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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What are some of the formal approaches used for exploratory testing? Continued...

Approaches that are used for exploratory testing are:
- Record Failures
In exploratory testing, testing is done without having any documented test cases. If a bug is found, it is very difficult for us to test it after fix. This is because there are no documented steps too navigate to that particular scenario. Hence, we need to keep the track of the flow required to reach where a bug has been found. So while testing, it is important that at least the bugs that have been discovered are documented. By recording failures, we are able to keep track of work that has been done. This would also help even if the tester who was actually doing exploratory testing is not available. Since the document can be referred and list all the bugs that have been reported as well the flows for the same can be identified.

- Document issues and questions
The tester trying to test an application using exploratory testing methodology should feel comfortable to test. Hence, it is advisable that the tester navigates through the application once and notes any ambiguities or queries he might feel. He can even get the clarification on the work-flows he is not comfortable. Hence by documenting all the issues and questions that have been found while scanning or navigating the application can help the tester have testing done without any loss in time.

- Decompose the main task into smaller tasks. The smaller ones to still smaller activities
It is always easier to work with the smaller tasks when compared to large tasks. This is very useful in performing exploratory testing because lack of test cases might lead us to different routes. By having a smaller task, the scope as well as the boundary are confined which will help the tester to focus on his tetsing and plan accordingly.
If a big task is taken up for testing, as we explore the system, we might get deviated from our main goal or task. It might be hard to define boundaries if the application is a new one. With smaller tasks, the goal is known and hence the focus and the effort required can be properly planned.

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