As days pass, we can all notice how the world around us becomes more and more technology dependent. People have panic attacks when they don’t find their phone, or if their phone seems not to work properly. Companies call the day off if the employee’s programs don’t work properly and who is to blame? Testers…This is why testers have to develop a sixth sense: precise measure, analytical thinking. So…why is the title of this article exploratory testing? Because despite testers’ analytical thinking and precision, they still have to sharpen their intuition!
Exploratory testing is one of the tools
Exploratory testing can be a tester’s best friend as it empowers you to act freely. You can use it to show how responsible you are and it will surely give you the drive to optimize the quality of your work. Exploratory testing is learning by doing actually. While you follow your process, you can discover, adjust, uncover and fix problems. In the end, you will have a clearer picture and it might give cool insights.
Exploratory testing is not for everyone. There are people who feel uncomfortable when they hear about it. Maybe because it doesn’t sound like being so precise.
Difference between exploratory testing and scripted testing
Well, exploratory testing doesn’t have a script (you can call it a little rebel). If you don’t know already, scripted testing is more rigorous. It follows a certain path you as a tester write it. The script should include test cases, and test steps that you document. Scripted testing allows no rebellions. The path must be followed! Your job as a tester when running a scripted testing is to follow the directions and of course declare all the problems you found on the way.
But when you choose the “dark-side”, the exploratory testing, you go with the flow, and develop the path “on the go”. It’s like improvisation but with bugs. Exploratory testing will give you space to take decisions like exploring other ways of testing without respecting a script.
Which one is wrong?
Both methodologies can have their flaws. Of course, if you choose scripted testing you already know what you want to find. This one comes with limitations. Scripted testing might not give you those cool insights you expect from the testing environment. If you know what to test following a script, you might not encounter the surprise effect a real user might have when using the product. Exploratory testing comes with surprises, while scripted testing is more rigorous. Scripted coding is safe, but not that safe. If you follow directions you might lose the overall picture where all the bugs could live happily ever after.
But the real fun is in the real world. Going in the jungle with your bare hand, that is where the fun is. Exploratory testing is for those who like adventures. It can give you the chance to go where no one could consider and find a problem and fix it before the release. Did you know that most of the accidents in the world appear when people are too used to doing something? This is the case with scripted testing which falsely assures you that following the path is safe but that is when you miss details.
Choose to be out of the box. Try something else from time to time.
But be careful, exploratory testing has its flaws also. Even though exploratory testing can give you new perspectives, and can help you uncover problems that couldn’t be seen with scripted testing, it can also miss the simplest problem. Why? Because you haven’t reached that place.
Which one to choose?
Neither one is perfect. Perfection would be if we mixed them and have a combination of each. Imagine the possibilities! It’s either this one or that one. Don’t forget to stay well informed. Find solutions to your problems and invest time in your skills.
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