Test better by exploring: Harnessing human skills and knowledge

Juha Itkonen*, Mika V. Mäntylä, Casper Lassenius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Users continue to stumble upon software bugs, despite developers' efforts to build and test high-quality software. Although traditional testing and quality assurance techniques are extremely valuable, software testing should pay more attention to exploration. Exploration can directly apply knowledge and learning to the core of industrial software testing, revealing more relevant bugs earlier. This article describes exploration's characteristics, knowledge's role in software testing, and the three levels of exploratory-testing practices. Academics and practitioners should focus on exploiting exploration's strengths in software testing and on reporting existing practices and benefits in different academic and industrial contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7155417
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Software
Issue number4
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • confirmatory testing
  • exploratory testing
  • session-based test management
  • software development
  • software engineering
  • software quality assurance
  • software testing
  • test design
  • test management
  • testing strategies
  • validation
  • verification and validation


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