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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Adhoc Testing?
3.
Types of Adhoc Testing
4.
Characteristics of Adhoc Testing
5.
Benefits of Adhoc Testing
6.
Limitations of Adhoc Testing
7.
Five practices to follow to conduct Adhoc testing
8.
Advantages of Adhoc Testing
9.
Disadvantages of Adhoc Testing
10.
Frequently Asked Questions
10.1.
What is adhoc testing in QA?
10.2.
What are the tools used in adhoc testing?
10.3.
What is the difference between adhoc and exploratory testing?
11.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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adhoc testing

Author Rahul Singh
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Introduction

In the field of software testing, adhoc testing refers to a technique where the tester performs testing without any pre-planned or documented test cases. Adhoc testing is an unstructured testing technique that is commonly used in exploratory testing, which is a method of testing where the tester explores the software and tries to identify defects in an intuitive and creative manner. Adhoc testing is particularly useful in scenarios where the requirements are unclear or incomplete, or when the tester has limited time to perform testing.

adhoc testing

 In this article, we will explore adhoc testing in detail, including its benefits and limitations.

What is Adhoc Testing?

Adhoc testing is a software testing technique where the tester performs testing without any pre-planned or documented test cases. In this technique, the tester randomly selects a feature or function to be tested and explores the software in an unstructured manner to identify defects. Adhoc testing is typically performed in scenarios where the tester has limited time or resources, or when the requirements are unclear or incomplete.

Adhoc testing is commonly used in exploratory testing, which is a method of testing where the tester explores the software in an intuitive and creative manner to identify defects. Exploratory testing is particularly useful when the software is complex or when the requirements are unclear or incomplete. Adhoc testing is an important component of exploratory testing because it allows the tester to explore the software in an unstructured and creative manner.

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Types of Adhoc Testing

Here are 5 common types of ad-hoc testing:

  • Monkey Testing: Random and chaotic testing without predefined test cases to explore the application's behavior and identify unexpected issues.
  • Exploratory Testing: Testers explore the software, creating and executing test cases on the fly based on their intuition and experience to uncover defects.
  • Error Guessing: Testers make educated guesses about potential defects based on their experience and intuition without following a formal test plan.
  • Sanity Testing: Quick and informal testing to verify that a specific aspect or functionality of the software is working as expected, often performed after minor changes or bug fixes.
  • Buddy Testing: Informal collaboration between two or more testers who share ideas and observations, helping each other find issues in the software.
  • Regression Testing: Testing to ensure that recent code changes haven't adversely affected existing functionality.
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Informal testing where end-users explore the software to see if it meets their needs.

Characteristics of Adhoc Testing

Characteristics of ad-hoc testing include:

  • Informal: Ad-hoc testing is unplanned and lacks formal test cases or test scripts. Testers rely on their intuition and experience.
  • Unstructured: There is no predetermined test strategy or test plan, making it flexible and adaptable.
  • Exploratory: Testers explore the software, making on-the-fly decisions about what to test and how to test it.
  • No Documentation: Ad-hoc testing typically lacks detailed documentation, which can make it less reproducible.
  • Subjective: Testing is based on the tester's judgment and intuition, which can vary from one tester to another.
  • Quick and Agile: Ad-hoc testing is often used for quick checks, bug identification, or initial software exploration.
  • Limited Coverage: It may not cover all possible scenarios and can miss systematic defects.
  • Ideal for Early Testing: Ad-hoc testing is useful during the early stages of development to uncover major issues quickly.
  • Complements Formal Testing: It is often used alongside formal testing methods to find unexpected issues.
  • User Perspective: Ad-hoc testing can mimic user behavior, helping identify user experience issues.
  • Adaptive and Responsive: It allows testers to adapt quickly to emerging issues and changing project requirements.

Benefits of Adhoc Testing

There are several benefits of adhoc testing, including:

Benefits of Adhoc Testing
  • Flexibility: Adhoc testing is a flexible testing technique that allows the tester to test the software in an unstructured manner. This flexibility is particularly useful in scenarios where the requirements are unclear or incomplete, or when the tester has limited time or resources.
  • Creativity: Adhoc testing allows the tester to be creative in their approach to testing. This creativity can lead to the discovery of defects that may have been missed with more structured testing approaches.
  • Early defect detection: Adhoc testing can help identify defects early in the software development life cycle. Early detection of defects can reduce the cost and effort required to fix them later in the development process.

Limitations of Adhoc Testing

Despite its benefits, adhoc testing also has some limitations, including:

  • Lack of repeatability: Adhoc testing is an unstructured testing technique, which means that it is difficult to repeat the same testing process multiple times. This lack of repeatability can make it difficult to identify and fix defects.
  • Limited coverage: Adhoc testing is typically performed on a limited set of features or functions, which means that it may not provide comprehensive coverage of the software.
  • No documentation: Adhoc testing does not involve pre-planned or documented test cases, which means that there is no formal documentation of the testing process or results. This lack of documentation can make it difficult to track defects and communicate testing results to stakeholders.
     

Must Read Sanity Testing vs Smoke Testing

Five practices to follow to conduct Adhoc testing

  • Define Clear Objectives: Clearly outline the purpose and objectives of the ad-hoc testing session. Decide what you want to achieve, whether it's identifying critical defects, exploring a specific feature, or assessing usability.
  • Document Findings: While ad-hoc testing is informal, it's essential to document your findings. Keep a record of defects, unexpected behavior, and observations. This documentation can be valuable for further investigation and resolution.
  • Focus on Critical Scenarios: Prioritize critical scenarios or areas of the software to test. This helps you concentrate on high-impact areas and ensure that potential showstoppers are identified early.
  • Use Test Data Wisely: Prepare test data that is relevant to your objectives. Select data that covers different scenarios and edge cases. This makes your ad-hoc testing more thorough and meaningful.
  • Collaborate and Share Insights: If possible, collaborate with colleagues or team members. Discuss your findings, share insights, and learn from one another. Collaboration can lead to a more comprehensive examination of the software.

Advantages of Adhoc Testing

The advantages of using Adhoc Testing are:-

  • It can identify defects that are difficult to find using formal testing techniques.
  • It can help to identify critical defects early in the testing process.
  • It can be used to test specific features or functions that are not covered by the formal test plan.

Disadvantages of Adhoc Testing

The disadvantages of Adhoc Testing are:-

  • It can be difficult to reproduce defects found during Adhoc testing.
  • It may not cover all possible scenarios and edge cases, leading to potential defects being missed.
  • It can be difficult to measure the quality and completeness of Adhoc testing.
     

Also read about  V Model in Software Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

What is adhoc testing in QA?

Adhoc testing in QA (Quality Assurance) is an informal and unstructured approach to testing, where testers explore software without predefined test cases to identify defects and unexpected issues.

What are the tools used in adhoc testing?

Adhoc testing typically doesn't rely on specific tools, as it's an informal and unstructured approach. Testers use their experience and may use general testing tools for documentation and reporting.

What is the difference between adhoc and exploratory testing?

Adhoc testing is unstructured and spontaneous, lacking predefined test cases. Exploratory testing is structured but flexible, with testers designing and executing test cases based on real-time exploration and learning.

Conclusion

Ad hoc testing is a useful and important testing technique that can be utilized in a variety of situations. It is particularly useful for uncovering unexpected bugs and issues that may not be caught by more formalized testing methods.

Recommended Reading:

1. What is Adhoc Network?

2. Ansible Adhoc Commands

3. Functional Testing


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