When most managers think of automated tests they picture automating what the manual testers do in running the tests. Sometimes this is what we desire, but it isn’t the most powerful way to use test automation. This tutorial is about extending your reach to do testing that cannot be done manually.
Few organizations are working beyond the automated execution of manual tests: monitoring program activities not observable by humans, evaluating massive volumes of data, or exploring ever-changing areas of the program. This tutorial covers all of these areas with a focus on Exploratory Test Automation (ETA) and test oracles for evaluating software behavior while exploring.
ETA is a testing approach that uses the power of the computer to look for bugs that functional testing misses. Unlike regression tests that do the same thing each time they are run, exploratory tests do something different each time. Through the power of the computer, many of these tests can run and check millions or billions of functions – numbers unthinkable with manual tests, automated scripts, or even table-driven automation. These techniques go after bugs that are virtually impossible to expose or isolate in manual testing.