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Definition: Ad Hoc Testing
Ad Hoc Testing is an informal method of software testing which is carried out without any structured approach and planning. The testers may not have a comprehensive knowledge of the product requirements and testing is done without any documentation and formal results.
In Ad Hoc testing, the steps are improvised and executed randomly or arbitrarily, hence this type of testing is also called random testing or monkey testing (comparing to a monkey who is dancing). Since the test is random in nature without a proper method, it is common to miss certain flaws that could be captured with a more methodological testing system. On the other hand, the lack of structural approach also means that flaws can be dealt with more quickly than if they had to be approached in a more formal manner. The success of ad hoc testing depends a lot on luck, along with the diligence and creativity of the user. Ad Hoc testing is best suited for discovery or as a tool to check the robustness of the test strategy. The prime aim of such type of testing is to capture defects which cannot be uncovered through traditional modes of testing. Ad Hoc testing is generally performed once unless a defect is found and in situations where there is less time available for the delivery of the product.
Ad hoc testing can be categorized into the following:
1. Buddy Testing: Both the developer and tester work together on the module, gaining each other perspective. The objective of this testing is to have a broader scope of the features for both the members.
2. Pair Testing: Two testers work together on a process, sharing the work with an aim of finding more number of defects by exchange of ideas.
3. Monkey Testing: Random testing without at the unit level without any test cases, to ensure that the system is robust and foolproof.
An example of ad hoc testing could be a child playing with the controls of a car and accidently pushing the start button of the engine. The child does not know how to drive the car, but unknowingly he has tested the engine start button, without any former planning.
Another example could be an email id software creator. There is a restriction that the id should not have any special character, although on entering a blank space an id is created successfully. This is an ad hoc test which tested that the code written for the software is not proper.