Why Exploratory Testing is Necessary?

Many Think of testing as some predefined test cases to be executed so we can ensure quality, so If we want to test a calculator we create test cases for each combination then a simple calculator can have million test cases, It is not worthwhile to create and execute each test cases formally. But that doesn’t mean there is no defect in a specific condition or scenario.

In order to find defects quickly, we have to do exploratory testing. “Exploratory testing” was coined 38 years ago by “Cem Kaner”, To understand more about the need for it  let’s have a quick comparison between scripted testing and Exploratory


Scripted Testing     Exploratory Testing
  • A script Testing where testers are required to follow a detailed step-by-step approach to test specific functionality.
  •  It specifies test operations, expected results, the comparisons the human or machine should make.
  • Scripted Testing can easily be reproduced
  • While the software is being tested, the tester learns things that together with experience and creativity generate new good tests to run.
  • Is a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester continually optimize the value of her work
  • Exploratory Testing can’t be reproduced, but defects cab be reproduced.


The Key Difference is that “The explorer can do any combination of learning, designing executing, and interpreting at any time ”

So you might think  How do companies make exploratory testing ?! 

In some companies it’s called a bug smashing or smashathon or bug hunting day, you can name it anything but the purpose is the same that you do adhoc. Customers like testing with the sole purpose of finding any defect in the probable scenarios.

Is that mean that scripted Testing can be replaced with Exploratory testing ?!

Definitely “NO”, As each type has its own pros and cons, and here are some situations where exploratory testing might fit:

  • If you have less time for test preparation and documentation and you want to find the most important bugs quickly at execution time, exploratory testing will fit here rather than executing scripted tests.
  • You can use exploratory testing when you have fewer requirements and specifications for your software, so you have to learn, design, and execute.
  • Also if the stakeholders need quick feedback you can use exploratory testing, as using it provides quick feedback rather than scripted testing.

But Exploratory testing might not fit the following situations where :

  • You need to reproduce the test cases, as in exploratory test cases aren’t reproducible instead defects are.
  • It’s important to manage the test coverage, you can easily manage it through scripted testing rather than exploratory.
  • You need to make sure that you have met all requirements.

So depending on the variables of your situation time, budget, testers, goals, and so on you can decide which approach might fit you more, and combining both approaches together will give you more benefits, as using scripted you can go formally on your predefined test cases but using exploratory you can reach some cases that won’t be reachable using scripted and formal testing.