Exploratory Testing VS Scripts: Who Will Win Today?

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What do people love about Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory testing is going from big to huge over recent years and software development and testing community are seemingly locating one more silver bullet which, in fact is never a good thing. Surely Exploratory Testing is overfilled with potential benefits it may offer yet it sometimes seems that it is being overused simply because it is quite fascinating as an activity.

Exploratory Testing main goals are in enhancing test coverage of the product under test and allowing the team to understand such a product better. It is fairly assistant in finding more than test scripts have to offer with allowing testers to explore the product while testing it at the very same time.

If any tester is simply designing tests while exploring the product under test, this may be called Exploratory Testing. Such an approach has lots to offer and is full of surprises that are adding value to end-product’s quality. Hard to argue here, but (why does there always have to be some ‘but’?) we all know there is no ultimate solution in software testing. So where don’t you want your testers to explore?

Do not replace scripted tests!

Although Exploratory Testing alone may seem quite effective and not as expensive which is a better alternative to not testing software at all when the budget is tight nobody is to ever forget that scripted tests are not to be replaced ever. A smooth combination will solve much more issues than simply neglecting scripts.

Why is the combination required? Proper documentation will show what was actually covered in tests as well as it is the proof required by both stakeholders as well as the production team to be 100% positive in the fact that the product is quite ready to be launched. And prepared scripts are also affecting quality via preparing a large base of knowledge that may even surpass mere exploring.

Do not replace compliance tests!

As mentioned before scripts are irreplaceable as for now so it would be silly to neglect the part where they are proving to be of biggest value, right? There has to be something of a checklist sort for any tester to go through if all the required parameters such as various formalities are to be kept regarding laws or something very specific that is to be well-tested but may be missed if exploring is your team’s only option. In most cases there has to be a pre-determined guideline with highlighted places that are of most interest. Such an approach is the only right thing to do despite it is leaving practically zero space for exploratory testing.

Read more about Exploratory Testing and other testing types in our QA Journal.