Encouraging and Educating About Context-Driven Testing

Encouraging and Educating About Context-Driven Testing

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

One of the more interesting dichotomies in software testing is the contrast between striving for standardization across individual testers versus applying context-driven techniques that allow testers to adapt their methods to the specific context of their testing. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide on how to encourage and educate about context-driven testing while maintaining a structured approach.

Understanding Context-Driven Testing

Context-driven testing is a methodology that emphasizes the importance of adapting testing practices to the specific context in which they are applied. This approach recognizes that no single testing method is universally applicable and encourages testers to use their judgment and experience to select the most appropriate techniques for the situation.

Steps to Encourage Context-Driven Testing

To effectively encourage and educate about context-driven testing, consider the following steps:

1. Encourage Critical Thinking

Encourage testers to think about the last time they consulted a testing standard or a canned process document and found it useful. Ask them to reflect on whether they would use the same testing approach for different types of applications, such as a medical device, a game, a financial institution, or an online dating service. This critical thinking helps testers understand the need for context-driven testing.

2. Adapt Communication Styles

Ask testers whether they would use the same communication style with different types of programmers, such as a friendly and approachable developer versus a highly skilled but brusque one. This helps testers realize the importance of adapting their communication and testing styles to different contexts.

3. Utilize Educational Resources

Point testers to resources such as context-driven-testing.com and encourage them to question the principles outlined there. Additionally, have testers go through courses like the BBST’s foundations and bug advocacy courses, which address many of the issues related to context-driven testing in depth.

4. Lead by Example

It is crucial to lead by example. Sharpen your own recognition and understanding of context-driven testing through continuous study and application. Share your experiences and insights with your team to foster a culture of learning and adaptation.

Effective Education Techniques

The education process can vary based on the individual tester. Here are some techniques to consider:

  • Self-Study: For some testers, providing a stack of web pages, books, or course recommendations may be sufficient.
  • Hands-On Training: For others, a more hands-on approach may be necessary. Spend time testing with them, offering suggestions, and explaining your motivations. This method can be highly effective if the teacher is patient, a good communicator, and aware of their thought processes, and the student is open to learning.


Context-driven testing is a valuable approach that allows testers to adapt their methods to the specific context of their testing. By encouraging critical thinking, adapting communication styles, utilizing educational resources, and leading by example, you can foster a culture of context-driven testing within your team.

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For more information on test automation and related topics, feel free to explore our blog and documentation.

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