In the consumer-driven market of the present economy, ‘quality’ is the buzzword. The software industry stands as no exception. Let’s think to be a user ourselves, we take no time in hitting the ‘back’ button if a site takes longer to open, we straight away jump to the alternative. Similarly, a site with a complicated framework would not welcome many users. Such small examples quote the large importance of Quality Assurance (QA) of the software.
QA testing is not at all a simple job as it involves the handling of big data, tackling complicated codes and programs, creating protections against worms and glitches, postponing obsolescence as far as possible, and the list of the tasks go on. To ensure that all of this is performed effectively and the results are visible in the form of a smooth and high UX software, we need to have an efficient set of QA Analysts and here are a few of the best practices suggested for them-
EXPAND TOWARDS BOTH SIDES
The chain says: “software developers—software testers—users”
The task of the testers is to elongate on both sides. The testers can’t be efficient by only examining the work of the developers, they can neither be successful if they are exclusively relying on customer feedback. Both the poles matter.
On the developer’s end: As they say, most of the bottlenecks of a thing are known by its creators only. So the major loopholes to be worked on can be known from the developer’s side. The testers need to monitor the coding and programming in the process of software development so that the outcome software is free from glitches and errors. We can’t ignore the developer’s side and work on the basis of user experience only.
On the user’s end: Altering the errors of the developers is not enough. Sometimes the software is perfect in the parameters of its development, the coding is error-free and the interface is worm-proof but still, users may face problems in transacting through that software. There may be a lack of compatibility with the browsers or complexity in the working of the website which may hamper the user-friendliness of your software even after having the ideal developers. So the UX or feedback is very essential.
SMART WORK INSTEAD OF HARD WORK
This head does not mean to discourage you from working hard but it is simply suggesting you prioritize your work. Say, if you are an e-commerce platform, you have multiple tiny places in your software to work on. You have to manage the shopping carts, the display of products, the payment page, the order tracking mechanisms and much more. We can’t work on all of them simultaneously. We need to prioritize according to the importance of the areas to be tested in terms of QA.
Also, pick up the critical areas first. There are certain aspects of the software which if attacked, can cause serious glitches or losses. So rank in terms of risks or proneness to the worms or failures. The small areas must be kept for the last, which means the areas, even if attacked won’t lead to much less.
CHECK TWICE, CHECK THRICE
During the water purification process, the same water passes through numerous stages to be totally germ-free, only sedimentation or chlorination won’t make it fit for drinking. Similarly, pass your software through a chain of filters to minimize the errors. The more the number of filers, the more secure is your software. So instead of choosing the one ideal technique of testing, create a right combination of techniques for greater results.
This is the basic requirement for the QA testing team to achieve the desired results. Technology being the fastest-changing thing, testing techniques too need to be updated parallelly. Both the software and software testing methods must not be prone to obsolescence at any given point of time.
TEST BEFORE YOU LAUNCH
This step is mandatory if you are planning to introduce a brand new software in the market. First, test the framework on your own level before actually allowing the general public to access it. Step into the shoes of a user and check the common things like user-friendliness and inter-browser acceptance.
Also, check for the interoperability and level of simplicity in working. Make sure the speed is smooth and the site does not take more than the usual time to launch open. Also, work towards building walls against the worms and malicious codes. This preliminary test will minimize the risks of any errors during the actual existence of your software.
DELEGATION TO AUTOMATION
Only manual testing can not ensure speedy and effective testing. Nowadays, automation testing is a must in the process of QA Testing so the testers must delegate their work to automated ways of testing instead of working on A to Z on their own. The ideal integration of both techniques will make the overall results of testing speedy and accurate.
Testing is a continuous process. Once you have got all ticks in your QA list does not mean that you are good to go forever. Continuous testing is required as and when there are changes in the coding even if those changes are minor. Just like a silverfish damages our winter clothes out of nowhere, even the minutest holes in the software may welcome the entry of the worms.
HAVE A TEAM OF EXPERTS
Software testing is not a cup of tea for a single analyst. We need to have a specialized team of experienced engineers to perform the tasks with expertise. Even if you are following automated techniques to test the quality of your software, capable human resources is a mandate for directing and monitoring work.
Being a clichè won’t work any wonder if you are into software testing. Different organizations have different software so they require different testing techniques. In fact, even copy-pasting a technique won’t work, testers have to improvise in their own way. Thus, even standard testing methods require personalized applications.
So there isn't anyone secret key to the ideal QA Testing, we need to keep evolving our techniques as per the needs of time and the kind of industry we are working for. The points mentioned above are not the ‘only’ ways to excel in software testing, they are just a few tried and tested suggestions by which you can supplement the work you are already pursuing. All the best to you for your testing journey!