Day 6 – ‘Map out what your exploratory testing looks like, and compare it to what other testers do’

‘Map out what your exploratory testing looks like, and compare it to what other testers do’

Exploratory testing isn’t monkey testing just bashing random things, but a planned activity where the tester briefly writes a session sheet which includes identifying the release/build/sprint, charter, test ideas/notes, defects and issues. It may look like scripted testing but it isn’t and I tend to jot some points during my scripted testing of areas I might need to watch carefully.  It’s a time-boxed activity that you must stop testing once the time has lapsed resisting the urge to continue.

Why the session sheet, as I have noticed there are a few testers who conduct exploratory without it? It comes back to a couple of things for me, visibility for the stakeholder on test scope and traceability if an issue is located so I can replicate easily.

Things that could be included within exploratory testing:

  • Check the UI against windows standards & visually it is correct (colour, logo, fonts etc) – make sure everything is where it should be
  • Test fields input data alpha/numerical/special
  • Test integration for a word doc or excel upload
  • E2E testing the workflow for the product (internal & external process)
  • Verify DB for above workflow displays
  • Identify and test all claims made in the application manual

Below is a very basic high level workflow layout for one company that has a number of complex systems I have tested in the past. It was a large enterprise company that had many projects working in shared test environments. This required a tester to be aware of the code changes project teams were working on in the current release. Exploratory testing for that required a large amount of communication during the release cycle with other testers, to ensure you were aware of any changes that may affect your testing. When I say communication, I really mean building relationships so eventually when something is changed within another team the tester there thinks to email you an update. That takes time and personal investment but I promise you will pay excellent dividends personally & professionally.  Don’t forget to return the favour.

Exploratory Pathway


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