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Exploratory Testing- The Ultimate Guide

03-Nov-2020

Exploratory Testing- The Ultimate Guide

The term ‘exploratory testing’ was invented in 1984 by Cem Kaner as a form of software testing for testers to perform all the activities at the same time and instantly. Whether it is the matter of planning, analysis, designing, or test execution, here everything is done simultaneously, which means there is no need to prepare test cases first, unlike other testing types.

From QA managers to testers, everyone in the testing team highly uses exploratory testing in agile because it gives them the freedom to investigate, discover, and learn many things while working on any business project.

When to do Exploratory Testing in Agile?

There are the following scenarios when we require to perform exploratory testing in agile.

  • To understand how the new feature looks in the application.
  • When the project is given to new testers.
  • When found any bug in the application.
  • When it comes to reducing test script writing.
  • When there is a requirement for advanced iterations.
  • To find new information and new questions.
  • To understand how a function executes and how the UI has an impact on the user experience.
  • When the application is critical still, your customer demands to get the testing done faster.

Popular Exploratory Testing Tools that You Need to Know for 2020

Various exploratory testing tools are available online to automate the exploratory testing tasks with features like interpreting feedback and taking screenshots during sessions. Basically, the testing tool is an application that allows to perform exploratory testing automatically and ensures improved test coverage and overall software product.

Below are some popular used exploratory testing tools that you can consider for 2020 & 2021.

1. PractiTest

It is the flexible test management tool that helps exploratory testing companies monitor the entire testing process and executes the test in real-time. Managing all kinds of tests and solving test issues from one centralized place is possible with PractiTest.

2. Testpad

Testpad is another test plan tool used for exploratory testing and saves testers more time while finding embarrassing bugs and agile product development.

3. Test Studio

If you want to get the automated testing tool for exploratory assessment, Test Studio is the perfect option for you because it supports the latest technologies from MVC, JavaScript, AJAX, Ruby, Android, PHP, HTML5 to Silverlight. The test recorder feature of the test studio is useful for customizing the code in Visual Studio. It can be used for several applications such as web, desktop, or mobile applications.

4. JIRA Capture

It is the exploratory testing tool for all teams in the software testing company because it helps record all sessions together. It supports all types of web-based applications and operating systems. The features of this tool are faster bug reporting, annotated screenshots, and browser extension.

5. Session Tester

It is a free and easy-to-use exploratory testing tool for managing and recording session-based testing. The timer feature of the Session Tester enables you to set the particular time duration for session-based tests and based on your unique requirements. It provides an option to record session notes in XML format that you can further easily convert into other formats.

Exploratory Testing vs. Adhoc Testing

The difference between exploratory testing and Adhoc testing confuses many people due to some similar features. Yet, there is a vast distinction between both of them that you can check below:

1. Exploratory testing starts with the investigation of application and learning. However, in Adhoc testing, the application is first understood and then continues with the actual testing phase.

2. The purpose of exploratory testing is to teach about the application from scratch. It improves learning power. On the other hand, Adhoc is used to achieve perfection while testing.

3. Maintaining documentation is an essential task in exploratory testing, especially to obtain the quality for customer’s products and applications. On the flip side, documentation is not a necessity for Adhoc-based testing.

4. The application is easy to develop with exploratory testing. In contrast, Adhoc is used to get innovative ideas from research.

5. The experience matters a lot for exploratory testing. On the other side, it is not necessary to hire a very professional software testing engineer for Adhoc testing.

6. As discussed above, exploratory testing is implemented instantly, so there is no fixed time to start this process. Inversely, you need to prepare various things before starting the Adhoc testing.

7. The exploratory testing allows us to combine the learning test results and helps create a new solution. Anyway, Adhoc is the one-time executable testing, and in case of detecting problems, tests may be repeated by software testing service providers.

8. Exploratory testing focuses on the device verification and data entry areas. The main aim of Adhoc testing is to check the application process and repeat the tests according to requirements.

9. Simultaneous testing or exploratory tests work on positive scenarios. Ad hoc testing is mostly used for negative scenarios.

10. With exploratory testing, you can analyze what issues you’ve faced in the past while using your product. Based on the analysis, companies start the testing process and save your time. Adhoc-based testing depends upon the market problems, and when it comes to understanding the application, this type of test is taken into consideration.

Importance of Exploratory Testing in Agile

The agile is new normal for all latest software testing because it includes short sprints of about one month, and the tight deadlines are setting up to complete the project on-time. Agile plays a vital role in exploratory testing because its focus is to give speedy deliveries and meet consumers' demands in a limited period. For this, the testers have to understand customers' requirements before using their skills and intuitions for testing.

With the familiarity of the application’s features and behaviour, QA teams can create additional test cases and find bugs with accuracy. Moreover, there are no harsh rules for exploratory testing in agile. One can maintain the short reports of bugs for future reference rather than following proper documentation standards. Agile strategies can create a win-win situation with exploratory testing due to the game of thinking and fulfilling early delivery & quality needs. Similarly, exploratory testing is a must for agile projects as per the software testing company.

Exploratory Testing Example

Suppose you want to reach any new place without using a google map. In this case, what will you do? It is simple; you’ll ask someone to help you find the right direction. You’ll either travel using guess-based techniques or call your friends and relatives to take you from one location. Now, someone has made hospital management software from somewhere else. Also, he/she is not from a technical background, but he wants to resolve his/her problems through testing. In this case, you have to consider the exploratory testing because you don’t have any test cases, and the overall testing is done through guesswork.

For this, you can plan with other team members to understand the software and conduct meetings with your customer until the mission doesn't get completed. You can study the past defects that are reported to your customer for the previous release. Based on that, you can use different scenarios to test graceful error handling.

 Benefits of Exploratory Testing in Agile

  • It allows quick feedback about the customer’s project to the development team.
  • From developers, testers, business analysts to designers, each person can perform exploratory testing and collect different views.
  • It is possible to identify a wide range of defects and fix them quickly.
  • If you don’t have a clarification of requirements, you can still choose exploratory testing to submit the project in the restricted time limit.

Conclusion

Exploratory testing is the need of the hour to avoid the limitations of scripted testing. It encourages intuitions and new creativity to improve test case suite and learning skills even after many challenges.

Have you got an exploratory test for your projects? Share your experience with us. If you are not happy with the previous results, let us know because we’re BugRaptors that is an independent company in India and worldwide who can help you get exploratory testing services at reasonable prices.

author

Sharad Yadav

Sharad works as a Consultant QA at Bugraptors. He is having multidimensional skills with respect to Manual testing, Mobile application testing, Game testing, Compatibility testing, Smoke testing, Responsive Testing, Sanity testing and Regression testing. He is also having expertise in preparation, development and execution of Test cases, Test procedure specifications and Test summary reports etc.

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