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What is Error Guessing Technique in Software Testing?

June 1, 2023Aaron Thomas
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What is Error Guessing Technique in Software Testing
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Error-guessing is an intuitive methodology that uses testers’ expertise and intuition to detect flaws that traditional testing methods may miss. In this post, we’ll look at the fascinating notion of error-guessing.

What is error guessing in software testing?

The error-guessing technique is an intuitive and creative approach used in software testing to uncover potential defects or errors. Testers use their expertise, domain knowledge, and intuition to foresee and detect faults in software systems. This goes beyond formal test cases and planned scenarios, allowing testers to think like users and predict how the product will act. This testing adds a human element to testing and stimulates critical thinking, improving system quality by detecting problems that could otherwise go undetected.

So, if you’re ready to unleash your detective skills and uncover hidden bugs, you need to explore the intriguing world of guessing errors in software testing!

How to apply the Error guessing technique?

Using the error-guessing approach in software testing is a creative procedure that allows testers to rely on their intuition and knowledge to resolve errors that could be found while testing your software. Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing this technique:

Step 1: Understand the System

Familiarise yourself with the software system being tested, its features, user interactions, and documentation to ensure a successful testing procedure. This knowledge will act as the foundation for your testing procedure.

Step 2: Tap into your Experience

Use your previous testing experience and domain expertise to guide your intuition during the testing procedure. Consider similar systems or projects and any faults or flaws you’ve experienced. This experience will help guide your intuition.

Step 3: Put Yourself in the User’s Shoes

The most important idea is to consider the end user’s point of view and identify probable scenarios that could lead to errors. Consider edge situations, unexpected behaviors, or unusual use circumstances that could lead to issues.

Step 4: Think Outside the Box

Out-of-the-box thinking can help identify hidden flaws in software, such as if a user performs a specific action in a particular sequence or if any unusual combinations of inputs could trigger errors. It can also reveal hidden flaws that formal test cases may not address.

Step 5: Document and Communicate Findings

Document your judgments and keep a record of your theories. Communicate your findings to the development team, testers, or stakeholders to ensure they know of potential hazards.

Step 6: Execute the Testing Approach

Design and run tests based on assumptions to implement your error-guessing strategy. Run the software system and document any faults or deviations from intended behavior.

Step 7: Analyze Results and Iterate

Examine the outcomes of mistake-guessing tests to refine your strategy. Learn from each testing cycle and apply fresh ideas and observations to subsequent error-guessing sessions.

The error-guessing approach can be used to effectively test software, using intuition and expertise to identify potential problems and improve the system’s quality. Let your imagination run amok and go on an error-hunting detective adventure!

Purpose of Error Guessing

Error guessing in software testing is an effective method for identifying possible flaws and improving the overall quality of the software system. Below is a step-by-step summary of its purpose.

Step 1: Uncover Hidden Defects

Error guessing is a complementary strategy to discover potential faults that standard testing methods may miss. This method taps into the tester’s intuition and expertise. It adds another layer of examination to the software’s dependability.

Step 2: Simulate Real-World Scenarios

Testers can use error guessing to replicate real-world events that could lead to mistakes. By thinking like end-users and imagining how the program can misbehave, testers can investigate various use patterns, uncommon inputs, or edge circumstances to identify system weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.

Step 3: Enhance Test Coverage

Error guessing broadens test coverage by examining regions and scenarios that formal test cases may not explicitly address. It encourages testers to think outside the box and consider unusual scenarios that may result in mistakes, leading to a more robust and dependable software system.

Step 4: Leverage Tester Expertise

Guessing errors is using testers’ skills and experience to judge likely problems. This human factor adds a vital viewpoint to the testing process and improves overall testing efficacy.

Step 5: Continuous Improvement

Error guessing is an iterative method that helps testers improve their intuition and ability to predict faults. It also helps to improve the overall growth and maturity of a company’s software testing practice by analyzing the outcomes of this approach.

This approach aims to go above and beyond conventional testing methods while tapping into the tester’s expertise. This approach improves software system quality by mimicking real-world circumstances, improving test coverage, and instilling an attitude of continuous improvement. It seeks to improve software system quality by mimicking real-world circumstances, improving test coverage, and instilling an attitude of continuous improvement.

Examples of Error guessing method

Here are a few examples of how testers might use the error-guessing approach to help you understand its practical applicability in software testing:

Example 1: Input Validation Errors

Error guessing can identify input validation problems, such as entering unusual characters, long inputs, or unexpected combinations of input values. Testers can see if the system handles such inputs gracefully or displays any unexpected behavior or vulnerabilities.

Example 2: Error Handling and Recovery

Testers can simulate network outages, low memory situations, or unexpected system states to examine whether the system gracefully handles problems, recovers effectively, and provides suitable error messages or logging information. This can be done by intentionally causing certain fault scenarios.

Example 3: Boundary Conditions and Constraints

Error guessing can be used to discover difficulties with the software system’s boundary conditions and restrictions. Testers can run scenarios that push the system’s capabilities to the utmost, such as predicting hypothetical boundary values or combinations that may result in unexpected behavior. This can help detect any shortcomings or vulnerabilities in the system’s handling of such situations.

Example 4: Unusual User Interactions

Testers use error guessing to mimic unexpected user behaviors that typical test cases may not cover. This can include unanticipated sequences of activities or feature combinations that could lead to mistakes. Testers can identify any hidden faults or unexpected behaviors by investigating these unusual use patterns.

Error guessing enables testers to think creatively and predict probable faults by investigating various parts of the software system. It encourages testers to approach testing from the user’s standpoint and look for situations that may disclose problems. This strategy enables testers to find vulnerabilities, improve software stability, and provide a better user experience. Error guessing is not a replacement for formal testing but a supplement that adds human insight and creativity to the testing process. So, use your intuition and investigative abilities to your advantage. Error-guessing is a great addition to your software testing toolset.

Advantages of Error guessing technique:

  • It aids in the identification of difficult sections of the software system.
  • When paired with other formal testing methodologies, it performs admirably.
  • It improves formal test design methodologies.
  • Finds problems that may have gone undetected, saving time and effort.
  • Cost-effective: It does not necessitate using additional tools or resources, instead relying on the tester’s expertise and intuition.
  • Efficient: Identifies possible flaws quickly and allows for tailored test case design.
  • Comprehensive: Complements other testing approaches by detecting problems that may have gone unnoticed.
  • Allows testers to freely explore the system and find potential problems during exploratory testing.

Disadvantages of Error guessing technique:

  • Subjective and Inconsistent Outcomes: This technique is based on the tester’s experience and intuition, which might add subjectivity and lead to inconsistent results.
  • Limited Scope: This approach primarily detects faults in areas familiar to the tester so it may miss possible defects in other system components.
  • Error guessing should be used with other formal testing methods to achieve extensive coverage, not as the primary testing methodology.
  • Missed problems: If the tester’s assumptions regarding probable mistakes are erroneous, important problems will go unreported.
  • Person-Oriented Approach: Error guessing is a person-oriented method rather than a process-oriented one since it depends on the tester’s reasoning and knowledge.

Error guessing is subjective and limited and should be used as a complementary technique rather than a stand-alone method in software testing. It can lead to hazards and implications if used as a stand-alone method.

When to use the Error guessing technique in software testing?

Understanding when to use the error-guessing approach in software testing is important to maximize its effectiveness. This method can be used in various settings throughout the testing process.

1. Exhaustion of Formal Testing:

Error guessing can be used when formal testing techniques have been completed and the results are satisfactory. Error guessing will add another degree of analysis to detect any flaws previously overlooked.

2. Limited Documentation:

Testers can use their intuition and domain expertise to uncover potential scant or poor documentation mistakes. This allows them to uncover potential mistakes not covered in the current documentation.

3. Exploratory Testing:

Error guessing is an important strategy for exploratory testing, as it encourages testers to be creative and challenge the software system from many perspectives. It also enables flexibility and adaptability in discovering problems in areas not previously explored.

4. Unconventional Scenarios:

Error guessing is a useful tool for detecting flaws in unusual situations. Testers can use their experience and intuition to imagine how the program will behave in the face of unique inputs, edge situations, or unexpected user behaviors.

5. Enhancing Test Coverage:

Error guessing increases test coverage and can be used strategically to target parts of the software system that need closer examination. It helps uncover vulnerabilities and improve the system’s overall quality by utilizing the tester’s knowledge and insight.

Error guessing is best used when formal testing techniques are inadequate, documentation is inadequate, exploratory testing is performed, uncommon cases must be addressed, and extra test coverage is sought. It adds a human touch to the testing process and helps testers discover possible flaws, contributing to the software system’s resilience.

Automating your test cases

The test cases formulated during error guessing are a good candidate for test automation, as the same cases can be run for future releases too. This will help ensure that bugs have not creeped into the previously tested areas.

Consider using Testsigma, a no-code test automation platform, to automate your error-guessing test scenarios easily. It provides an easy-to-use platform for automating online, mobile, desktop, and API testing. You can automate functional, end-to-end, and GUI tests using Testsigma, making your testing process more fluid and efficient. With Testsigma, you can say goodbye to manual testing and hello to trustworthy testing!


Summary

In conclusion, error guessing is a creative and intuitive software testing method based on the tester’s expertise and domain knowledge. It is a supplemental tool for identifying potential flaws that formal test cases may overlook. While subjective and restricted in scope, error guessing can be used when formal testing techniques have been explored. With error-guessing, unusual cases are handled, and extra test coverage is sought. Error guessing improves the overall quality of the software system by utilizing the tester’s experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is error guessing a static testing technique?

No, It is not a method of static testing. It is a method of dynamic testing that entails actively investigating the software system and mimicking real-world circumstances. While it is based on the tester’s intuition and expertise, it goes beyond static code or documentation analysis.

What is error guessing best used for?

Error guessing is helpful in software testing to detect potential flaws that formal test cases or predetermined situations may overlook. It can be used when formal testing approaches have been exhausted, minimal documentation is available, unusual circumstances need to be addressed, or greater test coverage is sought. It adds a human aspect to testing and improves overall software system quality.

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