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Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing is a key activity in an agile environment as it can help software testers to keep up with the rapid development pace of agile software projects.


In agile methodologies, software is released in small iterations. Each iteration goes through all stages: planning, estimation, development, integration, testing and release. Because of these frequent releases, (regression) test automation becomes ever so important, as we need to get quick feedback on the quality of the application and need to ensure that -with each iteration release- the software has not regressed.

Exploratory Testing is defined as simultaneous learning, test design and test execution. It is an approach to testing that values the tester as an essential part of the test process and shares the same values as the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactionsover processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaborationover contract negotiation
  • Responding to changeover following a plan

Testing is like exploring a cave. When you first go in, you have no idea how deep it may be. – James Bach

Exploratory Testing is complementary to test automation. While automated tests are checking for regression issues, Exploratory Testing focuses on new features which have been developed. This is a crucial technique, because each sprint typically lasts only couple of weeks, which often doesn’t allow sufficient time for scripting tests cases beforehand and later on executing them manually against the application.

Secondly, it allows testers to get familiar with the necessary (business) domain knowledge and the application (environment). Each iteration, that understanding is enhanced, making the testers more efficient.

Agile methods, Test Automation and Exploratory testing are extremely compatible, when used well together, they create excellent synergy and result in high software quality.

Effective exploratory testers working on agile projects use several tactics of exploratory testing to inform the project team about possible issues with the product. Their testing can be unstructured and freestyle or managed using charters and test sessions.

Brightest consultants are trained and skilled in these exploratory testing techniques to work efficiently and deliver valuable feedback fast.

Due to the short intervals of development, exploratory testing inherently becomes risk based, mainly focusing on high risk areas to find potential problems.

Let’s explore together!