The SQA2 Blog:
One of the main testing techniques of a Software Quality Professional (SQP) is exploratory testing. The definition is available on the web, but to explain the reason for it is, if you just test what they give you, what they have already tested with Unit tests, then you are just finding mistakes in the deployment, or what was missed. You have to test as a user would use it, and doing everything you can think of to break it.
When Business Analysts and Tech Leads write the test scenarios, frequently the focus is just to test to see if the requirements are there and they work. They don’t think of how adding a new feature may cause another one to break, or by doing a set of functions in a certain order may cause an issue.
Exploratory testing used to be called Ad hoc testing, but we are not just coming up with the test on the fly. We are using our experience of what issues have happened in the past, and are incorporating them into our testing. For example when I use a user name, I always use O’ Kieth because many times in the past this has generated a defect. Its not in the test case, but I use my years of experience to augment the test. As you become more experienced you will have your own ideas of what to do . We can start adding these to our forum to help others with less experience build their repertoire of testing skills.