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  1. #1
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    Exploratory Testing

    Hi
    I was wondering about exploratory testing, can someone give me an example and how is it carried out?
    Although we probably find most defects using a structured technique how effective is exploratory testing and what types of defect might we find that we wouldn't in Structured testing
    methodologies?

  2. #2
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    I have found that exploratory testing is helpful as a supplement to structured testing for a mature, stable product. However, I have found that using exploratory testing early during a new major release is very effective in flushing out high severity defects fast.

    In short, its a good supplement for testing a mature, stable, product and very beneficial in finding defects early while testing a new product or major release. Obviously, you will, at some point, have to execute structured testing prior to internal trail or BETA.

  3. #3
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    Rather than reinvent the wheel the following link is to an article that describes exploratory testing.

    http://www.satisfice.com/articles/et-article.pdf
    http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/Explorator...les(Final).pdf
    http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/ExploringE...oryTesting.pdf


    Where I worked we introduce a concept which we called planned exploratory, we liked the concept but wanted to ensure that we covered the application, and also we could not get SMEs assigned to partner in a team as described in one of the original article I read.

    At a high level we identified the functionality we wanted to test. We had another document than contained basic positive and negative tests for the different types of data fields.

    On some projects we used "planned exploratory" exclusively" and on other projects we used as a fall back for the areas we did not have time to plan.

    I wouldn't say that we found any different defects doing this or any more or any less, its really hard to say without doing a controlled experiment.

    Using subjective comparisons of defects found during testing and when data was available defects found after deployment I believed that the testing was as good using "planned Exploratory" as it was using structured.

    Because I never had the proof of an RTM that everything had been tested I never felt quite a comfortable approving a deployment but we never had a disaster.

    I did find that experienced testers did test better that inexperienced and I would certainly avoid or watch very closely a tester with less experience. It also requires attention to detail and discipline, not every tester has these in the right degree.

    Hope that you enjoy the reading.

    There are also some very good article on www.stickyminds.com
    Lynne

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" --Thomas Edison

  4. #4
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    Exploratory Testing is come from Explore Word, That means you are testing an application by exploring the application because you do not have requirement document.

    In such type of testing you run the application and list down all the fuctions as much as you can and then list down all possible Input values along with the negetive input values. Then You can confirm these things with the development team. And then write Test Cases for this application and execute them.

    Main Risk: - You have to assume that developer had developed as per the requirement. So there are more chances that you are forgetting those things which are important but not able to see those here or not occuring due to latent bugs, etc...

    There are more chances of failure or availability of more bugs rather than Formal testing process.

    This is some how Adhoc testing the difference between these 2 is that in Adhoc testing, we don't write test cases but in Exploratory testing we write test cases.
    Thanks,
    Ajit Singhal
    Ajit Singhal
    +91-11-99112 44009

  5. #5
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    Ajit Singhal,

    Did you read the links Lynne posted? I think Cem Kaner's writings (one of the fellows who codified ET) would not line up with your description.

  6. #6
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    [ QUOTE ]
    Exploratory Testing is come from Explore Word, That means you are testing an application by exploring the application because you do not have requirement document.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I would disagree with this statement. Often times I've had great requirements document and still very successfully used exploratory testing. As noted by others it is a great tool that can identify serious defects - but it does take experience and attention to detail.

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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    It also helps to have a good grasp of the problems the product is trying to solve and "edge conditions" of the processes involved.

    This is also a time where knowing the technologies involved can also give you a leg up in finding issues. If you know that data is transmitted in xml, what happens if you enter a name as "<barney>" or "<name".

    This is NOT keyboard mashing - or throwing a random generator at the product - this is attempting to think like an insane user or hardcore user.

  8. #8
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    Re: Exploratory Testing

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Exploratory Testing is come from Explore Word, That means you are testing an application by exploring the application because you do not have requirement document.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I would disagree with this statement. Often times I've had great requirements document and still very successfully used exploratory testing. As noted by others it is a great tool that can identify serious defects - but it does take experience and attention to detail.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cyndi,

    I absolutely agree with you - this type of testing when used well and by the right people is a powerful tool.

    Used poorly and by the wring people is a disaster!
    Lynne

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" --Thomas Edison

 

 

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