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

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