Six Proven Strategies to Make Software Testing Efficient
A simple and routine testing process will not make your software magically free from bugs and inefficiencies. Many testers experience daunting bug reports mainly due to a messy or chaotic testing process. There are some proven software testing good practices that make you an efficient tester. Here they are. Just before that let’s just scan across the definition of testing.
Software Testing can be defined as “The process or method of finding error/s in a software application or program so that the application functions according to the end user’s requirement is called software testing.” Source: Economic Times.
Follow these simple strategies to make software testing, an efficient exercise.
1. Good Test Plan
A test plan is a document that describes the scope and activities in software testing or software Quality Assurance (QA). It outlines the methods that will be used to verify that the product or system is developed consistent with its specifications and requirements. The document will also encompass test objectives, test approach, test tools, test environment, test schedules, and team responsibilities.
The test plan should also clearly define the roles and responsibilities of every team member. It needs to convey how the test will be performed. The plan will undergo a periodic review as there may arise the need to change the strategy or technology during the development period.
2. Test Early, Test Often
It is now a known fact that testers should be involved in all stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC). This also allows them to test early and test often. To find defects early, testing activities shall be started as early as possible and shall be focused on defined objectives. Preparation of a test environment as early as possible will put a check on any delays and unknown risks. The strategy of Test Early, Test often has a range of long-term positive effects on the software being built.
3. Write Clear Test Cases
Title: A test case starts with a strong title. For example, if you’re testing the login page, add “Login Page” as the title of the test case.
Description: The description should tell the tester what they’re going to test. A description should be easy to understand and should quickly communicate the high-level goal of the test.
Precondition: Preconditions specify the setup needed for a test case to be executed successfully.
Test Steps: The test steps should include important data and information on how to execute the test.
Actual result: Actual result is the output when you look at the software in real-time.
Expected result: Expected result is the correct result you are expecting based on the requirement. This is how the tester determines if the test case is a “pass” or “fail”.
4. Write Detailed Bug Reports
An efficient bug report communicates and avoids confusion with developers. Take care to write the bug report in detail, with clarity, and for others.
Bug report would be even better if you include:
Screenshot: Add a screenshot only if it adds to the bug’s explanation
Video: A video is often more helpful than a screenshot, as it often contains information of measures that are not documented but generally apply the same caution.
Notes: If you are using a specific environment/tool to reproduce the bug, you should include this environment/tool in the reproduction steps.
5. Start Testing with a Positive Mind-Set
Having a positive attitude is a must-have trait for a software tester. But it doesn’t mean that you should be over-optimistic and ignore the negatives leading to security issues in software. Believe in the product from the time it’s being developed for the first time.
You need to highlight the plus sides rather than focussing on the negatives. Instead bluntly pointing out errors, suggest superior ideas to rectify errors. Believe that you are a hacker of your project and it is you who should keep other hackers at bay. Think in terms of the end-users’ perspective and prepare your test scenarios and test the data accordingly.
6. Participate and Communicate
Increase communication with developers in order to prevent misunderstandings. Face-to-face communication will solve the issue easily and quickly, helping to prevent any misunderstandings. QA-based testing is important, but the developers should do one level of unit testing before handing over the whole application to the QA team. The purpose is to validate that each unit of the software performs as designed. At this time they make sure that major functionalities are working as per requirement or not.
Great QAs will be an ideal amalgamation of curiosity, attention to detail, imagination, logical thinking and analytical ability. In order to be one, embrace these qualities and try to follow the simple software testing strategies detailed out here. All the best wishes to be a software testing prodigy.