Exploratory testing is a software testing technique in which the tester actively explores the application to identify defects, gain an understanding of the software and determine how it should be tested. Unlike other testing techniques, exploratory testing does not rely on pre-written test cases or test scripts. Instead, it emphasizes the tester's creativity and intuition in finding potential issues.
Exploratory testing is usually performed in an ad-hoc manner, with the tester actively investigating different parts of the software and trying different combinations of inputs and actions to see how the software behaves. The tester can then document any issues or interesting behaviors that are discovered during the testing process.
This approach is particularly useful for finding subtle, difficult-to-reproduce bugs. It is also a great way to quickly gain a good understanding of the software, especially in situations where time is limited or the specifications are unclear.
Exploratory testing is not meant to replace other testing techniques, but rather to complement them. It is often used in conjunction with more structured testing methods, such as functional testing, regression testing, and performance testing, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the software.
Exploratory Testing at Test IO
Let's put the above concept into context to understand how we conduct exploratory testing at Test IO:
Testers' creativity: Creativity is one of several abilities that makes a successful exploratory tester. Read about the rest of them here.
Bug documentation: We use a bug form and documentation guidelines to ensure high quality reports for our customers.
Limited time: Test IO tests typically run 24 hours; Some of them even only 2 – 8 hours.
Limited specifications: Customers only provide limited information about their test environment and little (or even no) documentation. This is typically referred to as black box testing.
Complementary testing methods: Test IO mainly offers exploratory testing, test case testing, and regression testing. We currently don't offer, e.g., performance testing.