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Error Guessing Technique

Error guessing is a technique in which there is no specific method for identifying the error. It is based on the experience of the test analyst, where the tester uses the experience to guess the problematic areas of the software. It is a type of black box testing technique which does not have any defined structure to find the error.

How does the error guessing technique be implemented?

The implementation of this technique depends on the experience of the tester or analyst having prior experience with similar applications. It requires only well-experienced testers with quick error guessing technique. This technique is used to find errors that may not be easily captured by formal black box testing techniques, and that is the reason, it is done after all formal techniques.

The scope of the error guessing technique entirely depends on the tester and type of experience in the previous testing involvements because it does not follow any method and guidelines. Test cases are prepared by the analyst to identify conditions. The conditions are prepared by identifying most error probable areas and then test cases are designed for them.

The main purpose of this technique is to identify common errors at any level of testing by exercising the following tasks:

  • Enter blank space into the text fields.
  • Null pointer exception.
  • Enter invalid parameters.
  • Divide by zero.
  • Use maximum limit of files to be uploaded.
  • Check buttons without entering values.

The increment of test cases depends upon the ability and experience of the tester.

Purpose of Error guessing

The main purpose of the error guessing technique is to deal with all possible errors which cannot be identified as informal testing.

  • The main purpose of error guessing technique is to deal with all possible errors which cannot be identified informal testing.
  • It must contain the all-inclusive sets of test cases without skipping any problematic areas and without involving redundant test cases.
  • This technique accomplishes the characteristics left incomplete during the formal testing.

Depending on the tester's intuition and experience, all the defects cannot be corrected. There are some factors that can be used by the examiner while using their experience -

  • Tester's intuition
  • Historical learning
  • Review checklist
  • Risk reports of the software
  • Application UI
  • General testing rules
  • Previous test results
  • Defects occurred in the past
  • Variety of data which is used for testing
  • Knowledge of AUT

Example of Error guessing method

A function of the application requires a mobile number which must be of 10 characters. Now, below are the techniques that can be applied to guess error in the mobile number field:

  • What will be the result, if the entered character is other than a number?
  • What will be the result, if entered characters are less than 10 digits?
  • What will be the result, if the mobile field is left blank?

After implementing these techniques, if the output is similar to the expected result, the function is considered to be bug-free, but if the output is not similar to the expected result, so it is sent to the development team to fix the defects.

However, error guessing is the key technique among all testing techniques as it depends on the experience of a tester, but it does not give surety of highest quality benchmark. It does not provide full coverage to the software. This technique can yield a better result if combined with other techniques of testing.


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