Those days are gone when testing used to be a mere step at the end of the app development process. Now, testing is very much integral to the app development process, and app testing is carried out throughout the development life cycle. Thanks to the agile development methodology, testing is carried out throughout the development process. Continuous testing has become the key aspect of the app development process to ensure that every feature and aspect of the app gets tested before being passed as part of the app.
There have been systematic approaches to carry out testing in different milestones of the app development. But in some projects, unplanned and unsystematic testing approaches have also been highly effective. Exploratory testing is one such testing approach that remains popular among app developers across too many projects.
Let us define exploratory testing, its distinct advantages, pros and cons, and the challenges for this testing approach.
What Exactly is Exploratory Testing?
Exploratory testing is an unplanned testing approach that does not subscribe to any predefined procedure for detecting bugs and errors. Just because it does not follow any specific testing plan and procedure has its distinct advantages and disadvantages.
According to many QA testers, exploratory testing serves the purpose, which is evident in its name. Yes, exploratory testing helps explore a product and finds various ways to improve and fix the issues of a software product. Such a testing approach allows the testers to randomly choose any function of the app, test its efficiency, and explore the features and functions in-depth.
This is why exploratory testing is continuously getting popular. For example, the mobile app development company in Chicago applies the continuous testing approach. This is exactly where the exploratory testing approach is getting momentum.
Pros and Cons of Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing as a unique approach to exploring the efficiency, functionality, and output of a software app has many advantages. But at the same time, exploratory testing has its downsides as well. Let us quickly grab the key pros and cons of the exploratory testing approach.
Pros of Exploratory Testing
Since exploratory testing can be carried out at all stages of the software development process, and since it can be put in practice any time, the testing covers a bigger area.
Exploratory testing and execution of the troubleshooting are often done simultaneously, helping fine-tuning the app performance quickly.
Because of being thoroughly unplanned, it doesn’t require any presentation and preparation. This saves a lot of time for the testing process.
Because of being thoroughly unscripted, it offers more freedom to the developers and testers in finding issues and solving them.
Exploratory testing is often carried out depending on the individual brilliance and analytical abilities of the testers. This opens up new and creative ways of doing things and exploring a software product for the intended output.
Since exploratory testing covers a bigger area of any software product and helps to explore every nook and corner of the app, it finds more errors, bugs, and issues than the regular testing approaches.
Thanks to this testing approach, which is stripped-off so-called complexities and steps of regular testing approaches, a development company can ensure a maximum testing output with less testing budget.
The absence of any limitation or script for the testing allows greater freedom and resultantly opens new avenues of creativity.
Cons of Exploratory Testing
Because of the absence of any particular standard procedure for the testing process and often addressing mistakes, many errors and faultlines remain undetected.
Since exploratory testing solely depends on the individual tester’s brilliance instead of a very well documented testing procedure, the chances of committing mistakes are greater.
Exploratory testing instead of the testing document or script relies on the individual testers.
Naturally, to get the best of the testing, they need to have in-depth knowledge and experience about potential errors and faultlines.
Since the testing process in the case of exploratory testing is not documented and doesn’t follow a predefined path, the testing cases are unreliable. Every exploratory testing effort is different from one project to another, and hence they don’t provide any reliable testing case.
One of the major drawbacks of exploratory testing is the lack of professional time management. Since the testing is thoroughly unplanned and unscripted, the tester can take too much time to test one problematic aspect of the app and cause delays to the entire project.
Key Challenges of Exploratory Testing
In spite of several shortcomings and limitations, exploratory testing can offer substantial advantages by pulling uncalled-for testing expertise and exploring new development areas. But from a practical point of view, exploratory testing has too many challenges to face. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
You cannot learn the best practices of exploratory testing as it doesn’t provide a comprehensive document for learners.
It is very hard to replicate the failure and learn from them.
Testers determine tools on their own, and there is no guideline to follow.
Learning from the test cases and developing exploratory testing skills is difficult.
Making a comprehensive evaluation of the testing cases and output can be challenging as there is no prior document as a reference.
The testing events mostly go unreported making it further difficult to learn the testing case.
Exploratory testing is now a key component in the testing strategy of an agile development environment. Since agile development largely relies on the scope of continuous testing, the continuous exploration of the software product over and above the so-called scripted testing procedure is vital for the application’s output. Even small businesses in the US focus on optimizing software products by utilizing the scope of continuous testing.