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Exploratory testing

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What is exploratory testing?

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Exploratory testing definition

Exploratory testing is the process of designing tests, developing tests, and executing tests all at the same time. Exploratory testing is important in Agile because it aligns with Agile’s values. It helps agile teams work together to define a product during its development and place their focus on creating a working product over just following set processes.

During exploratory testing, testers design a test, execute it, and then note the results. They then use these results to create the next test. The process is iterative and lines up with the agile method of creating a lightweight, flexible approach to development.

Exploratory testing aims to rest for bugs by recreating the experience of end-users. This means allowing freedom in the testing process and letting testers make spontaneous choices during testing. 

3 different types of exploratory testing

1. Exploratory testing based on scenario - Scenario-based exploratory testing uses real user scenarios. Testers evaluate the product against each user scenario and try to match up the scenario in every possible way. This type of exploratory testing tries to test as many scenarios as possible.

2. Exploratory testing based on strategy - Exploratory testing based on strategy is done by testers who are familiar with the software. To find more difficult bugs, it uses boundary value analysis, equivalence techniques, and risk-based techniques.

3. Freestyle Exploratory Testing - In freestyle exploratory testing, testers quickly move through an application without a set structure or format. They work to validate the work of other testers and test specific bugs.

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Exploratory testing: example

Say you need to test a new website where people can purchase headphones. Things you need to test could include the add-to-cart button, checkout, and customer support contact options. An exploratory test could start as a typical user might by browsing through the headphones for sale. Then the tester could select a pair and add them to their cart. This would then lead to testing all the functions of the cart including adding things to the card, editing quantities, removing things from the cart, and heading to checkout.

The idea is to let your knowledge of the product and users guide your testing. As you go, the results you get will then guide your testing further. 

General FAQ

What is exploratory testing in Agile?
In an agile setting, exploratory testing helps software testers to keep up with the quick development of agile software projects. Exploratory testing doesn't follow a set testing process and lets testers learn from each test result.

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