Creative Techniques for Discovering Test Ideas

Do you need constructive, practical, new ideas to approach testing? Join this interactive tutorial on discovering test ideas. Karen will explain how to use heuristics to find new ideas. After a brief discussion, you will apply and practice with a variety of heuristics. This tutorial also explores the use of the CIA’s tool, the Phoenix Checklist, a set of context-free questions to help you look at a problem or challenge from a fresh perspective. Karen will also review the use of brainstorming, and variations on brainstorming you can use with your team to approach testing in new ways. Come join a session designed to explore creative ways to strengthen your approach to testing.

  • Learn new techniques to discover test ideas
  • Discover how to use brainstorming to uncover test ideas
  • Practice brainstorming with context-focused questions and context-free questions to solve testing challenges


Karen Johnson, Software Test Management, inc.

Karen N. Johnson is an independent software test consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. She views software testing as an intellectual challenge and believes in the context-driven school of testing. Karen teaches and consults on a variety of topics in software testing. She frequently speaks at software testing conferences. She has been published in Better Software and Software Test and Performance magazines and on and She is also the co-founder of WREST, the Workshop on Regulated Software Testing ( For the past two years, Karen has served as an executive board member for the Association for Software Testing (AST).