Different from traditional testing approaches where the process could be phased, exploratory testing is much more of a real-time process. Instead of test execution and design being separated by team or iteration, with every test executed a tester learns more about a product and employs the information for designing the next test which is to be executed. Exploratory testing is a process that enables the tester for responding to every test in a way that will maximize the focus on the most pertinent risks.
Exploratory Testing has gained popularity and focuses in past few years. There are several studies and has also received much of professional attention from the industry. Exploratory Testing gives power to the tester together with responsibility; it offers great freedom and opportunity to the tester for exploring and identifying areas for improvement. The tester has an added advantage for demonstrating their own skillset, experience, and knowledge from different angles and helps in improving the quality of the system under the test.
There are several benefits of using Exploratory Testing; however, we have listed six major benefits of this approach.
Real-time decision making– With the help of exploratory testing, the teams are able to work with confidence and quickly, which is crucial for meeting the schedule pressures. The exploratory testing allows quality assurance professionals and developers to continuously receive feedback that would be used for extending and refining the testing approaches.
Utilization of Tester: Empowering the tester and QA team is the key to achieving superior quality products. They comprehend the ground reality better and could propose actions for achieving the goals of the quality product. A tester could contribute right from the start of development. The tester gets the opportunities for utilizing experience, knowledge, and personal skills. This adds value to their work and encourages them for making valuable contributions to the quality of the product. Exploratory testing motivates the testers to be more creative in their own sphere, instead of being bogged by the routine testing which is focused on designed test cases trying for the execution of ‘n’ number of tests every day. Sharma wrote. Such creativity ensures enhanced end-user role play and realistic bugs instead of bugs that the team could afford to live with.
Concurrent learning: Automated tests could certainly help in executing tests and checks quickly; however, humans have the unique ability for connecting the dots and crop up different test scenarios. A tester could gain adequate knowledge from the user documentation or available feature and understand further about the system behavior while performing the test and understand how the system might fail at production or test. This way a tester could learn, execute, design, and improve the test scenario and perform testing while appreciating the input data and the results.
Quick feedback: On comparing with the traditional test case-based approach, the exploratory testing methodology bridges programmers and testers and offers a mechanism for quick feedback. Testers could focus and spend more time on important areas and offer feedback for necessary and quick reforms in the development and testing process. It is advantageous for the management to know the quality status of the product earlier and address the areas that require focus.
Effective in finding critical bugs: There are empirical studies for determining the effectiveness of Exploratory Testing. Under the controlled environment, ET is very effective in detecting bugs of diverse severities.
Reduced test preparation: Exploratory testing requires lesser documentation, only a tester is required to be acquainted with the purpose of testing and then they could start experimenting with it. ET identifies the fields which add values to the testing and saves crucial time from any extra documentation.
Dynamic product testing: Exploratory testing is useful in a dynamic product environment when the product is unstable, at the early development stage, and undergoing changes. As Exploratory testing requires lesser or no documentation before starting test activities, it could quickly bring the focus on testing in the agile environments.
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