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Exploratory testing and their role in an agile methodology

by Sonal

Exploratory testing and their role in an agile methodology

The question of software testing as tester allows for standard testing procedures. But in some cases to figure out quick defects and obtain necessary feedback with minimum degree of planning exploratory testing is used.  Before we proceed ahead there is a need to understand what is exploratory testing in the first place. Without a stringent plan of testing it goes on to test the functional features of a product. The concept is to understand about this form of testing a how it might be of help in an agile environment.

Testing is not something that is merely restricted during the development process. With the emergence of agile methodology, testing has gone on to emerge more of a culture where each one is requested to test the product in the development phase. Testing of all the components, as per the test cases turns out to be a systematic approach. But all the forms of testing are not going to follow a systematic approach. Exploratory testing would be testing the products in an unplanned and unsystematic manner. Experts are of the opinion it is a better way to investigate a product and find out the exact reasons for the same.

More about exploratory testing

It is a form of testing that is not going to allow any set methods or approaches to outline errors or bugs. This is also known by the name of ad hoc testing and it may be termed as unplanned testing. A reason for the same is that it does not follow any set plans. Such is the form of testing it can be implemented in a formal testing environment. The testers would suggest that it would mean exploring a product and the manner of their work and how it may be fixed. A tester is going to cross check the functions which they would want to test and how the issues can be addressed. In addition they would be exploring the features or functionality of the software.

This form of testing involves less planning as the focus is always on maximum execution. As there is no form of test specifications defined you are able to test the product even with a limited time. Though there is no form of documentation involved in this form of testing as execution along with planning is undertaken to be saving time. Such a form of testing can be implemented with other forms of testing to save time in the long run.

The benefits of exploratory testing

Most of the teams are known to have an elaborate testing plan which is prepared to achieve the desired results. Though this concept is not applicable to exploratory testing. Once again there is no form of elaborate plans necessary for this type of testing and it becomes easy to undertake a test and identify the bugs in them. Since it requires limited amount of preparation it might go on to save a lot of time in the long run.

During the course of this testing it is possible to test your own scenarios on the fly. It enables you to dig deep and locate the functional features of a product. This is going to ensure higher levels of productivity as you may leave behind the test cases. Even you might be able to explore and develop a unique form of software.

Automation is going to make the testing process easy and accelerates the pace of development. You can run the same type of tests on a recurring basis but an automated testing would provide perspective on the user development.

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