Error Guessing

What is meant by the term "Error Guessing"?

It is a testing technique, based on educated guessing to carry out the testing activity, using the skills and experience of a tester. It is an experience based testing method, where the testing team can make best and efficient use of their skilled and experienced tester to execute the task of testing.

Error guessing is an art, which emphasizes on the logical and analytical ability of a tester, which he/she has gained over the years. It frees a tester, from the dependency on business or user requirements and any sort of strategy or documentation plan.

When to go for Error Guessing Technique?

Generally, the idea of error guessing technique comes in a picture, when a tester faces certain circumstances, where he has to make optimal and best use of his knowledge, skills and gained experience in order to perform the testing. Some of them are:

  • Non-availability of the specifications and requirements.
  • Deficient and unclear specifications and requirements.
  • Stringent time limits.

However, it will be ideal and preferred to go for the error guessing technique only after going through the formal testing techniques. This approach enables the tester to have some good understanding of the software product through formal testing, which may prove to be beneficial in the error guessing technique to produce precise results.

How Error Guessing Technique Works?

Error guessing technique may prove to be an effective approach in identifying the variant type of risks, associated with the software product.

Its general working may be seen through following points:

  • A tester uses his/her acquired knowledge and experience gained through years of churning, in the respective domain, to identify the susceptible areas in the software product, where the bugs and defects are likely to occur.
  • Based on his/her analysis and wisdom, he nominates each area of the software product, in the terms of low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk defect prone area.
  • Accordingly, it assists the tester, in designing and creating test cases, based on the severity of the risks, which are being executed on the software product, to reveal the potential defects

This technique may also be carried out through a structured approach, where a list of possible defects and failures is prepared based on the tester's experience and other professionals, engaged in the same domain, including the frequent common reasons for the software failure. Based on the list, test cases are designed and developed to bring out the defects that were listed.

Error guessing should be done in the direction of software failure. It may comprise of following situations:

  • Division by 'zero'.
  • Leaving the input fields blank.
  • Invalid or null values.
  • Entering values, more or less than the admissible length.

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In view of the above, it may be concluded that error guessing may play a vital role in revealing the defects that were left out during the formal testing and it will be better to integrate the traits and experience of all the available testers to ensure best results.

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