Ad Hoc Testing: Everything You Need To Know
Every software needs to be tested before it is released to the public. This ensures that the software is reliable and performs as expected. There are various methods to test software, such as unit testing and integration testing. Ad Hoc testing is another software testing technique that can be used to ensure software quality.
What is ad hoc testing?
Ad hoc testing is one software testing that can help with quality assurance. It is an informal testing method to find software defects and problems quickly. The ad hoc software testing method does not follow formal procedures but relies on testers’ experience and intuition. Think of ad hoc testing as a spur-of-the-moment testing service that finds software defects before release.
Ad hoc testing can be performed at any stage of the development cycle and testing process. However, it is usually done after all other tests have been completed. It is a type of testing that allows testers to explore software in an unstructured way, making it suitable for software development projects with tight deadlines.
Key benefits of ad hoc testing
Here are the key benefits of ad hoc testing:
It is cost and time efficient
Ad hoc software testing is a quick method that helps developers find program defects quickly. This means software projects can be released faster and at a lower cost.
It is flexible
As stated earlier, ad hoc software testing and methods do not follow formal procedures. This means software testers can use their confidence with ‘error-guessing’ to find defects.
It is useful for software projects with tight deadlines
Ad hoc testing can be performed quickly and efficiently, making it an excellent option for software development projects with tight timelines.
It uncovers bugs that aren’t identified with other formal software testing methods
Ad hoc software testing can uncover bugs not found during other tests. This means developers can release the program with fewer or no defects.
It enables developers and testers to work together
Ad hoc testing allow software teams to work together(buddy testing). As there are no written test cases, testers and developers can share ideas, discuss defects and collaborate efficiently on resolving issues.
No planning or documentation required
Ad hoc software testing do not require developers to plan software tests or documentation. This saves them time and effort, allowing projects to be completed faster.
Disadvantages of ad hoc testing
While ad hoc testing can be beneficial in certain software development situations, there are some drawbacks to using this method. Here are some of the disadvantages of ad hoc software testing:
It is not suitable for complex software projects
Ad hoc software testing are not suitable for complex software development projects. This software testing method makes it difficult to track defects, making software projects with complex software requirements difficult to manage.
It can be difficult to reproduce software defects
Since ad hoc software testing do not have written test cases, it can be difficult to reproduce software defects. This means software teams may be unable to track defects and solutions efficiently.
It requires experienced software testers
Ad hoc software testing require software testers with extensive experience. Thus, finding such talents can be challenging for organizations.
It has little to low accountability
Since software teams do not have written software tests, developers and testers may be less accountable for defects in the program. This can make software projects difficult to manage.
Types of ad hoc testing methods
There are three popular ad hoc software testing methods used in software development projects:
This software testing method involves testers randomly inputting data into the software application and attempting to break the software.
This software testing method involves developers and testers working together to test software applications. Both can provide valuable feedback to software teams.
This ad hoc testing method involves two testers working together on a single program. While one software tester executes the testing, the other records and takes notes on the defects.
Some might confuse pair testing and buddy testing; however, they are two distinct software testing methods. One needs someone from the development and testing teams present for buddy testing. For pair testing, one would only need two people on the QA team, but they should ideally have different levels of expertise.
When to avoid ad hoc testing
While ad hoc software testing can be useful in software development projects, they should be avoided in certain scenarios. Here are some scenarios where ad hoc software testing should be avoided:
Testers don’t have the expertise
Ad hoc software testing require software testers with in-depth knowledge and testing experience. Thus, software teams should avoid using ad hoc software testing if the testers do not have the necessary expertise.
If the software is being tested to check user navigation and usability, software teams should avoid ad hoc software testing. UI software testing requires detailed software tests and documentation, making ad hoc software testing unsuitable for this software testing task.
One should avoid ad hoc software testing for projects involving high-risk software development, such as for programs developed for medical devices and mission-critical operations. Such software projects require structured tests, making ad hoc testing unsuitable.
Ad hoc testing best practices
When software teams use ad hoc software testing, they should adhere to certain best practices. Here are some best practices that software teams should consider:
- Have experienced testers carry out the test
- Make sure that the test is carried out under the right testing conditions
- Keep a checklist of software tests to perform and have notes on the process carried out during the testing
This article attempted to provide the readers with a comprehensive overview of ad hoc software testing. Ad hoc software testing is a useful software testing method that software teams should consider. However, software teams should be aware of the situations where ad hoc software testing services are inappropriate and adhere to the best practices.
If you are looking for a software testing company to carry out software testing services for your software project, then you should consider using ImpactQA’s software testing services. Their software testers have more than ten years of testing experience and can help you effectively test your software application. Contact ImpactQA today to find out more about their software testing services!