Benefiting from Controlled Trips for Top-Notch Software Examination
Exploratory testing is not a distinct testing technique but is more an approach to assure software reliability.
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Executing exploratory testing parallelly resembles exploring and investigating a software product.
In exploratory testing, a QA expert scrutinizes the product, designs examinations, executes tested scenarios, and simultaneously evaluates the results.
Compared to conventional testing procedures, the exploratory testing technique can assist in identifying additional software malfunction, especially in rare scenarios.
Nevertheless, certain individuals worry that during the exploratory testing progression, QA professionals might neglect the fundamental functionality of the product, leaving it unverified.
This tutorial offers a deep dive into the guided excursions for exploratory testing recommended by James Whittaker, which ensures comprehensive and complete exploratory testing.
Several strategies ensure extensive test coverage during exploratory testing, one of which is supervised tours.
During such testing, test professionals behave as vacationers discovering new destinations aiming to tour as many attractions as possible within limited timeframes.
Every city or town is composed of different segments, such as commercial or historic areas, and tourists elect to survey one or more districts based on their preferences.
When it comes to software testing:
- The town or city symbolizes the software product being examined.
- Sectors represent the software characteristics and modules.
A governed tour is a prearranged blueprint of testing operations, comprising distinct aims, and tasks to emphasize during exploratory testing. Typically, these trips have a maximum duration of 4 hours.
What You Can Expect to Learn:
- 6 Leading Districts of Exploratory Testing Tours
- #1) Commercial District
- #2) Heritage District
- #3) Leisure District
- #4) Visitor District
- #5) Accommodation District
- #6) Dodgy District
- Summing Up
6 Top Districts of Exploratory Testing Tours
James Whittaker was not the original inventor of exploratory tours, but he did design his own technique and define these tours.
He pinpointed 6 key districts, each with individual touring methodologies.
#1) Commercial District
The commercial zone is where financial activities thrive. Generally consist of banks and office infrastructures. It’s often a place that tourists tend to avoid due to lack of interest.
A software application also possesses its “commercial district” aspects designed to increase sales. Marketing materials spotlight the exclusive features that set the software apart from its rivals and grab user attention.
For instance, a zero-cost trial period or complementary delivery for every 5th purchase.
a) Guidebook Expedition
Certain tourists strictly adhere to the guidebook, visiting only areas advised in it. Similarly, many users follow support details, guidelines, and user manuals meticulously.
Users might stumble upon bugs such as obscure instructions, steps not in sync with the genuine software functioning, or vague prompts.
b) Profit Tour
Every city features unique attractions popular among tourists. For example, travelers visit Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum, while the Colosseum is a symbol of Rome.
In software analysis, promotional materials should represent the software’s features accurately. If not, users might feel let down post the purchase of the application and leave negative comments.
The Profit tour can also identify outdated graphical representations, feature lists, grammatical mistakes, and logical errors.
c) Benchmark Tour
Some vacationers plan visits, albeit sans detailed agendas. Analogously, the test engineers make a compilation of software features and perform testing in a stepwise procedure.
This approach ensures crucial functions are not neglected and can identify bugs that impede the system’s functionality.
d) Scholarly Tour
Every tourist group includes someone knowledgeable about the city’s history and culture, keen to share their knowledge with others.
A tester can execute atypical user scenarios in order to detect bugs. For example, entering a file name that’s excessively long, adding a large number of items to the shopping basket, or inputting invalid data in form fields.
e) International Delivery Tour
Before reaching the intended recipient, international parcels undergo further checks and management.
A software application may involve data processing, modification or even potential loss. A tester should follow the data flow and ensure its integrity after each operation. For instance, checking if a software application supports the Cyrillic alphabet or right-to-left scripting.
f) Off-Hours Tour
At the conclusion of their workday, people return home, leaving their work for the following day.unaddresses. However, an application doesn’t necessarily stop functioning completely after a user closes it.
The application may execute background processes, perform backups, or receive updates. By checking the application operating in the background mode, testers can identify issues like unwarranted resource consumption or memory leaks.
g) Waste Collector Expedition
Even the smallest towns have waste collectors who spend a few minutes near each house to collect trash.
In software examination, the Waste Collector tour requires verifying the user interface elements, content and other surface-level aspects without performing an in-depth study.
#2) Heritage District
Conventional tours usually entail visits to ancient districts with vintage structures and historical landmarks.
During testing, the heritage district implies features connected to earlier product versions, code, or functionality.
a) Risks-Zone Tour
Tourists often receive recommendations to steer clear from certain places.
In software evaluation, a Risks-Zone tour focuses on code fragments that house multiple bugs. Often, one bug leads to others. Testers need to meticulously scrutinize such problematic sections.
b) Museum Visit
All conventional tours involve stops at museums.
In testing, a museum represents code that’s not been changed for an extended period. This type of code may not function correctly in a new environment. For instance, an Android version of an app may work perfectly, while the same code adapted for an iOS version could yield inconsistent results.
c) Previous Version Expedition
Restoring buildings is akin to software updates. The user should be able to easily adapt to updated user interfaces and changed functionalities that could alter user experiences.
During the testing phase, a tester should consider all these modifications.
#3) Leisure District
After an exhaustive day, tourists seek fun and entertainment. The leisure district represents customizability options in the software.
Within the entertainment district, there are three distinct tours:
- Supporting Actor (focus on non-crucial functionality)
- Back Alley (testing rarely used features)
- All-Nighter or Clubbing tours (testing without restarting the app)
The leisure district is particularly useful for revealing UI bugs, localization mistakes, usability issues, and non-critical functional bugs.
#4) Visitor District
Every city has bustling tourist hotspots, complete with plenty of cafes and souvenir shops.
In testing, the visitor district refers to examining the software’s functionality without concentrating on specific details. Testers may employ the Collector tour to verify software artifacts and user-saveable components.
Other tours in this district include Lonely Businessman (testing the most time-consuming way to a feature), Supermodel (GUI verification), and Scottish Pub (analyzing user feedback).
#5) Accommodation District
Tourists often stay in hotels for rest and rejuvenation.
In testing, the hotel district represents verification of non-vital functionality.
a) Weather-Spoiled Tour
Sudden rain can disrupt planned activities, often forcing tourists to stay indoors. During a software test, the system’s behavior can be evaluated by canceling previous operations and observing the aftereffects.
b) Sedentary Tour
Some tourists may prefer a less active holiday.
In testing, a QA expert can verify system performance by following the default path and without tweaking any settings.
#6) Dodgy District
A dangerous run-down district, deemed unsafe for tourists, can be likened to areas in software that might attract malicious users looking to crash the system.
Testers should mimic the actions of such users. They can follow the Saboteur tour to intentionally deprive resources necessary for proper system operation.
The Obsessive-Compulsive tour involves repetitively carrying out the same action and monitoring system behavior.
The Antisocial tour requires carrying out actions that defy the normal app logic, such as entering invalid data.
The Antisocial tour includes three sub-tours:
- Crime spree
- Wrong turn
During the opposite sub-tour, testers engage in activities that regular users are unlikely to attempt, such as adding more than 10,000 tracks to a playlist.
The crime spree sub-tour involves entering illicit data, like SQL injections.
In the wrong turn’s sub-tour, a tester engages in typical activities but in the wrong sequence.
This tutorial provided a comprehensive overview of the controlled excursions specified by James Whittaker, which guarantee thorough and systematic exploratory testing.
We hope you appreciated this informative tutorial on Exploratory Testing Tours.
About the Author: Anastasiia Piatak is a Program Manager at QATestLab and an independent provider of QA and testing services. Anastasiia has more than 2 years of experience in management, software testing, project administration, and presales. She supervises a team of more than 20 members and is currently managing over 10 active projects.
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