Crappy Path Testing

Take The Crappy Path
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I love this post by Joe Strazzere on Crappy Path Testing. Here’s what he had to say:

But you don’t settle for staying on the Happy Path. No, you are a professional tester; you can do better! You know that nobody else will bother, so it’s up to you. You step onto the Crappy Path:

  • You see a date field and you think – February is a crappy month, so why don’t I just enter February 31st and see what happens…
  • The system asks you to upload a text file? Well, let’s just see what it thinks of a picture of my crappy dog, renamed to have a .TXT extension…
  • Hmm. This website says not to use the browser’s Back button. Sounds like a crappy challenge to me!
  • Install, uninstall, then install again? That would be a crappy thing to do…
  • The application is asking you for your age. You’re feeling crappy, so for today perhaps your age will be “-1″…
  • A registration form?  Perhaps you’ll completely fill every character in every field, usually with crappy special characters…
  • Nothing but a crappy system would have only 0.5 GB disk space remaining. Let’s just see what happens to this application on a crappy system…
  • Seeing a fork in the road, you say to yourself – What would happen if I replaced that crappy fork with a knife…

So leave the Happy Path to the optimistic, the timid, the weak, and the simple. Join the ranks of professional testers. Venture with me off the beaten path, and onto the Crappy Path!

It’s encouraging to think that I have done most of these examples that he has cited, except for the second to the last bullet (in bold). Too bad that I only came by this article today too, as it could have saved me a whole lot of trouble … a client (from my previous work) unfortunately encountered a production down-time because of a similar scenario.

Here are other crappy path testing practices that my team and I do:

  • While the application is processing (a Save or Cancel action)… close the app, pull the network cable or, if you are feeling it, pull the plug.
  • Double-click a button just for the heck of it!
  • Run a wild-character search…

There are so many more practices out there for crappy testing. Some are entirely unique to the applications one is testing, while others are more generic in nature. How about you? What crappy testing techniques do you use?


I came across this article by subscribing to the RSS feed of QA Hates You.

Coach Rye
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Coach Rye

Head Coach at Coach Rye
Ryan Salvanera is an Executive Coach who helps teams and individuals maximize their unique powers, taking them from good to great to AWESOME! Ryan is the Founder of Coach Rye and a Co-Founder of Wissen Solomon and StrengthsCoach.PH.

Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.

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Coach Rye
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  • Joe Strazzere

    Thanks, and glad you liked the article!
    “Pull the network cable” would indeed be a crappy thing to do – I love it!

    And while I enjoy QA Hates You too, you can also subscribe to All Things Quality directly at

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for the visit and, yes, I already am subscribed to your RSS feed. 🙂