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Sometimes referred to as ad hoc testing, exploratory testing is done by performing test design and execution at the same time. This kind of testing is the opposite of scripted testing since items are not defined in advance or carried out according to any plan. Many companies use outsourced teams to perform this kind of testing once their scripted tests have been completed.
The value of exploratory testing is manifold. Testers are often given suggestions on what areas to focus on, and then allow the ideas to come to them in a fluid and intellectual manner. Often, what they do next is determined by the results of the last test they ran.Exploratory testing is almost always used when trying to identify or isolate a specific issue. For instance, if a tester obtained an error but isn’t quite sure what caused it, they will be forced to go ‘off script’ to run systematic, logical tests and try to force the error again in a repeatable fashion.Exploratory testing is extremely valuable and nearly all valuable testers employ the method to some degree.
The best example of exploratory testing is putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Trying to design a full and detailed plan for putting together the puzzle would be wasted energy. Each piece is a new test case, and each step you take next depends on the results of the last one. A concrete plan isn’t formed, merely a general idea, such as finding all of the corner and edge pieces first.
While exploratory testing is sometimes done by laypersons, more value is obtained by having experienced testers perform it. Done correctly by trained individuals, exploratory testing can prove more useful than scripted testing. QA Mentor’s Test Execution On-demand service is a perfect way to get professional testers to perform exploratory tests on your application. Either in tandem with scripted testing from your team or on their own, QA Mentor’s testers can help you achieve a higher quality product by assisting you in using multiple testing methodologies to find more defects.
How we do it
- Obtain general information about the application under test, such as data entry fields, application purpose, expected use, etc.
- Design a soft outline of areas to be tested
- Coordinate a plan with the number of testers vs. areas under test
- Perform exploratory testing for a defined period of time
- Log and report defects
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