Four Myths of Exploratory Testing

Four Myths of Exploratory Testing

Vivek Jayaraman
29th Jan, 2022

Four Myths of Exploratory Testing

Myths are there in almost every process, technology, how to, what to, etc. Learning includes busting these myths so what we learn is efficient and solid. Exploratory testing is one of the types of testing and there are lots of speculations about it. Let us see a few of the myths surrounding exploratory testing.  

It is an unorganized approach? 

What exactly is exploratory testing? People confuse themselves and confuse others without understanding what exploratory testing is all about. It is often misunderstood in the industry and confused under different names like Ad-hoc testing, Monkey testing, and such. No, it's not an unorganized approach or ad-hoc in nature. One cannot pack their backpack and start exploration without having a plan at hand. It would end in disaster without an objective. Yes, exploratory testing needs proper objectives and it is not ad-hoc. 

Anyone can do exploratory testing?  

While it is a widely thought approach that anyone can do testing, not everyone can do exploratory testing. Exploratory testing needs a seasoned tester who is not just experienced in testing but also needs experience in the domain and the product. One should know how to navigate/explore the product end to end in so many ways. While one can go for exploration without proper experience or knowledge of the location or the exploration itself, the answer lies in how effective and efficient the results are. 

Are automation and Tools not involved?  

Automation testing helps testers to minimize their manual effort in testing. Automating the workflows using APIs or at the service, layer helps exploratory testing efforts. Exploratory testing efforts are heavy and using automated workflows to cover some stretches reduces the manual effort. If at some point in your exploration, you can cover some stretch in your automobile, it will help. So, having tools and some automated efforts helps you in your exploration. 

Is it following a plan?  

Unlike following test cases blindly for black-box testing, exploratory testing needs knowledge of how to explore without maps. Exploratory tests need frequent feedback from Dev and Business on the progress. As a seasoned tester, one should know when to continue and when to pivot. It's vital to respond to the change. You should understand that there is always more than one way of reaching your destination even inside the product.  

These are some of the common myth that exists in the minds of people when it comes to exploratory testing. In the Agile Testing world, where all the requirements/specifications are automated, the best type of testing where an experienced tester can indulge him/herself is exploratory. It helps uncover more usability issues, customer problems, non-functional issues, data integrity issues, and so on and so forth. It basically helps you identify issues by exploring the product.  

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