Very Short Blog Posts (12): Scripted Testing Depends on Exploratory Testing

People commonly say that exploratory testing “is a luxury” that “we do after we’ve finished our scripted testing”. Yet there is no scripted procedure for developing a script well. To develop a script, we must explore requirements, specifications, or interfaces. This requires us to investigate the product and the information available to us; to interpret them and to seek ambiguity, incompleteness, and inconsistency; to model the scope of the test space, the coverage, and our oracles; to conjecture, experiment, and make discoveries; and to perform testing and obtain feedback on how the scripts relate to the actual product, rather than the one imagined or described or modeled in an artifact; to observe and interpret and report the test results, and to feed them back into the process; and to do all of those things in loops and bursts of testing activity. All of these are exploratory activities. Scripted testing is preceded by and embedded in exploratory processes that are not luxuries, but essential.

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4 replies to “Very Short Blog Posts (12): Scripted Testing Depends on Exploratory Testing”

  1. Yeah, it’s amazing how some testers/managers are AGAINST any and all exploratory testing!

    Like testing itself, there is no way you cannot be exploratory! Exploring is what humans do. It is the complement to their unending curiosity. The question is, do you reap it’s abundant potential or not.

    Hmmm… not doing so now seems pretty stupid doesn’t it?

    So why are people so averse to change, the new and dealing with risk? At the moment I am pretty sure it has something to do in the way we are brought up, what school tells us life is and what society tells us to be like. (Oddly the same people actually reward us if we break those guidelines!)


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