The quality of any software product is underpinned on the success of software product testing. However, testers should prioritize their jobs and take into consideration the dos and don’ts to ensure the delivery of products with top-notch quality and rendering a superior user experience.
Software products have become an integral part of driving the whole global digital ecosystem. They bring with them attributes like convenience, speed of operations, security, and privacy, among others. As customers became choosy with their preferences and the competition among providers got intense, quality became the core differentiator that helped an organization stay ahead of the competition. To ensure the delivery of superior-quality products from the build pipeline and pre-empt customers from facing any issues with their performance, the former should be subjected to rigorous software product testing. Over a period, quality assurance has come to be associated with standard processes, practices, and methodologies. These should be followed in letter and spirit to enhance quality, streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and be responsive to customer feedback. However, a few QA practices have become dated and should be updated with the new trends. To understand these better, let us discuss some dos and don’ts about software application testing.
The do’s of software product testing
Quality Assurance (QA) is a critical requirement in the product development lifecycle to identify and remove glitches. It helps to make a product competitive and allow it to meet the customer’s expectations. If QA is not part of the SDLC, the consequences for the entire value chain can be severe.
- The product would be left with glitches thereby impacting its performance.
- Hackers can exploit the inherent vulnerabilities to steal sensitive business and customer information.
- Security protocols can go for a toss with the business inviting censure and penalties from regulators.
- The brand suffers immensely as adverse publicity through word of mouth can go viral.
Some of the best practices in software product testing are:
- Choose specific test cases for automation: Automation is the key when it comes to performing repetitive tests such as regression. However, care should be taken to choose the right test cases for automation as test complexities can render such testing infructuous. To automate everything is certainly not the way to go about in a software product testing strategy. There should be a proper selection criterion in place to choose a test case for automation. If done the right way, test automation can deliver benefits that far outweigh the costs.
- Quicken the pace of testing: In a non-Agile test environment, testers are wont to leave some of their difficult tests at the end of the SDLC. However, this practice is flawed as testing the quality of applications at the end of the development process hinders delivery. Rather, the testing team should adopt a risk-based approach towards software product testing and execute the high priority cases first.
- Manage the testing environment: Testers seeking deployment no longer holds, for today, it is more about managing the test environment by configuring the CI tool or Selenium grid. There should be cloud, containers, and virtualization, and the ability to write appropriate test scripts.
- Shorter tests: The test suites should be made shorter to enable better and quicker detection of glitches. Not everything should be tested in a test scenario, for it would make troubleshooting difficult later.
- Follow shift-left: The QA team should align itself with the development team through shift-left testing. This way, they can make a better impact on the quality of software and deliver it faster through the value chain. Also, shift-left helps developers to quickly mitigate any glitches in the code and move to the next sprint.
The don’ts of software product testing
In addition to the above-mentioned ‘dos,’ testers should follow some don’ts as well to enhance the quality of testing and not leaving anything to chance.
- Tracking defects in many places: Keep a single log of defective cases or glitches instead of documenting them in various places – excel sheets, tracking tools. A centralized repository for documenting glitches can help in their quicker tracking and better monitoring.
- Focus on negative scenarios: Testers should not spend their energies on testing negative test scenarios that are less likely to be used by the end customers. Even though these should be tested during the test cycle, the priority should be set for scenarios that are most likely to be used by the end customers.
- Avoid regression testing: Any change made to the application can impact specific areas of it unless regression testing is carried out. Often testers are of the view that regression testing can be avoided as the features or functionalities to be tested had been done earlier. However, any assumption in this regard can be fraught with danger as the changes can cause defects in other areas of the application.
- Automate everything: This follows from the ‘dos’ mentioned above where only specific test cases should be automated. The testing team should leave some space for manual testing as automation does not lend itself to every possible scenario. For example, any wrong code in the test script can harm the testing exercise.
With quality forming the centerpiece in ensuring success of any software application, testing or QA cannot be overlooked. In fact, it should be integrated into the SDLC along with development to identify and fix glitches as and when they happen. However, the QA team should religiously follow the dos and don’ts to avoid any negative fallout of testing. The aim, ultimately, should be to deliver the best user experience and achieve ROI.