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Everything about Exploratory Testing!

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We are all familiar with Exploratory Testing. In this article, I am writing about Exploratory Testing, why it is performed, how to perform it, its drawbacks, how to overcome these drawbacks, when to perform it, and why.

In a real-life scenario, whenever we are traveling to any new place, we will explore the particular place and get to know about it by traveling. In a similar way, whenever we are testing a new application, we need to explore the application.

Exploratory Testing

What is Exploratory Testing?

Understanding the application, identifying all possible scenarios, documenting the scenarios, and testing the application by referring to the document is called Exploratory Testing. It means exploring the application, understanding how each and every feature works, and testing the application based on the understanding and testing experience.

Why are requirements missing?

  1. Chances are, if the project is very big and/or the project is very old, requirements might not be present.
  2. When the requirements are very complex and the software is already software ready, we should test the software by doing Exploratory Testing and we should not spend time understanding the requirements.

How to do Exploratory Testing?

  1. Understand the application and try to enter all the possible inputs for each and every component.
  2. Explore the application and try to understand how each and every feature works.
  3. Test the data flow between the modules.
  4. Explore the application and understand all the features and test end-to-end scenarios.

Drawbacks of Exploratory Testing

  1. Misunderstanding features as defects and defects as features. When there are no requirements, the tester might not know which is a defect and which is a feature.
  2. It is more time-consuming because we will be spending more time understanding the application.
  3. If any feature is missing, we will never get to know the feature is missing.

How to overcome these drawbacks

  1. Regularly interacting with Test Lead, Senior Testers, Senior Developers, Business Analysts & Customers (Users).
  2. Based on the Product Knowledge – if a person has worked on the same application for 2-3 years and has got a very good knowledge of the product/application, they can easily test the application.
  3. Based on the Domain Knowledge – if a person has worked on multiple projects which belong to the same domain and got very good knowledge, they can be domain experts and perform testing very easily without requirement.
  4. By comparing the application with similar kinds of applications, we can overcome the drawbacks.

When to do Exploratory Testing?

  1. When there is no requirements document.
  2. When there is a requirements document but not enough time to understand it.
  3. When there is a requirements document, but it is not understandable because it is very complex.

Why should we do Exploratory Testing?

When there is no requirement documentation or limited testing time, we need to perform Exploratory Testing. Blocker and critical defects can be easily caught through this testing approach. We might miss some minor defects and when the software is delivered to the customer, they can use the software and run the business without getting any blockers. So, we need to test the software before releasing it to production.

I hope this article helped to understand the basic overview of Exploratory Testing. Thanks for reading 🤓

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About the author

Sri Priya P Kulkarni

An ISTQB certified tester with 2+ years of experience in the field of Software Testing.Dedicated & Hardworking with focus on performing testing activities on Web Applications.Also performed  testing on APIs and became passionate on Testing.Hands on experience in Manual and Automation Testing. My focus is on Software Quality and making sure that Software is Bug free.I will enjoy to work in team and learning from others, across all areas of business and technologies.I love to share my knowledge and discuss Software Testing related topics.

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