A steady increase is being noted in the number of organizations automating their software testing efforts to save both time and cost. But no organization can automate all its software testing efforts successfully. Hence, managers often have to address a number of challenges in both manual testing and automated testing. They also need to implement a formal software testing strategy to test all aspects of the software within a shorter amount of time, while addressing these common challenges. The managers and testing professionals can always address these challenges efficiently by using a number of software testing tips and tricks.
12 Software Testing Tips to Make Your Software Testing Efforts More Efficient and Effective
1) Prepare a Comprehensive Test Plan
A test manager can easily organize and effectuate the testing process by preparing a good test plan. The test plan will help him to identify the aspects of the software to be tested, the types of tests to be performed, and constraints related to time and resources. At the same time, the manager can use the test case as a tool to convey all aspects of the testing project clearly to developers, testers, business managers, customers and other stakeholders in the project. The test plan must be prepared by an experienced test manager or QA lead. Also, it must cover all important aspects of the project including test objectives, scope of testing, test execution schedules, identification of major risks, budgetary constraints, and deadlines.
2) Test the Software Early and Continuously
A number of studies have highlighted that a business can save both money and time by testing its software early and continuously. When the bugs or flaws in the application are identified in early phases of the project, it becomes easier for developers to repair the defect efficiently. Further, the early defect detection helps businesses to avoid additional coding and testing in future. Likewise, the business need to ensure that software is testing continuously to improve its quality and user experience.
3) Enhance the Test Coverage
Often managers find it difficult to accomplish 100% test coverage due to constraints related to time and resources. But the constraints must not prevent the manger from trying to maximize the test coverage. The manager can always decide the extent of test coverage while preparing the test plan. Also, he can maximize the test coverage by dividing the entire application into smaller modules. The modules can again be broken into small parts. The testers can easily write test cases for individual unit modules.
4) Prioritize Testing Activities
The testers have to perform a variety of tests to assess the software application thoroughly. Likewise, they have to execute certain tests repeatedly to assess the application’s functionality and performance under various conditions. But the testers are required to complete all tests within a stipulated time frame and without increasing the software’s time to market. So the manager needs to prioritize all testing activities and ensure that none of the high-priority tests remain incomplete. He can further conduct detailed risk analysis to prioritize the testing activities effectively.
5) Focus on the Quality of Test Cases
The quality of test cases will directly affect the outcome of the software testing process. The manager must divide the entire application into smaller modules, and ask testers to write test cases for individual unit modules. However, the manager must ask the testers to write the test cases in requirement analysis or design phase of the project to ensure that all requirements are tested. Also, he needs to make the test cases available to developers in advance. The understanding of test cases will help developers to write quality code and avoid making changes to the code in future.
6) Write Test Cases for both Valid and Invalid Conditions
While writing test cases, the professionals must target the intended functionality first. However, they must test each functionality based on both valid and invalid conditions. The testers can easily separate the valid and invalid conditions based on requirements. The test case should test the functionality based on valid conditions first and then move to invalid conditions. The combination of valid and invalid condition will help testers to assess both expected and unexpected behavior of the application under different conditions.
7) Assess Test Results Thoroughly
The primary responsibility of testers is to identify the root cause of each problem. Hence, they must assess the final test results thoroughly to identify the root cause of problems. Normally, a test report conveys the status of individual tests as either pass or fail. The testers need to focus on failed tests and troubleshoot their root cause to find solutions for the problem. The troubleshooting will further help the developers to repair the defect without putting extra time and effort.
8) Pick and Use the Right Test Metrics
The manager must select and use the right metrics to assess the software testing project accurately and take the right decisions. However, it is also important for the manager to pick metrics that are clear, measurable and simple to execute. Normally, test managers assess the testing project based on common metrics like number of test cases executes, test case execution schedule, size of the code, amount of rework, and resource consumption. These metrics will help the manager to plan testing projects more efficiently in future.
9) Use Test Automation Tools
The test automation tools help users to assess all aspects of a software application within a shorter amount of time. Also, the testers can reuse the same test scripts to test the software repeatedly and under different conditions. The managers also have option to choose from a wide range of free and licensed test automation tools according to their needs. But it is always important for the manager to decide the testing efforts that need to be automated. Based on the tests to be automated, he can always pick the right software testing tools and frameworks.
10) Maintain a Balance between Manual and Automated Testing
A manager must remember that all software testing effort cannot be automated successfully. Also, the each test automation tool has its own strengths and shortcomings. So he must clearly identify the tests that must be performed manually. Likewise, he must deploy skilled testers to perform the specific tests without using any tools or scripts. That is why; it becomes essential for the test manager to coordinate and maintain a proper balance between manual and automated testing to generate more relevant test results.
11) Focus on Security Testing
While making a test plan, many managers do not focus on elaborate security testing. But a number of reports highlighted that each website or mobile app is vulnerable to targeted malware attacks. Also, many cyber criminals distribute malware through websites and mobile apps. So the managers must focus on assessing the security of the software by using specialized tools. Likewise, they can get the source code of the software reviewed thoroughly to identify and remove the weaker pieces of code that make the application vulnerable to targeted malware attacks.
12) Use Real Devices along with Emulators and Simulators
The online emulators and simulators help testing professionals to assess the look and feel of an application across many devices and platforms. These tools further help businesses to test software without investing in real devices. But the manager must not forget the important shortcomings of emulators and simulators. For instance, these tools lack imagination, and cannot assess the application’s user experience accurately. Hence, manager must assess the software’s usability and user experience through manual testing and using real devices.
The QA managers should follow these important software testing tips to get the best results. Companies can further reap a number of benefits by applying agile development principles to software testing. They must integrate software testing seamlessly into the entire software development lifecycle, and make the developers and QA testing professionals work together. Agile testing further emphasises on testing the software continuously throughout the production process, and involving the customers in the software testing process.