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Testing for Success: A Guide to Proper Exploratory Testing

Testing for Success: A Guide to Proper Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing is a qualitative approach to designing a digital product. Organizations often practice it in addition to quantitative methods for a well-rounded result. However, some organizations conduct it solely due to limited equipment and budget. The results are not exactly numbers and data-driven, but they can do the job. However, there are some amazing practices you must observe in exploratory testing. 

5 Best Practices to Observe for Exploratory Testing

1. Make Sure You Have Enough Resources

Exploratory testing gives testers the opportunity and responsibility to decide when and how to test. You get to choose what goals matter most to the study. Because of that, adequate resources are essential to launch the exploratory test phase. Be thorough with bug hunting and analyze where risks can arise. Observation and the ability to improvise are also important to the tests to carry them out properly.

2. Always Be Prepared

Qualitative tests may give you a sense of freedom, but it still needs structure and preparation.

When testing, it is important to take note of the bugs with an analysis of the causes—all in a classification document. The bug classification process documents everything that testers need to refer to when they start their inquiry.

Other necessary preparations include setting a clear testing time. Set a time limit for every phase to optimize organization and be transparent with the scope of the test. Are you looking to carry out a full audit or focus on a specific functionality? 

Consider every external factor that could affect the testing as well. Just like any other test, know what you can and cannot control.

3. Set Your Limitations

Remember that every test comes with a list of limitations. As much as you want to, you can’t test everything. Do not try to test everything; test what is essential to your ultimate goal. You can either get to important points or focus on hunting for hidden bugs. 

4. Make Sure That the Bug Report Is Complete

The bug report needs to be updated in every phase of the test. For exploratory testing, testers need to focus on communication to complete the idea behind the test. They also need to take note of every step taken, the condition the test was conducted in, and how these factors play a role in the final result and evaluation.

5. Cross-Examine Everything

Debriefing will help you understand if any additional testing is necessary. Examine the bug report thoroughly and interview the testers for their feedback on the test.

Conclusion

Exploratory testing is necessary to get a clear picture of a digital product and its significance, especially when it comes to functionality and ergonomics. It may be a qualitative approach, but that doesn’t make the data any less significant. Follow the best practices in exploratory testing, and you’ll find compelling results beneficial to your endeavors.

If you want to start exploratory testing, then consult one of the top software testing companies. Codiod is an industry leader for QA with a team of excellent and well-known engineers. Contact us today for professional assistance!

Everything You Need to Know About Exploratory Testing

Everything You Need to Know About Exploratory Testing

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Here at Codoid, we are industry leaders in QA, providing automated software testing as a service. Our passion is to guide and lead the Quality Assurance community towards greater heights. For mobile app testing, automation testing, and other services, get in touch with us today!

Exploratory Testing – What Companies Must Do to Get it Right

Exploratory Testing – What Companies Must Do to Get it Right

Exploratory testing is an approach that software testing teams use emphasizing rapid cycling of test design, execution, analysis, and learning. It is often contrasted with scenario testing, which is a more laid out approach tackling one possible issue at a time. Organizations with enough resources and time can hire a software testing company for both scenario and exploratory testing since this ensures more reliable results. 

Sometimes, though, a company chooses exploratory testing because it has a tight schedule or a limited budget. Sometimes, the project does not require a complex writing process, or there is not enough documentation about the project. Whatever the reason for an exploratory test, here are practices all software testing companies using this method should observe.

Ensure there are adequate resources

When launching an exploratory testing phase, you should have the right personnel. A tester should have bug-hunting experience; testers must know how to understand and analyze digital products for risks. They need to be autonomous and multi-skilled since they will be cycling among several testing stages.

Testers should also know how to improvise and have good observational skills. They need to know which new analyses they must deploy based on the information they are gathering with each test.

Prepare tests, the time for testing, and scope

Preparing for a test requires structure and preparation. If the product had undergone previous tests, there should be a bug and common default classification. This log serves as baseline documentation for the software testing services provider to refer to when they begin.

The testers also need a product presentation before their mission starts. A presentation helps them understand the end user’s experience and gives them a few starting points or testing ideas. The presentation also mentions aspects that need attention.

After the preparations, testers should get a time frame and scope for the tests. Should the campaign carry out a full audit, or is this for specific functionality? Having a time frame and scope allows testers to optimize their resources and the test types they will use. Preparing also ensures that they do not test evolving perimeters.

Aim for focused, not broad testing

Test according to the campaign’s requirements; do not test for the sake of it. Some campaigns need to address critical risks, while others are for continuous improvement projects like hunting for hidden bugs.

Create a report and debrief the testers

Bug reports list details and incidents encountered in the process. For exploratory testing, creating bug reports is challenging. Testers must pay attention to how they communicate results. They need to talk about the rationale behind the test, the steps they took, the conditions under which they carried the test out, the scope, and the test results. Only then can they provide recommendations. Once the testers have provided the bug report and their feedback, they will receive a debriefing on the campaign.

Conclusion

An exploratory test focuses on investigating and discovering a digital product’s ergonomic, graphical, and functional capabilities. Since it relies on contingent events, exploratory tests rely on the campaign head’s ability to lay the campaign’s groundwork. He must know how to explain to his testing team why this analysis is necessary, analyze results, and debrief the participants after their missions.

Consult Codoid today to see if exploratory testing is right for your software. We provide a range of top tier QA services, and we are an industry leader among software testing companies. Tell us about your project today; contact us for inquiries!

Exploratory Testing Documentation & Reporting

Exploratory Testing Documentation & Reporting

Reporting and documenting your exploratory testing can be a huge value add for your project. In scripted testing, you’re able to demonstrate with test results based on overall status and step-wise status. When talking about Exploratory testing however, there is a slightly different approach.

We’re all aware of the difference between Exploratory testing and scripted testing. Exploratory testing is more of a creative, free process in which you’re able to be flexible in your methodologies. This can actually work to the benefit of the product.

Let’s take a look at how to conduct Documentation and Reporting for Exploratory Testing.

Charters

Before Exploratory testing can begin, identifying the “What and Why” is crucial. What are you going to be testing, and why is it important? Exploratory testing allows for freedom while testing, but there should be a sharp focus on a particular area.

What we like to do at CODOID, is prepare a Charter before the Exploratory testing begins. This charter sets a focus and roadmap for your testing and ensures testers stay on track.

Notes

Keeping notes is vitally important to help members of your team understand how testing was conducted, and what you’re learned. Notes can then be used later for auditing.

Defect List

When discovering Defects, ensure they’re well documented on a dedicated list. To add some substance to the documentation, a full description of the Defect as well as screenshots or screencasts (i.e., steps to replicate Defect) ensure the proper context is provided. This allows your team to quickly and easily understand the issue.

Debriefing

A debriefing note is a fantastic way to explain to your team what you’ve done in that particular testing session. This allows your team to understand your approach, reflect, and receive inputs to improve the overall coverage and planning of the testing itself. Not all stakeholders in the project will have time to go through all of the artefacts. A debriefing note is a quick way to paint the overall picture for them.

Test Planning using MindMapping

It’s almost never a good idea to create a testing plan for Exploratory testing. However, planning shouldn’t be ignored entirely. You never know what will come out of Exploratory testing. Instead of creating a full test plan, begin planning when focusing on a particular feature or functionality. As a software testing company, CODOID creates test plans using MindMap tools. The diagram below demonstrates all of our focus areas when testing CODOID’s Contact Us page.

Exploratory Testing Documentation

In Conclusion

We believe documentation is crucial in Exploratory testing. Not only does it help the tester, it helps their team and other stakeholders by quickly providing important information about the areas tested and defects found while limited superfluous information.

Exploratory Testing – A Quick Guide

Exploratory Testing – A Quick Guide

Does everything in software testing depend entirely on strict planning? The answer to this question is quite simple, Not Always! If we talk about exploratory testing in Agile or any other project methodology, one of the essential factors to depend upon is the testers’ skill set and qualification. Before conducting any exploratory testing, it is necessary to know everything about it in detail.

In this article, we’ll let you know everything about exploratory testing in agile or any other project methodology, along with its benefits, stages, and many more things.

What is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory testing is a kind of software testing where test cases are not created in advance, but instead, the testers check the system on the fly. The testers may note down the ideas about what to test before execution. The main focus of exploratory testing in agile models is more on testing as a “thinking” activity.

In exploratory testing, the testers do not work based on previous or formerly created test cases. The testers check the system without a plan in mind intending to discover bugs that the users may face while navigating any application or website without any specific direction or aim.

Exploratory testing in agile models is all about discovery, investigation, and learning. This testing’s primary aim is to check and find out the actual performance, work, and behavior of a product under various conditions. As exploratory testing relies on the testers’ knowledge and skillset, if the testers pose a complete and expert understanding of the software and have experience in the composition of test cases, the testing is likely to be successful and outstanding.

Stages Or Steps In Exploratory Testing

The stages of exploratory testing in agile are as follows:

Create Test Charter: After classifying the bugs in the software, the next step is to create a test charter. The test charter should include the following:

  • What features to test?
  • How to test?
  • What are the bugs to look for?
  • What metrics must be kept in mind while testing?

Time Box: The third stage in exploratory testing is Time Box. It is just a kind of time frame that sets the time limit for the testing session. The point of Time Box is for the testers to test and respond to the system responses. It involves the following particular slot.

  • Testers work on the tests outlined above for a specific amount of time, ranging from 80-90 minutes.
  • This time should be without any interruptions.
  • If necessary and required, the time box can be extended or reduced depending upon the test progression.

Classify The Bugs: The first and foremost step in conducting exploratory testing is to check and detect the bugs that the users might face while navigating the website or an application. It includes:

  • Categorizing the commonly detected bugs in a similar software
  • Analyzing and recording the root cause of such commonly detected bugs
  • Developing test scenarios to test these commonly detected bugs

Review Results: Last but not least, the final stage in exploratory testing is reviewing and examining the results. It includes:

  • Catalog the identified bugs
  • Evaluate the defects
  • Note down the learning

Now let’s have a look at what are the advantages that are offered by exploratory testing!

Advantages and Benefits Of Exploratory Testing

The advantages or benefits of performing exploratory testing are as follows:

Quick Testing: Exploratory testing in agile works well when you have a time crunch that stops you from writing detailed test cases to define the entire process of testing. With exploratory testing, you can easily start exploring the software and provide feedback quickly with no time.

Supports Agile: Exploratory testing blends very well with agile methodology and DevOps. It can easily sustain changes in requirements and provide instant feedback. This type of testing also saves time by creating testing designs and procedures in parallel.

Rapid and Quick Feedback: The process of exploratory testing helps get fast and quick feedback from stakeholders as well, even before the application is launched and released. The testing also helps to refine the functionality and enhances the entire software reliability. It further reduces the risk of leaving any critical defects at the last point of software release.

Other Advantages: The other advantages of exploratory testing are as follows:

  • It helps to uncover a wide variety of bugs
  • Developers, designers, testers, and any other stakeholders can perform this test as it does not require any script
  • During the Iterative coding of any application, exploratory testing is perfect for testing new features
  • If the requirements of the project are unstable, exploratory testing is ideal for testing new requirements within a limited time frame

Best Practices For Exploratory Testing

The best practices that must be followed by the testers while conducting exploratory testing are as follows:

Use Real Devices and Browsers: Customers will use the software on real devices. Therefore, real devices and real browsers must be used to run exploratory tests. No simulator or emulator will provide the actual user conditions to test upon.

Understand the Customer: All types of software testing, including exploratory testing, is about checking the quality of the product so that it offers maximum user satisfaction. Therefore, for effective exploratory testing, understanding the viewpoint of the customer is essential. In fact, exploratory testing only makes sense when it is conducted from the perspective of the customers.

Know the Competitors: Knowing the competitors is essential because it will help the testers to know which bugs to look out for. This must begin from the development stage itself.

All these practices must always be kept in mind for running the exploratory testing effectively.

The Bottom Line

Here you come down to the bottom line of a quick guide to exploratory testing. The exploratory testing process uses the skills and context-driven approach toward testing and uses human expertise to detect the software’s highly critical bugs and issues. With Codoid’s exploratory testing services, you can ensure high-quality software will be released in the market. At Codoid, we have highly skilled testers with a broad skill set that will perform quality exploratory testing of your software and application to offer outstanding results. Rely on Codoid’s exploratory testing services to experience the best of what exploratory testing can offer!

Learning Exploratory Testing from Carl

Learning Exploratory Testing from Carl

When I was coaching my team on how to create robust automated regression suite and reduce false positives, I posted the below question to them.

“What are you going to achieve once you automate regression testing?”

Answers from the team:

  • It reduces testing time.
  • Automated testing eliminates errors. The testing is done exactly the same way every time.
  • We will get more time to perform exploratory testing.
  • I was attracted with the last answer and asked another question.

    “What is exploratory testing?”

    That’s it. The entire room was silent. I was surprised. Why the team was not able to answer it.

    I took the blame. As a QA manager, I failed to teach the skills which were required when we were transitioning from traditional one to Agile environment.

    I answered the question with the following definition.

    Exploratory testing is an approach to software testing that is concisely described as simultaneous learning, test design and test execution.-Cem Kaner

    However, I wanted to give an interesting example for exploratory testing.

    I opened YouTube, played “Up Married Life Carl Ellie” clip from the animation movie UP and asked them to watch it carefully.

    After watching the clip, a few of them cried. However, I spotted a lesson in this video.

    If you watch the clip from 0.47 to 0.56, Carl didn’t know the lifting capacity of the helium balloons and misjudged it when he was young.

    Experienced Carl

    Once Carl is experienced and has become old, now he is able to judge the helium balloon cart.

    Just see where his elbow is going on after handing over the balloon to the boy. He is moving the elbow where the cart is coming instead of its original position. He has learned it from his experience. He knows what will happen if a balloon is removed from the cart.

    A skilled exploratory tester should know more about the application he/she tests.

    Exploratory testing combines test design with test execution and focuses on learning the application under test.

    Written by: Asiq Ahamed