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What is exploratory testing, and when should it be performed?

Can anyone please explain me what is exploratory testing, and when should it be performed.

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Posted 2 months ago


What Is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory Testing as the name suggests is based on the tester exploring the website or app to be able to make it better with time. It is a substantial activity in an Agile software development, where the development and the testing cycles go hand in hand.

Exploratory testing though performed as black box testing, where the software is taken into account as a whole without getting into the details of individual elements forming it. It is a very spontaneous methodology of testing where the tester learns, understands, explores and tests the software simultaneously in an unplanned manner. In contrast to the generally practised scripted testing where the test plans, test cases, and test steps are scripted way before the actual testing takes place, exploratory testing goes as the tester discovers and learns about the website or app on its own.

It emphasizes more on the tester’s creativity, autonomy, and skill, unlike other testing techniques where a set pattern of the methodology is followed.

Why Is Exploratory Testing Important?

Exploratory Testing marks an important activity while practising Agile methodologies of software development. In an agile sprint, the software is developed with the release of multiple versions in a duration of every few weeks. Which means the time to develop and test is restricted and needs to be done on a tighter timeline. Thus, to conform to the small iterations of agile, exploratory testing, as it is less time-consuming complements with the automation testing to enhance the software with each version release.

While the automation testing takes care of the regression testing, exploratory testing mainly tests the newly introduced features for the upcoming version. It ensures robust functionality, better user experience with constant learning and implementing with each version, informing the team about possible issues that might occur.

How To Conduct Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory testing involves discovery, investigation, and learning which goes hand in hand. Since, it is not pre-planned, unlike the scripted testing where the test plans, test cases, and test steps are drawn well in advance before starting to test the software.

In an Exploratory test, a minimum time is given to planning. Instead, utmost time is dedicated to testing execution. To perform Exploratory Testing, all you need to do is to highlight the scenarios you are planning to cover, as a part of the test planning stage.

While most of the emphasis is laid on test execution, the key learning which takes place simultaneously throughout the process is to be implemented during test execution for the enhancement of software.

During Exploratory test execution, the key functionalities are targeted by exploring and discovering the software, and the reported defects are noted down. These defects are further analyzed, to resolve and enhance the product services.

This way Exploratory Testing takes place with learning, test design, execution and analysis for Agile software development.

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