exploratory testing


Squares in organized rows next to scattered squares The Difference between Structured and Unstructured Exploratory Testing

There are a lot of misunderstandings about exploratory testing. In some organizations exploratory testing is done unprofessionally and in an unstructured way—there's no preparation, no test strategy, and no test design or coverage techniques. This leads to blinds spots in the testing, as well as regression issues. Here's how one company made its exploratory testing more structured.

Flag that says "Explore," photo by Andrew Neel Using Tours to Structure Your Exploratory Testing

In testing, a tour is an exploration of a product that is organized around a theme. Tours bring structure and direction to exploration sessions, so they can be used as a fundamental tool for exploratory testing. They're excellent for surfacing a collection of ideas that you can then further explore in depth one at a time, and they help you become more familiar with a product—leading to better testing.

Nishi Grover Garg's picture Nishi Grover Garg
Icon showing one end to another Endgame Testing: Exploring Your Agile Product End to End

The main goal of endgame testing is to test the system end to end from the user's perspective. This should ensure continuity between components developed by different teams, continuity in user experience, and successful integration of new features. Endgame testing will often identify gaps that are difficult to discover inside agile teams, including flows across the product.

Doron Bar's picture Doron Bar
laboratory beakers Our Experiment in Exploratory Testing: A Case Study

Many testers use exploratory testing techniques daily in their normal work. Doron Bar's team wanted to go all in and see if they should make it part of their official procedure. Here, he talks about how they prepared and conducted an experiment comparing exploratory testing to their usual scripted testing. Read on to see the results.

Doron Bar's picture Doron Bar
telescope on a map 10 Exploratory Testing Tours You Can Use to Analyze Artifacts

If you find it hard to do a thorough inspection of a document or diagram in a single pass, try looking at one aspect at a time. A concept that can help is using defined tours, an idea from exploratory testing. Inspecting for sets of criteria one by one can help you focus your efforts.

Terry Wiegmann's picture Terry Wiegmann
Exploratory Testing Thoughts about Scripted and Exploratory Testing

Scripted and exploratory testing can be seen as opposites, and it’s true that they approach testing from different angles. But they can also support each other. It is more important to think about what we will achieve with certain levels of scripting or exploration. Ask yourself: What is controlling you when you perform a test?

Aleksis Tulonen's picture Aleksis Tulonen
Exploratory Testing Exploring Together: Shared Understanding Through Paired Exploratory Testing

As a ScrumMaster, Claire Moss is responsible for removing obstacles for her team. In this article, she describes her experience teaching everyone on the team—testers and non-testers—exploratory testing skills through pairing.

Claire Moss's picture Claire Moss
Exploratory Testing in a Regulated Environment Exploratory Testing in a Regulated Environment

Exploratory testing can help you make the best use of your team's creativity, adapt to changes, and provide visibility into the decision making process. Don't miss out on these benefits because of an adversarial stance with your auditor.

Josh Gibbs's picture Josh Gibbs
When to Say No to Exploratory Testing

Mukesh Sharma writes that there are some situations in which exploratory testing does not work. Understanding these limitations is important in devising a holistic test strategy for the team.

Mukesh Sharma's picture Mukesh Sharma
The Two Sides of Software Testing: Checking and Exploring

Is testing about checking against system requirements, or is it about exploring the software? In this article, Elisabeth Hendrickson explains a valuable truth often clouded by this debate—good testing takes advantage of both of these approaches.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson


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