Exploratory testing: Wikipedia

適当訳シリーズ。WikipediaのExploratory testing

Exploratory testing is an approach in software testing with simultaneous learning, test design and test execution. While the software is being tested, the tester learns things that together with experience and creativity generates new good tests to run.

探索型テスト(Exploratory testing)は、ソフトウェアテストの設計と実施、そして学習を同時に行うアプローチである。テスト技術者は、テストを実施しながら、経験や創造性と共に新たに良いテストを思いつける能力を身につけていく。

History: 歴史

Exploratory testing has been performed for a long time, and has similarities to ad hoc testing. In the early 1990s, ad hoc was too often synonymous with sloppy and careless work. As a result, a group of test methodologists (now calling themselves the Context-Driven School) began using the term "exploratory" seeking to emphasize the dominant thought process involved in unscripted testing, and to begin to develop the practice into a teachable discipline. This new terminology was first published by Cem Kaner in his book Testing Computer Software. Exploratory testing can be as disciplined as any other intellectual activity. thats it

探索型テストは、昔から行われてきた。アドホックテスト(ad hoc testing)に似ている。1990年代前半、アドホックテストはいい加減で注意の足りない作業のことだと考えられることが非常に多かった。それに対し、"Context-Driven School"と称するテストメソドロジストのグループが「探索型」という用語を用いるようになった。あらかじめテスト項目を決めておかないからこそ必要となる思考プロセスを強調し、かつ勘や経験から伝承可能な技術にするのが目的である。この新しい用語はCem Kanerの"Testing Computer Software"(邦訳:基本から学ぶソフトウェアテスト)が初出である。探索型テストは、他の取り組みや技法と同じように、いい加減なものではない。

Description: 内容

Exploratory testing seeks to find out how the software actually works, and to ask questions about how it will handle difficult and easy cases. The testing is dependent on the testers skill of inventing test cases and finding defects. The more the tester knows about the product and different test methods, the better the testing will be.


To further explain, comparison can be made to the antithesis scripted testing, which basically means that test cases are designed in advance, including steps to reproduce and expected results. These tests are later performed by a tester who compares the actual result with the expected.


When performing exploratory testing, there are no exact expected results; it is the tester that decides what will be verified, critically investigating the correctness of the result.


In reality, testing almost always is a combination of exploratory and scripted testing, but with a tendency towards either one, depending on context.


The documentation of exploratory testing ranges from documenting all tests performed to just documenting the bugs. During pair testing, two persons create test cases together; one performs them, and the other documents. Session-based testing is a method specifically designed to make exploratory testing auditable and measurable on a wider scale.

探索型テストのドキュメントは、実施したテストを全て記録するような場合から、見つけたバグだけを記録する場合まで様々である。ペアテスト(pair testing)を実施する場合、テストの設計は2人で行い、片方が実施しつつもう片方がドキュメントを作成する。セッションベースドテスト(Session-based testing)は、探索型テストできちんと測定し監査するためのテストプロセスである。

Benefits and drawbacks: メリットとデメリット

The main advantage of exploratory testing is that less preparation is needed, important bugs are found fast, and is more intellectually stimulating than scripted testing.


Disadvantages are that the tests can't be reviewed in advance (and by that prevent errors in code and test cases), and that it can be difficult to show exactly which tests have been run.


When repeating exploratory tests, they will not be performed in the exact same manner, which can be an advantage if it is important to find new errors; or a disadvantage if it is more important to know that exact things are functional.


Usage: 使い方

Exploratory testing is extra suitable if requirements and specifications are incomplete, or if there is lack of time. The method can also be used to verify that previous testing has found the most important defects. It is common to perform a combination of exploratory and scripted testing where the choice is based on risk.


An example of exploratory testing in practice is Microsofts verification of Windows compatibility.


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