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Developers In Test & Exploratory Testers: What’s the Difference?

At Trayport, our development teams include both Developers in Test and Exploratory Testers, but what’s the difference?

While these roles are closely linked and often overlap, the roles are different – predominately in the focus for testing. Both Developers in test and Exploratory Testers work together in order to ensure the quality of the product, from refining the requirements through to signing off the release.

We all know that repeating the same test cases can be quite monotonous and regression testing can make us all feel a bit…

This is where Developers in Test save the day

Developers in Test create and maintain the automated tests which include regression and repeatable testing. You might say that Developers in Test write code to test code.

These tests cover the most typical use cases of the product, making sure it works as expected. On top of that, they make sure that any further changes do not cause something else to break.

Not everything can be automated, though, and some scenarios may be somewhat more unusual.

That is where Exploratory Testers come in

Exploratory Testers step outside of the typical use cases, manually testing edge cases and finding scenarios that may not have been though of previously.

Sometimes it involves just trying everything out. Sometimes it involves specifically thinking of a way to break the system.

So what are the main differences?

Developers In Test
Exploratory Testers
Writing maintainable test frameworks Manual Testing
Writing automated tests at all levels (eg. Unit, integration, system, UI) Exploratory Testing
Writing test tools and scripting Bug triage and prioritisation
Performance testing Writing acceptance tests
Load testing Technical investigation
Deployment Finding and documenting edge cases
Managing continuous integration pipeline Test strategy for the whole team
Maintaining builds Scripting & automation
Bug fixes and Feature writing Expert product knowledge
Code reviews Impact analysis
Setting up realistic test environments
Overarching view of quality throughout the whole development process

But in reality, the roles are not black and white, they can and do often overlap.

With these powers combined, Developers in Test and Exploratory Testers are able to maintain the high quality of our products.

Christine Tan
Principle Exploratory Tester