The Importance of Exploratory testing in the Agile world

In today’s Agile world, the advent and involvement of automation testing have created less dependency and reduction pertaining to Manual testing. The machines are smarter and faster, yet they cannot be outsmarted by human brain capabilities. Mostly in the automation methodology, the test scripts are written to make sure the required feature/requirements work as expected, but one does not usually script down to try and break the code. This fails to make the application robust. This is one of the major demerits due to a reduction in manual testing.

However, just because we have automation in place, we cannot ignore the intelligent testing capability of a good manual tester. Automation does save time and money but there can be times where vigorous techniques of testing are necessary. This calls in for a technique known as Exploratory Testing.

Exploratory testing is a skilled context-driven testing approach that relies on human intelligence and the expertise of experienced testers. They can help to identify critical bugs at an earlier stage in the SDLC. Exploratory testing provides scope for new ideas and guides the best course for future test cases and designs. Scripted testing techniques perform well within documented specifications whereas exploratory testing stretches beyond unseen boundaries. When we combine Exploratory testing with scripted testing, it maximizes test results with improved functionality, usability, performance, security, and user experience.

Exploratory testing does not require well-structured documentation and suits well for Agile projects that have incremental software delivery in a short time span. The process involved is all about thinking, investigating, discovering, and continued learning. Characterized by freestyle testing and a lot of independence testers will love to apply their mind in uncovering some of the unknown bugs that will never be caught with regular scripted testing processes.

The exploratory testing technique gives a tester – unrestricted freedom to be versatile at validating a process’s functionality and its working, rather than methodically work through a predefined script. A Tester can use these skills and experience to actively discover any compromise in the quality of the product or code. Therefore, the Agile teams today should make use of exploratory testing in order to build good quality software that is adaptive in every circumstance and not just work for users as it is roughly intended.

Written by Mansoor Ahmed.

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