What kind of testing you do when you have exploratory session?

Devira Kuswhara's picture

Hi, I'm just wondering what would a software tester do when they have iddle time and is encouraged to do exploratory test on the product. How do you set the test plan and what are things you would like to include on the test result report?

2 Answers

Thad Butterworth's picture

There are a lot of different approaches and options you can take, but the whole point of Exploratory is to not restrict yourself with an all encompassing test plan or a set of pre-defined test cases. I would recommend reading the book Lessons Learned in Software Testing. It would also be highly valuable to read any articles written by James Bach, Cem Kaner, and Michael Bolton. 


Tracking and reporting Exploratory can be a bit tricky, as it doesn't fit the model most people use when testing (test cases, etc). I would recommend using Session Based Test Management. The three authors I mentioned above will have the best materials to read on what SBTM is and how to implement it.


Exploratory testing is a highly valuable tool and if implemented well it can really help you find the bugs that all other scripted tests will miss. However, I have seen quite a few companies try to implement some form of Exploratory without really understanding what it is. At it's core, Exploratory testing is a concurrent process of design, execution, observation, and investigation. I've seen a lot of places where they haphazardly implement Exploratory and end up giving up on it because it "didn't work" for them. I highly recommend reading up on and doing some study of Exploratory first, especially from the authors I mentioned. It will give you the best opportunity to implement a powerful and fun tool in your testing efforts.

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