Software testing best practices and tools to avoid bad testing

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Here we share a set of best practices and tools every tester should implement into their everyday work to perform testing in the best way. Take a look at them!

Best practices and tools to avoid falling into bad testingTesting is one of the most important and fundamental activities in the development of a project since it enables the processes, working methods, and tools necessary to guarantee the quality of any software development. In other words, without well-thought-out testing, the focus and quality of the final product can be lost, and the overall project can undoubtedly fail.

Bad testing can even make the client lose their trust in the team, and therefore, the reputation of the company (the partner) can be seriously damaged. Last but not least, bad testing can also have a significant impact on the company’s costs since it is not only a waste of time and effort but also a waste of money.

 

After years of experience in the software industry, I have identified certain good practices I consider every tester should apply to his/her work every day to ensure high-quality testing service. In the following lines, I’ll share those good practices I have learned along the way and what companies should look at when outsourcing their software needs.

Software testing best practices that will help you

BE AWARE OF EVERYTHING

As a tester, it is important to be up to date with everything that happens on a daily basis with the project. It is essential to always participate in the demos and Daily meetings, as well as pay careful attention to questions, use cases, features, improvements, or bugs that may arise throughout the day. This will allow testers to cover a more complete scenario; otherwise, they will lack information which can make work harder.

ALWAYS ASK

Asking questions to make sure you know everything you need to know is one of the essentials in software testing. To test properly, you need to have a complete understanding of the software product, including who its users are, how they will use the software, what problem the software should solve and in what way, how it should look, etc. Those testers who have an overall understanding of all of these points are the ones that will uncover issues that most testers simply miss because they lack information. So, make sure your project’s testers ask without any hesitation before leading into bad assumptions.

INTEGRATING TESTING INTO A DYNAMIC

Best practices and tools to avoid falling into bad testing

Testing today is no longer considered as the last link in the software development life cycle. Today, testers have a more active role. They cannot be considered as test case generators or bug finders and nothing else. They must be integrated and involved in the team from the beginning of the project to the end of it to detect any error in time, as well as to anticipate conflicting scenarios and guarantee the product complies with all the established premises. By working closely with developers and the rest of the project team, testers can also suggest changes, help identify surface-level problems, and contribute to design issues, among other advantages.

BE UPDATED AND ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING

It’s important that testers are always informed and at the forefront of the latest work methodologies and trends. The software industry is changing every day, and there are plenty of emerging technologies and tools that can be used during the testing process. It is the tester’s responsibility to get updated knowledge on the tools. This can end up being beneficial for the team as a whole and for the individuals, as they can implement the knowledge in their ongoing projects.

MAINTAIN A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CLIENT

It is important that a tester maintains fluid and constant communication with their client. In the case of not having this possibility, due to distance or time barriers, for example, this relationship should switch over to the functional analyst, whose work includes being up to date with all upcoming changes and the goals of the project. Even so, it is always possible that testers and clients keep the contact intact by using any communication tool.

AUTOMATED TESTING VS MANUAL TESTING

It is also important to know and distinguish when it is convenient to do automated testing and when to do it manually. If the project has been in development for a considerable time, where the same test cases are run repeatedly as regression tests after some aspect changed, then automated testing can be a good opportunity. In the short term, test automation can seem like a very costly enterprise, but as automated tests get run over and over again, the investment on it will return tenfold.

Needless to say, this kind of testing is suitable for long term and far reaching projects, but for short term projects, where test cases are run once or twice, or where new features introduce significant changes to the existing application, it is not recommended. In this case, manual testing will be more efficient.

Content related: The what, why, and how of a testing center of excellence

Software testing best tools

As I mentioned before, being informed and at the forefront of the latest work methodologies, tools and trends is one of the good practices every tester should follow to ensure good service.

However, nowadays, there are tons of software testing tools available in the market, and keeping on top of all of them can be a little bit challenging. That’s why I selected some of the ones I have worked with and fully recommend:

  • Azure DevOps Server: Previously known as Team Foundation Server (TFS), it is a collaborative software development tool from Microsoft that helps organizations communicate and collaborate more effectively throughout the process of designing, building, testing, and deploying software. It is used for project management, reporting, requirements gathering, and testing. It actually covers the entire software development lifecycle.

Best practices and tools to avoid falling into bad testing

  • HP Quality Center: This is a test management tool, now popularly known as Application Life Cycle Management (ALM), that helps organizations manage the application lifecycle right from project planning and requirements gathering to testing and deployment. It is also available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.
  • Jira: This is an Agile testing and project management tool used for tracking issues and bugs, planning Sprints, creating reports, and managing all Agile software development projects. It is compatible with methodologies like Scrum and Kanban.
  • JMeter: It is a Java desktop application designed to test and measure the performance and functional behavior of websites. The tool was developed for the purpose of load testing web applications, but it has expanded to other test functions. It also allows for performing load and performance tests for various server types.
  • Selenium: It is a popular automated testing framework used for testing web applications across different browsers and platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is compatible with several programming languages like Java, PHP, C#, Python, Groovy, and Ruby and offers support for parallel test execution, enabling for a reduction in time.
  • Soap UI: This is basically used for functional testing of web services. It is a free and open source tool that allows testers to create and execute functional, regression, and load tests on different Web API.
  • Zephyr: It is a native application that exists in JIRA and brings quality test management capabilities to any project. Here, test issues can be created, executed, tracked, or reported just like any other JIRA issue.

To Sum up

Overall, I believe testers need to understand the importance of applying good software testing practices and habits to their everyday work. Being involved and integrated into the team from the beginning to the end of the project, paying careful attention to all the details, as well as participating in all the Daily meetings and keeping up to date with the latest trends and tools are some of the keys that guarantee a successful software project.

Therefore, to avoid falling into bad testing, where the quality of your product can be easily affected, as well as the client’s trust and the company’s profits, make sure you and your team follow some of these good testing practices.

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