I already have a TestSphere deck, and often use the cards as inspiration for new test ideas. I’ve already published some blog posts which were inspired by the cards that I picked from the deck.

Last week I received my TestSphere expansion pack. I’ve recorded some of my initial thoughts while opening the pack for the first time.

This video is over 13 minutes long, so I’ve broken the talk down into sections and links that navigate to these sections. I’ve provided a photo of the cards that I talk about or just mention.

Observability Category

This is a completely new category which deal with someones ability to observe what is happening in the system. I discussed Event Logging/Logging in more detail, plus also mentioned Black Box and White Box Monitoring.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Dealing With Change Category

Another new category that was introduced with this expansion pack was dealing with change. This section saw a details discussion about Pre-Mortems, with Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration also being mentioned.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Heuristics Category

Some new cards include Dogfooding and Feature Toggles. I was aware of dogfooding before seeing this card, but didn’t realize that was what it was called.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Feelings Category

Feelings are definitely the most interesting cards to write about because there are so many ways they could be interpreted. Do we consider the feelings of the tester, or our colleagues, and how it affects the way we work? Or do we consider the feelings of the user, and how they affect the way the application is used?

In this section I discuss unqualified, fear and informed.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Quality Aspects Category

I’ve never been entirely sure why but I’ve always found the quality aspects category the hardest to talk about. For this section I briefly discuss impartiality. Business Value Capability and Observability are mentioned as well. I mention Lisa Crispin’s talk on Cognitive Bias. The notes from this talk can be found here.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Techniques Category

The phrase I refer to is: “For an idea to go from your head into the computer it MUST go through someone else’s hands” (Martin Fowler, On Pair Programming). Not necessarily the least skilled or least experienced person, but the person with the idea should explain it to someone else. Pair or mob programming/testing are great methods for learning and sharing ideas.

Click here to watch this section of the video.

Patterns Category

In this section, I discuss Mutation Testing and how I’ve used it for ‘testing’ automated tests. Its an example of a technique that I used, but didn’t realize it had a name until someone else told me about it.

Click here to watch this section of the video.


I mentioned RiskStorming towards the end of the video. This is a great way for the team to discuss a feature or application, and identify some test ideas. You can read more in this blogpost where I talk about a RiskStorming workshop, run by Ben Fellows, that I attended back in January.


Ministry of Testing ‘Awesome Merch’ – You can purchase your own TestSphere deck, plus the expansion pack from the Ministry of Testing Website.

TestSphere on the Dojo – Learn more about TestSphere and how people are using it.

The Club – Further ideas of how TestSphere can be used.