It is no secret that software development is shifting more and more towards Agile and DevOps practices. These methodologies are pushing companies that applying them to offer faster releases, without lowering their quality standards. This technique has had some significant effects on software testing approaches as well.
The clearest and most visible of those effects is the obscureness of boundaries between developers and testers. From separate, and even at times opposing teams, to one joint force on a single team, with the common goal of releasing a quality product. The growing demand for test automation on Agile teams is also contributing to the faintness between developer and tester roles.
Testers are now expected to understand the code better and in most cases to know how to write code, while developers are to have a role in testing their own code. The popularity from QA teams is continually getting more intense, and it is a struggle to maintain up with the ever-changing testing domain.
Finding the latest testing practices and following “best practices” that can add additional value to the product’s quality is an unceasing effort. Predicting this trend, PractiTest has endlessly made the effort to develop its platform to put up the different types of testing used in today’s software development world, with the accommodating that there is no one solution for software quality. A combination, however, of different testing types and approaches can help meeting those quality goals and add this extra value.
So what would we combine into our Agile testing approach for maximum coverage?
Scripted testing is a step-by-step testing method for testing a particular functionality. This approach confides on the testers’ skills and common sense. Even though it is assumed to be a precise testing approach, it does have some difficulties when it comes to Agile development.
The main shortcoming is the time factor. Executing scripted tests may take a lot of the testing team’s valued time. Moreover, while the scripted tests approach does provide great coverage for planned requirements, it does not provide coverage for the unforeseen and for the unplanned.
As mentioned earlier, the automation testing approach is constantly expanding its reach, and it is now almost necessary to add automation in the testing process in order to keep up with market demands. The demand for automated testing has prodigiously increased over the last five years, and for good reason.
The procedure of automating some of the previously manually executed scripted tests has offered QA teams to speed up the progression and save some valued time. Automated tests may also be scripted using one of the automation tools out there, and the ability to write such scripts has become much mandatory for QA professionals. By automating the tedious manual tests, testers are able to free up more time for conducting more creative exploratory and session based tests.
Manual Exploratory Testing and Session-Based Testing
Exploratory testing is more intuitive-oriented and needed testers to be professional and responsible to frequently optimize their work. It offers testers to advance a deeper understanding of the system, and to get the user’s viewpoint on its functionalities, mixed with their inside business understandings
By executing exploratory sessions, the test team should better notify weak points and create new test cases for better coverage of those weaknesses. Moreover, testers are likely to find new bugs in those ET sessions than while running regression tests that are performed over and over again as they tend to lead to new directions.
By adding session based testing and exploratory testing to the testing method, the QA team can save a lot of important time. When performed by experienced and skilled testers, the attention of the session can be changed on the fly, directing the testing team to find vulnerabilities and bugs faster and to address them more efficiently.
Combining Exploratory Practices into Your Testing Routine
The two basic options for a test lead to manage exploratory tests are participation and delegation. When delegating, the test lead will basically dictate a test charter, leaving the execution for individuals (or few members) of his team, while the team reports back the outcomes of the session. Participation of the lead in the sessions means the test lead will have an active role in the conducted session.
Participation will provide the test lead to shift the session’s plan in real time and serve as a live example for what is anticipated from the testers while executing the sessions. For smaller and more novice teams, the best way for blending exploratory testing in the mix will be dedicating a designated time slot for sessions, while keeping in mind a particular functionality, feature, elements or behavior to concentrate on (session based tests).
More mature and experienced teams, and teams that are in search for a more constant manner for making, assigning, and fulfilling test charters can use a session-based test management tool to make sure clearer results and better structure.
So, if you are looking to enhance your testing processes, add exploratory tests to the combination of scripted and automated tests to increase your software quality! And if you are searching for better and simpler management around exploration, exploratory test tools are there to help and support you further in your quality activities.