Exploratory Testing

Examining the theory behind Exploratory Testing, how to put theory into practice and how it differs from other forms of testing

Course Objectives

This 2-day workshop will provide delegates with an understanding of Exploratory Testing and enable delegates to experience Exploratory Testing through the testing of different applications. Delegates will also have opportunity to discuss some of the misconceptions surrounding Exploratory Testing and debate both advantages and disadvantages of this technique.

Delegates will discover when and when not to use Exploratory Testing and how to overcome Management’s reluctance to include this type of testing in our schedules.

Who will benefit?

You should attend this workshop if:

  • You are uncomfortable with having less time to test than you need
  • You are trying to test systems where requirements are extremely weak or non-existent
  • You want practical solutions in today’s pressured development culture
  • You are under severe time constraints for testing
  • You want to re-invigorate and inspire your current testing procedures
  • You want to respond to rapid development
  • You need practical methods & techniques for testing in less than ideal conditions.
  • You want to understand how to apply Exploratory Testing techniques
  • You want to understand how to manage Exploratory Testing and to alleviate the fears that Exploratory Testing is a license for chaos



Skills Gained

  • Understand when and how to apply the Exploratory Testing Technique.
  • Hands-on experience in the use of this technique.
  • Learn how to document and manage tests and report progress during Exploratory Testing sessions.
  • Learn how to become more effective in testing when resources such as time, requirements and people are limited.

Course Introduction

Often we find ourselves working on projects where the deadlines are unrealistic; requirements are either rapidly changing, unknown or incomplete, projects where we feel frustrated at not being able to follow the standard ‘plan-design-execute’ our tests due to immense time constraints. Exploratory Testing might be the solution that you are looking for when presented with these difficult, yet very real, situations. Exploratory Testing as defined by James Bach is “simultaneous learning, test design and test execution”. During this workshop we shall look at the theory behind Exploratory Testing and how we can put this theory into practice by applying the technique to various applications. We shall also discover how Exploratory Testing differs from “scripted” and “nonsystematic” testing.

Course Content

Principles of Exploratory Testing

This section provides an introduction into Exploratory Testing and how it complements other systematic techniques. We shall uncover advantages and disadvantages of both Exploratory Testing and Scripted Testing and when/when not to use both approaches. Heuristics become one of the basis being used during Exploratory Testing, together with checklists and experience.

Exploratory Test Documentation

There seems to be a lot of misunderstandings in what to document during Exploratory Testing. The documents produced at the various stages of Exploratory Testing include; charters, test notes, bug logs and de-brief reports. Examples of these will be provided during the workshop and participants will be encourages to produce their own versions during the practical sessions and shown how to adapt them for their own organisations.

Performing Exploratory Testing

Throughout the workshop participants will be working individually, in pairs and in teams. This session looks at how to effectively perform Exploratory Testing not only as individuals but also as a “paired testing session” and a “team testing session”. Participants will understand and appreciate how to be more motivated and encouraged when working with others and how this can increase effectiveness in finding bugs. The tester’s style analysis will be used to identify what type of tester you are and what type of people you prefer working with.

Managing Exploratory Testing

Assessing the quality of the software is one of the responsibilities the tester has together with providing timely and accurate information so that stake-holders can make informed decisions. Various methods of reporting progress during Exploratory Testing will be demonstrated, these methods are most appropriate for quick “bursts” of Exploratory Testing, proving to be the most effective for this approach.

Practical Work

The workshop is highly practical; lessons will be learnt through the theory and practice. Participants will be encouraged to bring their laptops so that unknown applications can be tested. There will also be opportunity to discuss issues and concerns surrounding Exploratory Testing. Participants will complete an action plan to discuss with colleagues and managers within their organisation.