What are Testing Katas?

What Are Testing Katas?

If you are a developer you’ve probably come across the term Coding Katas at least once.

Coding Katas are exercises developers can use to hone their skills in developing in general or understanding a specific programming language. In line with the old idiom “repetition is the mother of learning”, the Katas help developers understand common problems and mistakes, and - perhaps more importantly - how to get into the correct mindset when tackling certain tasks.

Coding Katas have been around for a while and have become a popular tool in the developer’s toolbox. There’s a multitude of repositories out there and a lively discussion about how to solve them, their usability, and creating new ones.

Despite the Katas success in the developer-domain, nothing similar really exists for all the testers out there. While some "challenges" for testers exist, they have nowhere near the depth of the Coding Katas, with a clear Scenario and Problem Statement. They are usually rather short, and often GUI-centric.

This is why we created the Testing Katas. These are exercises that testers - and developers - can use to hone their testing skills. In line with the main themes of the rest of the Dojo there’s an emphasis on on non-GUI and API testing. Exercises are divided into the levels Grasshopper (newbie) and Master (advanced) to provide suitable challenges for both experienced and inexperienced testers alike.

Note that we do not offer solutions to the Kata problems. While some of them provide clues to help you get on the right track towards reaching a solution, we do not prescribe a correct way of solving them. Usually, there are multiple ways you can go about setting up API tests, and the point of the Katas isn't to arrive at the "one correct solution". The point is that the work involved in trying to solve them will help you better understand the processes involved, and hone the skills you need to do good API testing.

Look through the Testing Katas and do not skip the ones you feel you are comfortable with. Repetition can be a great tool to keep your skills fresh. You might discover new ways of tackling problems you thought could only be solved one particular way.

We are continually improving the Dojo to keep the information up to date and informative, and the list of Testing Katas is continuing to grow. Make sure to check back from time to time, if nothing else just to repeat a few exercises if no new ones have arrived. By following us on Twitter you can also keep up to date with new additions to the Dojo.