Outsource Exploratory Testing Services

What is exploratory testing?

For high-quality customer service, every business must provide good software. And mistakes in the process of work often cost money, customers and reputation, so involvement of testers and QA managers is necessary to analyze the product before implementation. They conduct two types of research: most are planned and aimed at identifying specific defects, while others are spontaneous and not planned, they are called exploratory testing.

outsourcing exploratory testing services / software testing services

Exploratory testing is the principle of operation in which developers probe software, learning in process and correcting flaws. This method is based on the opinion of an individual developer who, within the framework of a search without any specific purpose, identified those defects that ordinary trials overlook. Previously prepared examples do not apply here.

As a rule, existing trials are aimed at identifying the most frequent regular errors in each program, but random misses are not taken into account. That is why when a developer goes to check random paths, he is free to choose and can simulate paths of an individual end user. This way it is possible to identify minor omissions, save time on planning by independently determining which functions to probe, but of course this is only part of the overall product of software testing.

History of exploratory testing and its aims

Not so long ago, Jem Kaner introduced the term “exploratory testing”, using in his book "Testing computer software". Previously, this method was mentioned in professional circles as special probing.

The main message is that regardless of the quantity and quality of trial systems created, it is necessary to run random trials based only on your discretion.

Why use exploratory testing in a company's daily life?

Currently, expectations and requirements of customers for services they provide are growing, this increases competition in the manufacturers' market. Constant introduction of new high-quality digital technologies becomes mandatory if a business wants to stay afloat. Any startup wants to enter the market as soon as possible, but it is much more important not to lose everything on random mistakes.

For probing, a structured approach based on user experience is usually used. But third-party variants of user behavior are often overlooked, which in turn can be analyzed using User Acceptance Testing (UAT), where user characters come into play. This is a qualitative approach, but some mistakes go unnoticed. Exploratory testing eliminates these errors thanks to a random approach.

In the process of work, developers not only identify errors, but also discuss them in process, it is often notes or even voice comments, so countless scenarios of user behavior are created. In complex, all types of trials provide quality digital experiences.

Alfee specialists in the work associated with exploratory testing regularly face tasks of finding and identifying errors in the program of our clients, contributing to the development of high-quality software. Work and interaction is carried out as follows:

  1. Categorization of errors: previously identified errors are classified according to different principles to create trials for different types of errors.
  2. Trial algorithm: developers study customer paths on the service and create a list of trials accordingly.
  3. Short deadlines: our developers are engaged in a specific task without being distracted by anything.
  4. Analysis of the work carried out: after leveling all the errors found, it is necessary to analyze the quality of software and QA (Quality Assurance).
  5. Discussion: having received results of the work of all teams, it is necessary to understand whether the work was done correctly, and whether there is a need for additional trials.
  6. Setting up independent independent operation of the service: research trials allow you to identify unpredictable errors in alternative behavior of individual clients, which then contributes to introduction of new trials into the main analysis algorithm.

Research trials are extremely fast, as we bypass all work with documentation,so businesses choose this approach. But it is not as unambiguous as it may seem, there are different types:

  1. Testing in a freestyle. This type assumes that there are no rules when performing trials. Developer scans the program to detect errors or to check work of previous developers.
  2. Testing based on different user paths. A real example of user behavior is taken and probed in the program, and then the scheme is repeated over and over again. This way it is possible to cover all behaviors most accurately and structurally.
  3. Strategic testing. An experienced qualified specialist are involved in the work, since trials are performed based on analysis of boundary values, equivalence, and risk.

The best moment for starting to use exploratory testing

Exploratory testing is an excellent solution in situations where you need to get an opinion about a product quickly enough. Random checks on user behavior scenarios in the application come into play, which quickly confirms the quality of product or finds mistakes.

software testing methods / experienced testers

In what cases can a business not do without the use of such a trial system?

  • At the stage of initial product development or updated functions.
  • If you need a quick introduction to the program.
  • Need feedback about app before entering the market.
  • There is little time, and the main errors need to be identified.
  • Classic trials have already probed program according to pre-established scenarios.
  • There is a need to expand coverage of errors by trials and introduce new ones and improve them.

When is it better to abandon exploratory testing?

Exploratory testing is carried out in different ways, there are two well-established approaches:

  1. Testing by sessions: Trial sessions are limited in time. Developer is usually allocated from 4 minutes to 1.5 hours to carry out the work and set a specific goal. This is called the charter.
  2. Working in pairs: Two developers work on the same task on the same monitor, which allows you to share thoughts and ideas in real time.

However, it is important to understand the need to maintain a certain balance in probing between exploratory testing and scripted testing: exclusion of probing by scenario is strictly prohibited. Trial will not provide you with a high-quality result by itself, as it overlooks pre-worked scenarios of user behavior. Remember, all rules are based on mistakes made once.

Scenario probing is included in the work of all developers for a reason. There are regulatory documents and compliance requirements that your application must meet. For example, accessibility trial: there are laws and standards that any product must comply with, and neglecting this is fraught with problems with ability to launch.

Implementation and Inseparability of exploratory testing for CI/CD

Exploratory testing opens testing of product both for business owners, for full-time developers, and for the end user. This is an opportunity to create a high-quality application for everyone and satisfaction from the work done, profit received and service used. Such a result is possible thanks to such a research testing tool as the creation of screenshots, voice notes and comments at every stage of work - nothing is overlooked. Even inexperienced specialists here will be able to cope with the task.

During the trial process, development teams face a number of problems, namely:

  • Limited testing: Developers are free to choose to probe any function and test strategy, so a number of points may simply not be covered, which is a problem. Therefore, each trial is documented later, and other team members are informed about progress, so as not to check the same function several times, and miss some completely.
  • There is little information and awareness about the product: If a specialist does not understand the product he is working with, user behavior scenarios are skipped. Therefore, trials are performed by several members of the QA team, probing in pairs, which we discussed above, is well suited.
  • Lack of knowledge about the exploratory tests and their functions: Often developers or even business owners actively involved in the processes of their business do not know exactly when to launch this type of trial. It is informal, and therefore exploratory testing complements the main audit process, and does not replace it. Trial is the last instance in product development, when main errors in classical trials are identified and corrected and it's time to find random ones.

As a rule, a specialist conducts a trial manually, then the result directly depends on his experience and knowledge of his business. But, as we know, trials are often automated and this type is no exception. It is only taken into account that it is impossible to completely replace a person in this work, technology needs to be combined.

There are two variants of automated testing for use in research probing:

  1. Passive method: During the probing process, a video recording of the screen is conducted. So each stage of work done has already been documented and repeated again. This significantly saves time on creating a report on all checks performed.
  2. Active method: Two approaches to conducting research trials are combined here: work is carried out in sessions and at the same time is carried out by two exploratory testing engineers. One develops automated trial scripts, while the other executes them.

On-the-fly testing is a manual method that involves saving time, quickly analyzing work done and implementing new ideas about customer behavior. When deadlines are burning, and a product is about to launch - this is the best solution. Alfee allows its customers to take advantage of all these advantages.

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