What is Exploratory Testing?

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Mark Winteringham's profile
Mark Winteringham

Tester, Toolsmith, Author and Instructor

Dan Ashby's profile
Dan Ashby

Director of Quality Services

Talk Description

What is exploratory testing?

Exploratory testing is an approach towards testing. It involves concurrently learning, designing and executing tests and recording tests at the same time. Rather than specifying all tests up front before execution. It has the purpose of uncovering information relating to risks.

Exploratory testing examples

1. Explore different types of data that could be submitted via a webform

2. Explore the rendering of a web page across multiple browsers

3. Explore how a feature works depending on different user privelleges

What's the value of using an exploratory testing approach?

Exploratory testing empowers a tester to use their skills to discover information freely

Exploratory testing can be structured to help keep the tester focused on specific risks

Exploratory testing helps a tester to reveal more information that a scripted test approach wouldn't uncover, as you are not biased by test case steps

What are the pitfalls of exploratory testing?

Exploratory testing is an approach that requires skill and practise.

A good exploratory tester needs to know how to focus and de-focus when testing.

Note taking is important to help communicate what a tester has done whilst not hampering them, but is hard to do.

Mark Winteringham's profile'

Mark Winteringham

Tester, Toolsmith, Author and Instructor

Mark Winteringham is a tester, toolsmith and author of AI-Assisted Testing and Testing Web APIs, with over ten years of experience providing testing expertise on award-winning projects across a wide range of technology sectors, including BBC, Barclays, UK Government and Thomson Reuters. He is an advocate for modern risk-based testing practices and trains teams in Automation, Behaviour Driven Development and Exploratory testing techniques. He is also the co-founder of Ministry of Testing Essentials a community raising awareness of careers in testing and improving testing education. You can find him on Twitter @2bittester or at mwtestconsultancy.co.uk
Dan Ashby's profile'

Dan Ashby

Director of Quality Services

Proud father. Quality and Testing enthusiast, teacher, coach, mentor and servant leader. Director of Quality Services @ Ada Health. I blog at: danashby.co.uk and I'm a co-founder of the MoT Essentials (formerly the Software Testing Clinic). I love being involved in the testing community (and other communities)!
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