The SQA2 Blog:
Have you ever faced with a rapid test situation? Due to a developer suddenly coming and requesting your help to do a quick test on his new application. How did you react? Did you ask him to give you the acceptance tests, requirements document, specifications, test data etc.? Or did you jump right in and did one hour of rapid testing?
Rapid testing is indispensable when asked to test something on short notice, off the top of your head, early in the development process, or when you’re in the process of developing test cases and procedures for future use. This approach is also useful even when you’re called upon to test more thoroughly, and given the time and resources to do so.
Rapid testing doesn’t mean not thorough. It means as thorough as is reasonable and required, given the constraints on your time. A good rapid tester is a skilled practitioner. He/she can test productively under a wider variety of conditions. More so than conventionally trained (or untrained) testers.
This is part of exploratory testing. Exploratory testing combines test design and test execution into one process, it therefore finds a lot of problems quickly. If you are an experienced tester, you’ll find out how to articulate those intellectual processes of testing. Processes that you already practice intuitively.