBTM Report. Rename the sheet from Sample 1 to something relevant.

6. On the Summary sheet, at the top, by the regular Google menu, you will see an “SBTM Report” menu, with a “Refresh Data” submenu, as below:

7. When you click on the “Refresh Data” button, you should now see the metrics relating to your own sessions.

8. Whenever you want to add a new session to the report, create a new sheet and copy-paste your iTester session there.

That’s it!

A bit more on how this works:

From the document, if you go to Tools -> Script Editor…, you will see the actual Google Apps Javascript code that creates the summary sheet. You can modify this or improve it in any way to make it fit your needs better.