Differences between ad-hoc and exploratory testing

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Old topic with new question…

Many articles and discussions have been created for this topic and most people agree that they are different. However, all the discrimination was quite confusing and not clear enough in definition term.

I bring the topic here to dig again… any feedback?

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  1. Thanh Huynh
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    July 10, 2015 at 9:17 am

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    @Thong,

    The important difference between ad-hoc and exploratory is the planning and structured parts.

    Ad-hoc testing is performed on-the-fly without (clear) planning or the goal (e.g. Click here and there and see what's going on...).
    Exploratory testing is performed with a clear plan and structure in mind (e.g. Session-based testing is a good practice of exploratory testing).

    Of course, both ad-hoc and exploratory set tester free from the scripted steps by steps test when performing the test

    I agree with you that terms and definitions often make testers confused. I often don't go too deep into terms and definitions. It doesn't bring much value too much at this point of time.

    I also wrote a blog about this here (https://45.63.92.193/new-tester-stop-worrying-these-things-and-youll-be-fine). Hope it helps
  2. Thong Khuat
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    July 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

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    Thanks anh for good explaination,

    Going further, when we say a job requires the tester to have ad-hoc skill he only need to go and use the UAT without any test plan in his mind. Can we call it a low quality skill of testing?

    If yes we should think about categorizing tester level when we name the skill adhoc or exploratory :)
  3. Thanh Huynh
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    July 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm

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    @Thong,

    Re: Can we call it a low quality skill of testing?
    > Of course, you can

    Re: If yes we should think about categorizing tester level when we name the skill adhoc or exploratory :)
    > To be honest, I do not often categorize the tester level based on how they name something. The best way is to see how they test I believe.

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Thong Khuat R

About [Thong Khuat]

Thong has 5 years experience in offshore Test Engineer position with 3 years in charge of Manual Acceptance Testing, 2 years in charge of Automation Acceptance Testing. Thong has passion on learning and practicing in-depth test methodologies specialized in test strategies, test design and requirements analyzing.