I wrote out my Lab Days experience recently but didn’t get to bring you down the rabbit hole with me to experience the recursive testing goodness.

My project for Lab Days was an enhanced logging tool, but the logging is the heart of the matter, with users putting it through its paces much more stringently then the analysis functionality.

Since I usually do exploratory testing of applications at the day job and the time pressure of Lab Days left little room for formal test cases anyway, I decided to try out a new exploratory testing session logger: Rapid Reporter.

I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to learning Rapid Reporter, so I didn’t bother reading any documentation or preparing myself for how it worked, essentially exploratory testing my exploratory testing tool while exploratory testing my application under test.

It turns out this kind of recursive testing experience was just what I needed to liven things up a bit, all in the spirit of trying something new! I discovered that rapidly learning about a session logger while testing/learning a session logger, pulling log entries from an original session log, and reporting bugs via a session/chat room (HipChat) made for some perilous context-switching. More than once during the day, I had to stop what I was doing just to get my bearings.

I clearly enjoyed the experimentation because I decided to repeat the experience, though with a little less context-switching, when we upgraded our usual ET tool: Bonfire. The funniest thing about using Bonfire after working on my Lab Days project was that I realized there were tags available for log entries but the tagging indicators weren’t the same as our choice for our usability testing tool. I kept trying to use the tagging that I’d been testing all week and had to retrain myself, improving their documentation as a result of my questioning.

Still, seeing how another logging tool uses tags gave me some functionality to consider for our usability logger: how would users want to interact with tagged log entries? Clearly time to circle back with my UX designer to discuss some enhancements!

Image generated here