What Is Error Guessing?
Definition: Error guessing is a software testing technique in which the tester uses their experience and intuition to guess the types of errors that might occur in a system, and then tests for those specific errors.
This technique is based on the assumption that testers can use their experience to identify common errors that may not be apparent through formal test cases or other testing techniques. Testers who have experience working with similar systems or who are familiar with the application domain particularly well-suited to using this technique.
The error guessing technique typically involves the following steps:
Testers use their knowledge and experience to identify potential errors that may exist in the system.
They create test cases that designed to specifically target these potential errors.
The test cases executed and the results analyzed to determine if any of the expected errors have identified.
One of the benefits of error guessing is that it can be a quick and efficient way to uncover defects that might otherwise go unnoticed. However, it’s important to note that this technique is not foolproof and should be used in conjunction with other testing methods to ensure comprehensive test coverage.
Error Guessing Use
The error guessing is best used to supplement other testing techniques and methods to identify defects that may have been missed by other approaches. It is not a replacement for formal testing methods and should not be relied upon as the sole testing approach.
Testers can use error guessing to leverage their knowledge and experience to identify potential areas of the system that are likely to contain errors. This technique can help to improve the quality of the testing process by identifying defects that may have gone undetected otherwise.
In addition, error guessing can be particularly useful in exploratory testing, where the tester has a lot of freedom to explore the system and identify potential defects.
To use error guessing effectively, testers should have a good understanding of the system tested, as well as knowledge of common errors that may occur in that type of system. They should also have experience in testing and troubleshooting similar systems, so that they can accurately identify and target potential areas of concern.
Overall, error guessing can be a valuable addition to the testing process when used correctly and in conjunction with other testing methods.
Error Guessing Example
Suppose a tester is testing a web application that allows users to create and manage accounts. The tester might use error guessing to identify potential errors that could occur during the account creation process.
Based on their experience with similar systems, the tester might guess that the following errors could occur:
Invalid email address format
The system may not properly validate email addresses, allowing users to enter invalid formats that could cause problems later on.
Password too weak
The system may not enforce password complexity requirements, allowing users to create weak passwords that could easily guessed or hacked.
The system may not properly check for duplicate usernames, allowing users to create multiple accounts with the same username.
User profile not properly saved
The system may not properly save user profile information, causing user data lost or corrupted.
Based on these guesses, the tester might create test cases that target each of these potential errors.
For Error Guessing example:
Enter an invalid email address format (e.g., missing the “@” symbol) and attempt to create an account. Verify that the system displays an error message and does not allow the account to be created.
Create an account with a weak password (e.g., “password” or “123456”). Verify that the system displays an error message and does not allow the account create.
Attempt to create multiple accounts with the same username. Verify that the system displays an error message and does not allow the duplicate account create.
Create a user profile and verify that the information properly saved and can access later.
By using error guessing in this way, the tester can identify potential errors that may have gone undetected through other testing methods and ensure that the system is thoroughly tested for potential issues.
Error Guessing Advantages
Cost-effective: Error guessing is a cost-effective technique as it doesn’t require any additional tools or resources, and it relies on the tester’s experience and intuition to identify potential errors.
Efficient: This technique can help testers to quickly identify potential defects or areas of concern, and create targeted test cases to address them.
Comprehensive: This technique can supplement other testing techniques and help identify defects that may have missed by other approaches.
Useful for exploratory testing: This technique can be particularly useful in exploratory testing, where the tester has a lot of freedom to explore the system and identify potential defects.
Error Guessing Disadvantages
Subjective: Error guessing relies on the tester’s experience and intuition, which can be subjective and lead to inconsistent results.
Limited scope: This technique may not identify all potential errors in the system, and may only focus on areas that the tester is familiar with.
Not a replacement for formal testing methods: This technique should not relied upon as the sole testing approach, and should used in conjunction with other testing techniques to ensure comprehensive test coverage.
Potential for missed defects: If the tester’s assumptions about potential errors are incorrect, there is a risk of missing important defects.
In conclusion, error guessing can be a valuable addition to any software testing process. It relies on the tester’s experience and intuition to identify potential errors and can help supplement other testing techniques. However, it should not relied upon as the sole testing approach and should used in conjunction with other methods for comprehensive test coverage. By using error guessing effectively, testers can uncover hidden defects and improve the overall quality of their testing process.