Software testing is one of the important stages of software development. Hence, the software testing team must spend time knowing the best testing practices and implement those learning in the work. There are many approaches to software testing, and no matter which option you pick, you should be able to answer the below questions in your testing process:
- Are all the features of the application working as expected?
- The application as a whole is working as expected?
- What if the load (the number of users) increases?
- Are there any security issues that may impact users?
Software testing is not about running testing and getting the expected results. It is a process wherein you write the test cases (both positive and negative), think from a user perspective, decide which test cases can be automated, and so on.
In this article, we will share some tips for software testing that will help you better test software.
1. Understand the product – As a tester or testing team, you should be involved in the product from the software requirement and design phase. When you are part of the designing phase, you will know the minute details of the project, and it will help you create better test cases. You should have regular meetings with the development team to know more about the product.
2. Think over all possible test cases – You should spend time understanding the requirement and come up with test cases. You should think of the negative test cases as well.
For example, in a particular field on the screen, it is expected that the user needs to enter the alphanumeric data to proceed. Now, you should not only create a test to test alphanumeric values in the field.
Create test cases to validate what happens if numeric values are entered, or the field is left blank, and so on. Think of all possible such test cases while writing test cases.
3. Break modules into smaller functionalities – In order to maximize your test coverage, you should break your Application Under Test (AUT) into smaller functional modules.
For example, if you are testing a website, and you are testing the Profile page of the user, you should break the writing test cases into parts like Security Testing, Functional Testing, UI Testing, etc.
4. Start testing early – You should start the testing process as soon as you have the code in the test environment. For this, you must make sure, your team is ready with the test cases, and test data setup is done before the code is promoted to the test environment. If you find the bug in the early stages, it costs ten times less to the company than when the product is launched.
5. Think positive – You need to understand your role as a tester – your goal is to find a bug in the application. So you should start testing with this mindset – there is a bug and must be found. Don’t start testing assuming that there are no bugs in the application. Once you start testing with positive intent to find bugs, you will not overlook any aspect of the application and will end up finding even those subtle bugs which otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
6. Give time to the development team – You should not force the dedicated software development team to release code for testing. They should get sufficient time to develop and then do the unit testing for the changes. If there is a delay in release, you should involve the managers and work on the timelines as a team.
7. Learn to write better bug reports – You should write descriptive, clear, and unambiguous bug reports. In your report, you should provide why the bug has come, how it is impacting the system, and the possible solution. You should capture the test results properly and take screenshots, logs, and videos for proof points. Also, define the severity of the defect as minor, moderate, and severe. It will help the leaders decide how quickly the development team should take it up and fix it. Software testing is not just about marking test cases are fail and pass. It is a creative process and a challenging task. It depends on your experience and skill to see how you handle the challenge.
8. Use tools wherever possible – You should try to make use of the testing tools in your testing process. Your tests should be easy to understand and easier to run. There are many testing tools in the market, and you should integrate them into your testing process to make the testing process easy and smooth.
9. Automation – You should automate as many test cases as possible, but you should also understand the limitations of automation. Automation will not help you with a poor test design. Hence, you should focus on test design even in your automation testing. If you can specify a test case in a rule – you must plan to automate it. It will save time during various stages of testing.
10. Planning is important – You will have many test cases in your test plans. Some test cases will be more critical than others. Some will require more time for execution and validation. Always start with test cases that are critical and will take more time. You don’t want to get to the last few days with your critical test cases still pending. To ensure this does not happen, your test plan should have a priority and criticality column. For each test case, you can give the number for critical and priority, and the combined score of both should be the one you should be starting first.
11. Keep developers away from the test environment – You should keep the developers away from the test environment. Once the code is deployed, the test region should be locked for further updates. It will ensure the developer does not mistakenly update some part of the code, and you start seeing discrepancies in your test results. The best practice is not to give deployment access to a developer without approval from the test manager.
12. Get the testers involved from the very beginning – When you involve the testers from the very beginning, it means that they make sure that the errors are identified and also avoided even before the development phase starts. Getting your testers involved at the early stages of development has a range of benefits: it helps the team understand the goals of customers, saves time, minimizes expenses, and optimizes the approach to testing.
13. Engage end-users – The software is for the end-user, and they are the best person to give feedback on the product. In most cases, the tester tries to keep end-users away from the process. However, you should involve the customers actively in the testing process. You should ask them for frequent feedback on the product and future development and improvement they would like to see in the product.
The task of software testing is both creative and challenging. Developers must always test their code before merging, branching, or bringing it to production. Quality assurance is not just limited to testers and QA personnel. Successful testing always depends on the skill and experience of the tester. We hope these tips will help you in the software testing process, and you will deliver a quality product when you follow these tips in your testing process.