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Exploratory Testing Tutorial: A Detailed Guide

Exploratory testing is a software development process that is used to detect bugs and defects in software. It is also called ad-hoc testing. The term “exploratory testing” was coined by James Bach in 1986. The main goal of exploratory testing is to find bugs, errors, and problems with the software p

Exploratory testing is a software development process that is used to detect bugs and defects in software. It is also called ad-hoc testing. The term “exploratory testing” was coined by James Bach in 1986. The main goal of exploratory testing is to find bugs, errors, and problems with the software product.

There are many different definitions for exploratory testing but the most popular one says that it’s an interactive process of executing the program with the intention of finding new information about its design and behavior. Exploratory testing is a type of software testing that is done without any formalized test design or test plan. The tester, who is also called an exploratory tester, learns about the system through a series of tests and decides what to test next.

The goal of exploratory testing is to discover bugs in the software and provide feedback on the product to the developers. It’s used when you need to do quick checks on areas that may have been missed by other types of tests.

Exploratory testing can also be used as a way to identify new features that should be added or improved on in the product. This type of testing can be done at any time during development and doesn’t require formalized plans or documentation. It is the process of executing a software system and looking for a variety of ways to break it.

In Exploratory testing,  testers identify the risks or potential problems with the system and then explore them by executing test cases that are designed to find bugs or errors in the software.

Exploratory testing can be done by following an ad-hoc approach, whereby testers use their knowledge and skills to identify risks and perform tests without any specific test design. This is also known as “testing on the fly”. Alternatively, exploratory testing can be done by following a more structured approach, whereby testers follow a predetermined set of steps to execute tests on specified areas of interest.

History of Exploratory Testing

The history of Exploratory testing dates back to when Cem Kaner coined it in his revolutionary book “Testing Computer Software”. It is an ad-hoc method of testing that has been used through the ages to plan test cases relying on instincts and agenda.

The origin of exploratory testing can be traced back to the early days of software development when developers were generally not familiar with the various techniques and approaches that could be employed in order to ensure that their code was bug-free. This led them to develop a number of techniques and frameworks in order to improve their ability to identify errors early on.

One such method was called “test-driven development” (TDD), which involved writing automated tests before writing any actual code or designing any system architecture. This allowed developers to see if their ideas were feasible before investing time into building something that might not work as expected.

It wasn’t until the late 1990s that exploratory testing became widely used by software testers as a means for identifying bugs that weren’t easily reproducible or obvious from just reading code alone.”

The idea behind exploratory testing is that you should never be able to fully explain how your system works—you should always be learning more about it, and understanding it better every time you use it. The goal is to make your software so intuitive that its users don’t even have to think about how it works—they just use it, and don’t worry about what’s going on under the hood.

Exploratory testing uses a set of guidelines and best practices for working with an existing program or product, rather than following steps laid out in advance by someone else. As such, there’s no exact way to do exploratory testing—it’s all about watching what happens when you try things out!

What are the goals of exploratory testing?

The goals of exploratory testing are to identify bugs, risks, and opportunities for improvement in the product. This is done by exploring different areas of the product or application with no specific plan or goal in mind.

The tester will also try out different things in order to find out if there are bugs that need fixing. These tests are usually performed with no documentation or notes taken during the process, which makes them difficult to reproduce.

The goals of exploratory testing are:

– To find bugs in the software

– To find usability issues

– To understand customer needs

-Identify gaps in the application or product that need to be addressed.

-Check whether a new feature is working as intended.

-Verify that a newly implemented feature hasn’t broken any existing features.

-Make sure that the user interface is intuitive and easy to use.

The goals of exploratory testing are to give you a sense of what it’s like to use the software and to look for bugs.

Exploratory testing is often used by developers as they’re building software because it gives them a chance to see how well the software works in real-world situations. For example, if you’re building something that lets people order food online, you might want to see how easy it is for them to place their order, or whether they can figure out how much it costs before they’ve placed their order. You might also want to see if there are any bugs or other issues that come up during this process.

Exploratory testing is also sometimes used by testers who are trying to find bugs in software that has already been released into production—for example, when users have reported issues with using the product. In this case, exploratory testing can help testers get a better idea of how people use the product in their everyday lives so that they can find bugs more easily than if they were just looking at logs from user sessions.

The idea behind exploratory testing is that a tester should be able to use their expertise and creativity to figure out if something is wrong with a product. A tester might not follow any set procedure for gathering information about the product, but instead, explore it for themselves and record their findings in whatever way works best for them.

Exploratory testing can be used as part of an established test plan or as part of a bug-finding process that doesn’t include one at all. The goal of exploratory testing will vary depending on what kind of product needs evaluation and how thorough you want your evaluation to be.

How is scripted testing different from exploratory testing?

  • Exploratory testing is often contrasted with scripted testing, which focuses on executing predefined tests and checking whether they work as expected. Exploratory testers tend to look for bugs that scripted testers will usually miss because they’re not looking for them. Scripted testers are more likely to uncover unexpected results from their scripts, but those results may not be bugs at all—they may just be interesting side effects of how the program works under certain conditions.
  • Exploratory testers also tend to think about their process differently than scripted testers do: whereas scripted testers see their job as following a script and checking that it works correctly, exploratory testers see their job as trying things out and seeing what happens. They’re looking for problems, but they’re also looking for ways that the program could be made better by making changes or adding new features so that it does more than it currently does.
  • Exploratory testing is often seen as the more exploratory approach to software testing. It involves the tester getting an understanding of the product and then trying it out to ensure that it works as expected. They’re looking for any bugs or errors in the code, but they aren’t necessarily following a script or set of steps that they know will produce those errors—they’re just looking for them.

Scripted testing, on the other hand, involves following a specific set of steps in order to test something out multiple times. This can include running through a series of actions on your product repeatedly to see how it responds when you do it so many times in a row (for example). It’s similar to exploratory testing in that you want to make sure that your product is working correctly; however, there are specific steps involved in this type of testing that make it different from exploratory testing.

  • In scripted testing, the tester has access to all the bugs that were discovered during previous tests and knows exactly what to look for. This makes it easier for the tester to find bugs that are likely to be there because they have been documented in a test case. If you have a large number of test cases, it can be time-consuming to go through them all every time you start a new project. However, it helps ensure that you don’t miss anything important when testing your software.

Exploratory testing is different from scripted testing in that it’s not goal-oriented and can’t be repeated easily. In exploratory testing, testers aren’t given specific instructions on what they should be looking for in the product being tested; instead, they try out different things and see what happens. Exploratory testing can help testers uncover bugs that may not have been considered before by providing them with more information about how users will interact with your product or service.

  • Exploratory testing is a form of black-box testing that involves the tester making decisions about what to test based on their understanding of the product and its requirements. Exploratory testing can be done with or without documentation, and it’s often used when there isn’t enough time or resources to create a fully-documented test plan.

Scripted testing is a form of white-box testing that involves the tester following a script containing all possible scenarios for testing. Scripted tests are created by developers as part of their development process, or by testers as part of their test plan development process.

How to start off with Exploratory Testing?

When you’re trying to do exploratory testing, it’s important to keep in mind that there are no rules! But here are some tips for getting started:

1) Understand what you’re testing

Identify the goal of your testing and decide on a set of features that you want to explore.

2) Pick an area of the product where you’ll do most of your testing (for example, if it’s an e-commerce site, choose the shopping cart).

3)Start interacting with the product as a regular user would—and make sure to keep track of all the things that are broken or wrong!

4)If something isn’t working properly, make note of it so you can report back later on what went wrong and how it can be fixed.

2) Run through your test plan

3) Look for things that don’t make sense or aren’t working as expected

4) Pay attention to what other testers are doing

5) Think about whether the product is working well enough for you

So what does that look like in practice? Well, here’s an example of how I might do exploratory testing on a website:

1) I start by reading through the site’s content, looking for anything that seems confusing or could be better explained. For example, if I’m on a site about coffee roasting and I see some jargon that isn’t explained in their glossary, or if I see something that doesn’t make sense to me based on my understanding of coffee roasting, then that’s something I’d want to bring up with the client.

2) Next comes clicking around the site and seeing what happens when things don’t work as expected: if one section is broken because someone forgot to put in an “if” statement somewhere then we need to fix it before we can proceed further; if there’s some functionality missing because they haven’t finished designing it yet then we need to wait until they’re ready; etc.

How to Perform Exploratory Testing?

Step 1: Define the Scope

The first step in performing exploratory testing is to define the scope of your test. This is the point where you determine what you’re testing, and how much time you’ll spend on it. This is also where you come up with a hypothesis to test!

Step 2: Pick Your Tools

You should pick your tools as early as possible so that they don’t end up being a distraction during testing. If you know what language you’re going to be using, or if there are specific tools that will help with the project at hand, get them ready now. If not, don’t worry about it—just wait until after this step before deciding which tools will be best suited for your needs.

Choosing a cloud-based automation testing platform like LambdaTest can help you scale your exploratory tests. LambdaTest is a cloud-based cross-browser testing solution that helps developers uncover cross-browser problems that affect their users. Employing advanced test scripts, LambdaTest runs automated cross-browser tests simultaneously on hundreds of desktop and mobile browsers to ensure your customer experience works well on all devices, operating systems, and browsers.

Step 3: Start Testing!

Now that all of your preparations are complete, it’s time to get started with actual testing! Remember that this is a process of discovery—you may not know exactly what’s going on at first (and that’s okay!), but keep an open mind and try not to judge anything prematurely until you’ve seen enough evidence one way or another. Also, remember that this isn’t always going

Advantages and Disadvantages of Exploratory Testing


-It doesn’t require much preparation, so you can use it on short notice.

-You get to learn about your product as you’re testing it, which means you’ll know more about how to improve it in the future.

-It’s great for finding bugs since you can use your intuition to figure out where they are instead of following a strict checklist or script.

-The tester has more control over what they’re testing

-They can use their own judgment about what tests to run and which ones aren’t necessary

-It’s an effective way to get into the mindset of your audience and identify potential problems before they occur

-allows testers to get a better understanding of what they’re working with and figure out what areas need more attention before they start writing tests. It also helps them identify issues faster than other approaches because they’re not constrained by strict guidelines or rulesets—they can go wherever they need to in order to uncover bugs or problems as quickly as possible.


-You might not remember everything you’ve found while testing, so you might miss important issues later on down the line when they come up again during another round of exploratory testing.

-It can be difficult to determine whether or not something is actually broken if there’s no clear definition of what “broken” means.

-You may waste time running tests that don’t provide any useful information, or you might miss out on something important because you didn’t think of it while doing exploratory testing

-It’s hard to get concrete results with exploratory testing

-it requires a high level of skill on behalf of the tester (as well as an understanding of how to get started). And if they don’t know what they’re doing, they may end up missing important bugs or issues that could cause your company major problems down the road.

-exploratory testing can be time-consuming, especially if you’re looking at large pieces of code. It’s also difficult to know when and where you should stop testing; if you don’t know what you’re looking for, how can you decide when your explorations are complete?

Is Exploratory Testing Worth It?

The biggest advantage of exploratory testing is that it allows you to come up with creative solutions to problems you may encounter. In a traditional automated test case, you are limited by what your tests are programmed to do. With exploratory testing, however, you can approach a problem from any angle—and do so quickly and efficiently.

In addition to being more flexible than traditional scripts, exploratory testing also helps reduce false positives (i.e., bugs that aren’t actually bugs). This is because the tester is able to identify underlying issues that might not be apparent when viewing results from an automated test alone—such as performance issues or usability problems.

However, to do this kind of testing well, you’ll have to invest time into building up your skillset as a tester. You’ll need to learn how to ask questions about what works well and what doesn’t work so well so that you can find ways around these problems before they become too big an issue for users (and before too many people start complaining). This kind of thinking isn’t necessarily easy—it requires trying new things out in order to see if they work or not—but it’s absolutely necessary if you want a successful product launch!

You don’t always have time to do this kind of testing before releasing new features, so it might not be worth investing too much time into exploring without knowing if it will pay off in the end.

So is exploratory testing worth it? That depends on what your goals are for your project. If you’re trying to find as many bugs as possible in the shortest amount of time with minimal effort, then scripted testing will probably work best for you. But if you’re trying to get feedback from users about their experience using your product and want them to feel comfortable giving honest answers about what they like or don’t like about your product, then exploratory testing may be more appropriate for your needs.

So while exploratory testing is certainly an option when it comes to software testing, there are other testing options out there—each with its own pros and cons that you should consider before making any decisions about which method is best suited for your needs!


Exploratory testing is a technique that allows software testers to work in an agile development environment. Exploratory testing is used to test a software application with minimal planning. It helps the tester to focus on the most important aspects of the application while performing the test and encourages them to think out of the box. LambdaTest is a platform that allows its users to perform exploratory testing using their browser, mobile emulator, or real devices.


Eileen Dover

Eileen Dover is a published author, a former award-winning journalist, and the former executive director of the South Carolina Press Association.