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7 Facts makes Software Test a Challenging Job

February 22, 2017
software testing, software testing tutorial, software testing guide, software test

There are many myths revolving software QA. Some say that software testers are paid less than developers, while others feel software test is redundant or boring a job. But how difficult software testing is? Does testing software challenge the intellect of a tester, or is it simply a job where every mouse click events are monitored and checked against expected result? In this post, we would talk about the different practices a QA has to follow and how strenuous these practices can be.

What makes a Job Easy?

Before talking about testing, let’s chalk out the reasons that define an easy task.

  • No workload – When there is no workload, or there is no requirement to work on, the workload of a tester reduces.
  • Less involvement required – When most of the QA tasks are automated, least manual intervention is required and QA doesn’t require much effort to complete the task in hand.
  • Job can be easily completed on instinct – When a task or feature has been tested over and over again, and a tester knows the business logic of the application completely, software test can be done quickly and with ease.
  • Repetitive task – Repetitive tasks, which doesn’t require any analytic thinking can be performed without requiring much effort.

 

Even though all the above-mentioned scenarios define an easy task, such possibilities are seldom encountered by a tester. When a new feature is being developed testers are involved in writing manual test cases. Even when automation is successfully incorporated in the project, testers need to view failure reports s that they can find out the root cause of the problem.

What makes software test a challenging affair?

Software testing required technical skills and process oriented approach. As we had earlier discussed, the mindset of a tester is completely different than a developer. They use different techniques and processes to achieve maximum application testability. All these tests demand a lot of effort, expertise, and technical know-how. In the following points, we would discuss the different challenges faced by a tester, which clearly states how interesting a tester’s job can be.

Requirement Gathering – Even though the involvement of QA is not mandatory for requirement gathering, it is considered to be a good practice for testers to attend requirement gathering and grooming calls.

  • As testers have better business knowledge of the application, after attending the meeting the QA team can analyze the features that would be developed and communicate the loopholes and gray areas of the features that have to be addressed by the client.
  • Such analysis and risk evaluation require consulting various business requirement documents and frequent communication with the client.

 

Test planning – Even though software planning doesn’t directly indicate the quality of testing being done, it sure lays down the testing track and how different testing practices should be done.

  • During software test planning, the QA manager along with the QA team decides what should be tested and how testing should be approached.
  • In an Agile project, test planning provides the sprint capacity and the testing complexity of the features that would be delivered in the sprint.
  • During planning testers are mainly involved in writing manual test cases, documenting the testing progress and specifying the automation/ load testing (even other types of testing, depending on the type of project) that would be performed. If test planning is realistic and done properly, test slippage is minimal and test coverage is improved significantly.

 

Manual/ Regression testing and defect reporting – Once features are delivered by the developers and deployed, testers perform rigorous testing of the individual features.

  • Any bugs that were encountered during testing are reported and tracked in a defect tracking tool of choice with detailed steps and expected behavior.
  • Once all high priority bugs are fixed and respective issues are retested, regressions testing and automation scripts are run to ensure the overall stability of the application.

 

Automation/ Load testing – To relieve the QA team of the manual testing efforts, testers also create automation scripts which test important feature or important scenarios. Creating automation scripts requires serious coding skills which need to be upgraded from time to time.

  • While creating automation scripts, testers try to replicate different manual test cases into automated scripts which can run using one or the other automation framework.
  • Depending on the project requirement, these scripts are executed on different environments, platforms, and browsers. At the end of execution, a software test report is generated which indicates the percentage of automated tests which passed.
  • QA team uses this report to analyze the cause of failure. Automation tests can fail either due to application issue or due to glitches in the automation script. All the application failures are identified from the report and tracked.
  • Testers also involve in the maintenance of automation scripts so that newly implemented application changes are properly incorporated in the scripts.
  • QA team members also keep a keen eye on application performance by performing load testing. They keep track of response time for different user interactions and notify the developers and managers when the performance degrades to a certain point.

 

Demo and client communication – During patch or product releases, it is the duty of the software test team to demonstrate the features developed. They not only know the functionality of the application thoroughly but can also resolve any conflict in understanding that might arise during the demo to the client.

  • Periodic demonstration not only instils trust amongst the client but also increases the understanding of the core business knowledge that drives the application.

 

Ad hoc testing activities – Even when all the software test tasks are planned, there are high chances that some ad-hoc tasks would be added to the bucket of QA team.

  • Such tasks can be retesting some issues which were reported by the client on the UAT environment or resolving conflicting understandings between developers and clients.
  • Depending on the importance of these ad-hoc tasks, testers have to take up such impromptu requests to ensure timely product delivery.

 

Conclusion

To sum it up in a few words:

  • Testing is not at all an easy chore if done properly. It requires a lot of analytical skill and thorough understanding of the application under software test.
  • Apart from QA deliverables, testers have to plan their tasks properly so that all high priority items are delivered by the earliest.
  • Testers not only have to software test different features manually on different devices but also pitch in for automation, performance and load testing.
  • Testing requires a lot of patience, expertise and a keen eye for perfection, which can never be achieved without sincere efforts.

Vaibhav is in software testing since a decade. Worked with different testing techniques along with exploratory testing. Performed different regression, performance, api etc testing with tools and libraries like selenium, jmeter, loadrunner, protractor, rest assured, Katalon Appium and others.

About the author

Vaibhav Singhal author

Vaibhav is in software testing since a decade. Worked with different testing techniques along with exploratory testing. Performed different regression, performance, api etc testing with tools and libraries like selenium, jmeter, loadrunner, protractor, rest assured, Katalon Appium and others.

1 Comment

Earthwind

May 23, 2017 at 5:41 am

That is perfect for what I need. Thanks!

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