What is exploratory Testing?
As its name implies, exploratory testing is about exploring. Exploring the software to discover what the software does and doesn’t do. Exploratory testing is more a mindset or “…a way of thinking about testing” than a methodology.
Exploratory testing means the testing of software without any specific plans or schedules. This is a formal testing process where we don’t have any test cases or test planning documents to test the application. Instead, testers identify the functionality of an application by exploring the application, learning the application, and designing and executing the test plans according to their findings.
How to manage activities during execution of Exploratory Testing:
Exploratory test preparation goes through following 5 stages detailed below which is also called session based test management
1. Create a Bug classification
- Categorize common types of faults found in the past projects
- Analyse the root cause analysis of the problems or faults
- Find the risks and develop ideas to test the application.
2. Test Charter
- Test Charter should suggest: what to test, how it can be tested, What needs to be looked
- Test ideas are the starting point of exploration testing
- Test charter helps determine how the end user could use the system
3. Time Box
- This method includes a pair of testers working together not less than 90 minutes
- Timebox can be extended or reduced by 45 minutes
- This session encourages testers to react on the response from the system and prepare for the correct outcome
4. Review Results
- Evaluation of the defects
- Learning from the testing
- Analysis of coverage areas
- Compilation of the output results
- Compare the results with the charter
- Check whether any additional testing is needed
Challenges of Exploratory Testing:
- Learning to use the application or software system is a challenge
- Replication of failure is difficult
- Determining whether tools need to be used can be challenging
- Determine the best test cases to execute can be difficult
- Reporting of the test results is a challenge as the report doesn’t have planned scripts or cases to compare with the actual result or outcome
- Documentation of all events during execution is difficult to record
- Don’t know when to stop the testing as exploratory testing has definite test cases to execute.
What is Exploratory Automated Testing (EAT)
Exploratory Automated Testing is a method that helps a tester in streamlining bug reporting & reproduction, snapshots gathering and in preparation of future regression suit. It’s a process that combines automation testing with Exploratory testing.
Passive EAT can be performed by a single tester or in a pair as well. In this methodology, usually, a tool, which captures and records every single activity performed by a testing resource(s) and is installed on the resource’s machine.
Passive EAT is similar to the Exploratory that is performed manually as there is no change in the way the tests are executed apart from crafting the test result based on the captured session. These test results can be used for reporting.
It is advisable to perform Active EAT with Pair Testing. In this approach, the Keyword Driven testing is used in sync with Session testing. One tester creates the automated test script and the second tester executes the test scripts created by the first tester.
Creation of automation test scripts in this approach takes a different path than in conventional testing. Automated test scripts are made during testing and what has been discovered in the previous tests determine their design.
Benefits of Exploratory Testing:
- Exploratory testing takes less preparation.
- Critical defects are found very quickly.
- The testers can use reasoning based approach on the results of previous results to guide their future testing on the fly.
Drawbacks of Exploratory Testing:
- Tests cannot be reviewed.
- It is difficult to keep track of what tests have been tested.
- It is unlikely to be performed in exactly the same manner and to repeat specific details of the earlier tests.
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