The Impact of Exploratory Testing Technique
Traditional testing follows a pretty straightforward approach in which test cases are developed in advance for all potential use scenarios, and then they are executed until all of the test cases pass.
Exploratory testing, on the other hand, takes a different approach.
The test cases are written by the tester simultaneously as they are executed in exploratory testing. This method has been demonstrated to uncover more critical flaws than more standard testing methods.
Furthermore, exploratory testing might boost the testers’ creativity and curiosity. Simply put, working with exploratory testing is more exciting because there are no ready-made test cases before the testing begins.
It’s quite difficult to construct full test cases that produce unambiguous results in traditional testing, and the tester is frequently forced to do testing based on expected and actual outcomes. This is why exploratory testing is so valuable: the testers must rely heavily on their own expertise and knowledge to determine whether the product’s behavior is realistic. The exploratory testing effort’s open nature raises the testing quality many levels.
The Origin and Definition of Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing was created by Cem Kaner and James Bach in the early 1990s. Exploratory testing is a testing method in which an experienced tester applies her or his testing skills while simultaneously writing and executing test cases.
By contrasting two techniques of interviewing clients to gather requirements, we may better comprehend exploratory testing.
A pre-determined list of questions is utilized in a structured interview. In a semi-structured interview, the questions are used as a guideline to ensure that the most important subjects are covered while allowing the questions to grow. The semi-structured interviewing method is similar to experimental testing.
There are no pre-made test cases in exploratory testing; rather, the tests are run while the tester is still learning the system. Exploratory testing has helped testers come up with test cases that neither the developer nor a regular tester could have come up with under normal conditions, in my experience.
When a flaw is discovered in a product, for example, a typical tester will attempt to duplicate it by examining the circumstances that may have produced it. An expert exploratory tester would look not just at the known conditions that may have caused the flaw, but also at alternate situations and scenarios that could have created the same problem.
3 simple yet effective tricks to make exploratory testing effective
#1 – Use RIMGEA
Replicate, Isolate, Maximize, Generalize, externalize is a mnemonic that stands for Replicate, Isolate, Maximize, Generalize, Externalize. When it comes to completing out bug reports, RIMGEA comes in helpful.
Let’s take a closer look at each component.
- Recreate it first — As a tester, you’ll have a hard time convincing the developer to repair the issue if you can’t replicate it, so make sure you replicate it first.
- Isolate it – You want to get to the problem as soon as possible. Reduce the number of steps required to duplicate the fault so that it can be isolated.
- Make the most of it – If you can duplicate a defect, don’t stop there. Conduct follow-up tests to identify settings and scenarios that may duplicate the problem or lead to the discovery of the defect’s root cause.
- Generalize it — In this step, the tester un-corners the edge cases and looks for other areas where the problem can be recreated.
- Externalize it — Consider the defect not just from the standpoint of a tester, but also from the standpoint of numerous other stakeholders. Document the impact of the defect on the stakeholders who have been identified.
- And say it plainly and objectively — In your bug report, be clear and remove any attachment or emotion for the fault. Remember that a tester and a developer are both members of the same product team, therefore submit bug reports in a balanced and fair manner for the benefit of the entire product team.
#2 – Keep it Simple, yet Comprehensive
You have a better chance of winning the race if you go slow and steady with your exploratory testing. You don’t have to start with the most intricate case; you can start with something simpler. You might utilize the As Late as Possible (ALAP) method to postpone worrying about specifics until the last possible moment. Make tiny changes to the tests to acquire deeper and better results while keeping it simple.
#3 – Employ Cross-functional Pair Testing
Set aside some time to conduct exploratory testing with someone who isn’t a tester, such as a Product Owner or a Business Analyst. If you don’t have anything planned when you meet with them, you may start by having them test some known flaws in pairs. Having someone test with you from a different functional area increases your chances of finding more flaws or untested test cases. Set expectations with the non-tester ahead of time so that you both get the most out of the practice.
What if exploratory testing is brand new to your organization?
Some organizations, particularly those with a command-and-control culture driven by bureaucracy from higher up the chain, may find exploratory testing radical. Don’t worry about it. Begin with small steps.
If you’re a senior or leadership testing job, you could undertake some exploratory testing on one or two bugs. You can document the results and provide them to the rest of the testing team once the testing is completed. Half of your work is done after you’ve gotten your team’s psychological buy-in. After that, have experienced testers apply the techniques and gradually integrate them into the testing process.
- Exploratory testing has been demonstrated to uncover more critical flaws than typical testing methods. It allows testers to express their creativity and curiosity while performing their duties, resulting in a win-win situation for both the tester and the product team.
- Cem Kaner and James Bach created the exploratory testing concept in the early 1990s. It is a non-traditional testing method in that the test cases are written while the tests are being executed.
- In your exploratory testing, remember RIMGEA (Replicate, Isolate, Maximize, Generalize, Externalize), which stands for Replicate, Isolate, Maximize, Generalize, Externalize, and explain it clearly and dispassionately. Keep your testing basic but understandable, and use cross-functional pair testing whenever possible.
- If exploratory testing is new to your company, try it out on a few faults or situations first, then document and discuss your findings with the rest of the testers to gain their support for incorporating it into the conventional testing process.
Exploratory testing, without a doubt, brings out the creative side in testers and is incredibly helpful in enhancing product quality. Regardless of how effective this exploratory testing method is, a healthy balance between regular testing and exploratory testing must be maintained.
A lot of exploratory testing might lead to a lot of time spent on finding edge case scenarios and less time spent on standard testing. Make careful to keep a healthy balance between the two!
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