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Understanding Problem Solving in Software Testing: An Exploration of Tester Routines and Behavior



Eduard Paul Enoiu, Gregory Gay , Jameel Esber , Robert Feldt

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


IFIP-ICTSS 35th International Conference on Testing Software and Systems


Software testing is a difficult, intellectual activity performed in a social environment. Naturally, testers use and allocate multiple cognitive resources towards this task. The goal of this study is to understand better the routine and behaviour of human testers and their mental models when performing testing. We investigate this topic by surveying 38 software testers and developers in Sweden. The survey explores testers' cognitive processes when performing testing by investigating the knowledge they bring, the activities they select and perform, and the challenges they face in their routine. By analyzing the survey results, we provide a characterization of tester practices and identify insights regarding the problem-solving process. We use these descriptions to further enhance a cognitive model of software testing.


author = {Eduard Paul Enoiu and Gregory Gay and Jameel Esber and Robert Feldt},
title = {Understanding Problem Solving in Software Testing: An Exploration of Tester Routines and Behavior},
month = {September},
year = {2023},
booktitle = {IFIP-ICTSS 35th International Conference on Testing Software and Systems},
url = {}