With the introduction of automation, software testing has become a much more efficient, effective, and accurate process. Automated testing can easily catch bugs early on to deliver quality products—which, interestingly, raises the need for professional and meticulous manual testing to be done.
Some parts of software testing require manual testing since they are difficult to automate, which is the case for user interfaces. Some tests require a person’s involvement to ensure that the product meets user requirements and standards—a valuable addition to any automated tests that have been conducted.
A specific type of manual testing service has been developed in recent years to complement automation and scripting, and it’s called exploratory testing. Rather than giving testers step-by-step scripts, this type of testing allows the testers’ creativity, experience, and intuition to dictate the testing process. This allows the discovery of outcomes that automated tests and scripts may have otherwise missed.
All About Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing is a type of manual testing used to identify any problems that scripts and automated tests may have missed. This is especially useful for testing the UI and ensuring that the software meets the set requirements.
Exploratory testers are typically given the objectives of the test without any specific instructions or focus areas. Good testers will expose more software bugs than other types of testing, but there are different ways to accomplish this as well.
Deciding What to Test
Mobile app testing companies are a typical example of those that use manual testing. One of the key issues with manual testing is how much longer it takes to complete, especially with exploratory tests that use a tester-directed approach to identify known problems. Being selective with what is tested manually and what can be automated is crucial for an efficient and effective testing process.
For instance, compliance standards should no longer be part of manual testing to save the tester’s time. These should be so well-written that automation is the natural next step! Another example includes tests that use scripting, such as those focusing on specific functions of software (e.g., login page functionality). Whether automated or manual, scripted testing styles work best in this case since it deals with only a small area of the code.
Exploratory Testing Prioritizes Creativity Over Scripts
The advantage of exploratory testing is that it doesn’t involve scripts; instead, it uses starting points called charters.
Test charters dictate the overall goal of the testing without limiting the testers’ creativity with step-by-step instructions. Errors tend to occur when testers are given scripts to follow since it changes their mindset—even when they possess the right abilities or experience to spot issues. The key is to foster creativity and allow human testers to see the whole picture rather than focusing on a list of things in front of them.
Excellent Test Charters Come From Good Product Understanding
Another requirement for exploratory testing to be successful is a good charter that understands how the software will be used by customers. Take shopping apps, for example. Outlining potential goals for the app based on various buyer personas will encourage different ways of using the software, thus guiding the test chargers.
Charters that ask testers to use software in ways it wasn’t intended for can expose both positive and negative test cases to determine if the software passes exploratory testing.
Reproducing Bugs to Fix Them
Exploratory testing also involves set time limits and testing diaries. The first allows testers to pace themselves on options, while testing diaries allow testers to detail any notes or bugs they encounter to help developers reproduce them step by step. Any recurring bugs identified during exploratory testing are considered good candidates for ongoing requirements tests.
While automation testing companies benefit from automation testing, utilizing manual testing methods like exploratory testing can find creative new ways of solving problems. By taking the time to run these tests, developers can create more robust software and applications that have been thoroughly checked by human testers.
There is always value in creativity, even in engineered processes such as app and software development. By relying on the out-of-the-box benefits of creative thought processes, more potential is realized for technology development as people know it.
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