On the roster of history’s famous explorers, you wouldn’t typically think to include testers. But there is more in common between the two than you may think. Testers have been throwing around the catchy buzzword for years – but what IS exploratory testing? And why should we care?
When Tricentis Product Manager, Ingo Philipp, first began using the term ‘exploratory testing’ and asking people their thoughts on the matter, it was clear that though everyone had touched facets of it, not many testers grasped the full picture of exploratory testing. Some people even claimed that it was a variation of manual testing – which it’s not.
In his recent webinar, ‘Exploratory Testing for Atlassian Jira’, Ingo broke down what exploratory testing is and why it is so beneficial for testers.
It all started with a line…
Ingo used a single one-dimensional line to demonstrate where exploratory testing fit amongst the various testing approaches. On one end, is informal testing, which encompasses unspecified testing such as ad hoc, guerilla and freestyle testing etc. At the opposite end of the spectrum is formal testing, a more specified approach, which includes anything from test automation to manual testing.
Somewhere in between these approaches lies exploratory testing.
But how does Exploratory Testing compare to formal testing?
Although exploratory testing and formal testing approach testing from different angles, both techniques are working towards a common goal: spotting problems. Exploratory Testing detects problems from a performance point of view, where testing is done intelligently by analyzing the potential risks that business users are aware of. Formal testing, such as automated or manual testing, detects changes by creating a set of artifacts and testing them mechanically, confirming the risks that you are already aware of and covering them at the highest degree.
In fact, one is not better nor worse than the other. Adding formal test automation (based on solid test case design) to exploratory testing conducted by human testers amounts to efficient and productive testing. It is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to intelligently integrate Continuous Testing into Agile development processes and teams. Here at Tricentis, we call this the ‘Agile Testing Equation’.
Tricentis’ Exploratory Testing for Jira gives concrete proof of how agile teams can benefit from the inclusion of exploratory testing into their quality assurance practices. The tool gives agile teams a way to work together to run a mixture of structure and unstructured exploratory testing—all while documenting their tests automatically.
Some other key takeaways from this webinar include:
- Exploratory testing frees testers from laborious manual documentation during exploratory testing—so they can spend more time on actual testing
- How to plan sessions thoroughly, monitor the session status, and share the results with others
- How to play back the tester’s test actions to rapidly reproduce issues found and verify bug fixes