Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing
March 22 09:00 2011 Print This Article

Exploratory testing is an approach to software testing that is concisely described as simultaneous learning, test design and test execution.

Exploratory testing

Cem Kaner, who coined the term in 1983, now defines exploratory testing as “a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the quality of his/her work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project.” While the software is being tested, the tester learns things that together with experience and creativity generates new good tests to run.

Exploratory testing is often thought of as a black box testing technique. Instead, those who have studied it consider it a test approach that can be applied to any test technique, at any stage in the development process. The key is not the test technique nor the item being tested or reviewed; the key is the cognitive engagement of the tester, and the tester’s responsibility for managing his or her time.

History


Exploratory testing has always been performed by skilled testers. In the early 1990s, ad hoc was too often synonymous with sloppy and careless work. As a result, a group of test methodologists (now calling themselves the Context-Driven School) began using the term “exploratory” seeking to emphasize the dominant thought process involved in unscripted testing, and to begin to develop the practice into a teachable discipline. This new terminology was first published by Cem Kaner in his book Testing Computer Software and expanded upon in Lessons Learned in Software Testing. Exploratory testing can be as disciplined as any other intellectual activity.

Description

Exploratory testing seeks to find out how the software actually works, and to ask questions about how it will handle difficult and easy cases. The quality of the testing is dependent on the tester’s skill of inventing test cases and finding defects. The more the tester knows about the product and different test methods, the better the testing will be.

To further explain, comparison can be made of freestyle exploratory testing to its antithesis scripted testing. In this activity test cases are designed in advance. This includes both the individual steps and the expected results. These tests are later performed by a tester who compares the actual result with the expected. When performing exploratory testing, expectations are open.

Some results may be predicted and expected; others may not. The tester configures, operates, observes, and evaluates the product and its behaviour, critically investigating the result, and reporting information that seems like to be a bug (which threatens the value of the product to me person) or an issue (which threatens the quality of the testing effort). In reality, testing almost always is a combination of exploratory and scripted testing, but with a tendency towards either one, depending on context.

Source: http://www.vietnamesetestingboard.org

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

About Article Author

view more articles
Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

View More Articles