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The testing and quality assurance of software is as essential as how it was conceptualized and developed. But, more often, software testing is just considered when errors and bugs emerge just before the product launch.
There are various theories as to which is the best approach in software testing practice. What matters is to plan well because having an erroneous testing process can do more damage than good.
The questions are:
- How can we gear towards having a successful testing process?
- What are the best test software testing practices that you should do?
Here are some of the most reliable testing practices that will transform your perspective on software testing and development.
#1 Assess and understand your test coverage.
With the advent of various advanced testing techniques, testers also need to tackle the aspect of test coverage. It will give you a good summary of the testing process and show the software’s quality.
Here is one of the most common test coverage metrics that you can consider
- (Number of lines of code employed by the test suites)/(total number of code lines)*100 = Total code coverage
- [(Total number of requirements) – (Total number of missed requirements)]/(Total number of requirements)*100 = Requirement coverage
Test coverage requires testers to analyze all the requirements the software needs carefully. Here are four of the best test practices that you can observe for better test coverage.
- Formulate a traceability matrix for the test modules before running the test.
- Use the test coverage matrix to calculate untested paths.
- Categorize business modules based on their complexity and frequency of use.
- Establish automated suites from integrated frameworks.
Testing coverage increases the testing team’s awareness as it generally assists them in focusing more on testing tasks and later showing a more precise overview of the test closure report. It will also allow more accessible employment of impact analysis and identification of exit criteria.
#2 Follow the TEST EARLY, TEST OFTEN concept.
Software developers and testers are familiar with this concept. It is a principle that the QA team fosters, which is why quality assurance tasks are tackled during the early stages of software development and not only during testing.
If you plan the development of the software with the testing process in mind, you can formulate a more measurable, realistic, and time-bound goal for your project to enhance your product quality. Here are some of the standard testing practices done under the test early, test often concept.
As a general rule, the testing process starts once the coding phase is done. For improved quality under the agile methodology, it is better to get involved and begin monitoring as soon as the first stage of software development starts. It is what happens in a shift-left testing approach.
This practice will help you detect bugs earlier, which can increase testing efficiency and build camaraderie and teamwork among developers and testers. It can also hasten the delivery of the product, which is a plus factor for the stakeholders. Shift-left testing basically adopts the test early concept.
It is a testing approach where tests are run as a part of the delivery process to have a quicker analysis of potential coding errors and bugs.
Mixed Principle: Shift-Left Continuous Testing
Using the two concepts together can bring about a more effective testing process. Still, keep in mind to set your goals first to create an effective plan to execute both harmoniously with the software development process.
The combination of the two concepts has various benefits, which include:
- Improved test coverage
- Lower expenses on development and testing
- Time-saving approach to shorten delivery time
- Early problem detection allows developers and tester to produce high-quality product
These two testing techniques, shift-left, and continuous testing are helpful ways that can assist any organization to have a successful software development and testing process. The combination of these two makes it possible to correct erroneous coding and detect bugs at an earlier time, which can save resources, such as time, money, and effort.
#3 Lean on Automation
Identifying the best level of test automation can be quite challenging for testing teams, especially during the transition from the developmental phase. But as the need for testing arises, and the more complex software becomes, the requirement to lean on automated testing becomes clearer.
However, take note the testing must formulate a goal to act as a guide as to what extent of automation you can apply. This approach will allow testers to make wise use of resources and eliminate manually performing repetitive tasks.
The next question that you need to ask is, what tasks should you automate? According to testing experts, it is best to put automate test cases that require one or more of the testing types below:
- Regression testing: It is the test that requires re-running in successive release cycles that will increase the quality assurance of the product that the old errors and bugs will not show up after the product production and launch.
- Load testing: It is to ascertain how the system will respond to a simulated increase in demand.
- High-risk functions testing: It entails risk analysis to establish which functions have the highest failure rate and require automated testing.
- Smoke testing: It works under regression testing. Smoke testing assesses if the software permits user login and works on vital functions when opened.
- Data-driven testing: These are tests that are done multiple times using varying combinations of account name (username or email), password, and payment details to verify entry into the system.
- Browser compatibility tests: This test ensures that online software will open and work well regardless of the web browser use and whatever version it has.
- Device compatibility tests: Products that have mobile capabilities should work well in various operating systems (OS), screen resolutions, and screen sizes.
On the other hand, not all tests should be automated. While some may need partial automation, these tests are better performed manually.
- Single-use tests
- Tests with uncertain outcomes
- Testing of unreliable features
- Functions that resist automation
- Old operating system functions
Identify and prioritize the right test cases for automation. It will not only ensure that you can achieve your testing goals. Moreover, it will allow you to allot more time for usability and exploratory testing that are better done manually.
#4 Perform E2E testing.
E2E testing or end-to-end testing is the assessment for the real-world usage of an application. It is a test from the moment the software opens until you close the entire system. E2E testing also runs as many features as possible to check if all will work during the time that the application is open in a device. It is one of the latest testing techniques done during an entire testing process.
As easy as it looks like, building a typical end-to-end test is quite complicated. It requires multi-step actions, which need a lot of time and effort if done manually. Here are some tips to help testers manage the resources that come with E2E testing.
- Formulate it using the end user’s point of view.
- Observe risk-analysis through a risk assessment matrix tool.
- Differentiate UI elements definitions from your test logic by using a page object pattern.
- Do the testing in its proper order.
- Plan your test environment.
- Select the correct devices to test your application.
- Manage the waiting time for the loading of UI elements on the device screen.
- Enhance your teardown process through automated scripts and prompting cleaning of the test environment.
It is critical to utilize exploratory and manual testing as part of E2E testing. It is to place attention on aspects that are challenging for automated testing, like assessing the overall user experience and usability of all software features. Additionally, you can use automated performance and load testing to ensure a stable set of test cases.
#5 Observe bug prevention during testing.
Anyone in the QA team has rigorous training and education about software bugs and errors. The ability to pinpoint bugs is good, but it is best if the QA team can formulate a strategy on how to prevent them. Using the conventional approach, QA begins from a UI level. However, it is better to do functional and unit testing under the agile methodology. It will block bugs from getting inside the higher levels of software development, which can arise later and cause significant glitches and further delivery delays.
While testers gear more towards the shift-left testing approach, bug prevention, other than bug detection, is also now a priority. QA testers take part in bug prevention tasks, including requirement analysis and test case preparation prior to beginning TDD, increasing the efficiency of the testing process in various cycles.
The importance of software testing has always been highlighted to ensure the product’s quality before its production and launch. While the testing process evolves along with the advent of automation and new techniques, it is still best for testers and developers to rely on reliable and proven testing practices that will help create high-quality software.