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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who is a good exploratory tester and maintain a balance between scripted and exploratory testing.

Exploratory testing approach relies a lot on the tester alone. The tester actively controls the design of tests as they are performed and uses the information gained to design new and better ideas.
A good exploratory tester should
- have the ability to explain his work.
- he should have the ability to design good tests, execute them and find important problems.
- he should document his ideas and use them in later cycles.
- he should be a careful observer.
- he should be a critical thinker.
- he should have diverse ideas so as to make new test cases and improve existing ones.
- he should remain alert for new opportunities.

Exploratory Testing is advantageous when :
- rapid testing is necessary.
- test case development time is not available.
- need to cover high risk areas with more inputs.
- need to test software with little knowledge about the specifications.
- develop new test cases or improve the existing.

The drawbacks in exploratory testing includes that it is difficult to quantize and a skilled tester is required.
Exploratory testing relies on the tester and the approach he proceeds with. Pure scripted testing does not undergo much change with time and hence the power fades away. In test scenarios, where repeatability of tests is required, automated scripts have an edge over exploratory approach. Hence, it is important to achieve a balance between the two approaches and combine the two to get the best of both.

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