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What happens to Software Testing Quality when a Tester compromises

February 12, 2017
software quality assurance, software testing quality, software quality assurance, software testing quality,

Testers test what developers develop. If this is what your mindset is about a tester, then you are doing it wrong. Yes, testers do test the software developed by the developers but their main purpose is to add quality to the deliverables and ensure a stable build. That doesn’t always come from merely software testing quality the application.

In this post, we would discuss the harmful consequences when testing process lacks quality. In the later part, we would mention the ideal ways to add software testing quality and how to uplift the overall quality of the deliverables.

What hampers software testing quality?

Simply software testing quality an application doesn’t add quality, but how you test, what your test and when you test, does. Testing quality is hampered when:

  • Repetitive testing is performed on the same feature or application module.
  • Test case executions are not tracked and are not planned.
  • Ad-hoc testing is done without focusing on the business logic and the general application flow.
  • Features are not analyzed properly and when there is a lack of coordination between the testing team members.

 

What happens when quality of testing degrades
Testers are considered as gatekeepers of the applications. They ensure that the application is working as expected and also try to improve delivery quality. But once testers fail to add quality, the applications succumbs to a number of ill effects. Some of them being:

Fumbling product stability – When you test the same feature with the same test data over and over again, it adds no value. Such practice is a waste of time and prevents you from software testing quality other application features.

  • Not planning and prioritizing the test items can waste a lot of precious time and lead to defect slippage. If software testing quality team ignores the items for an impending release and keep themselves busy with other testing tasks, from other releases or general testing practices, the chances of encountering bugs in production are most likely.

 

Unable to meet deadlines – If there is a lack of quality in the software testing quality team, everyone has to struggle to deliver the application in time. This will end in either of two ways. The product would be delivered in time but would lack the much-required quality, or the project delivery would be postponed until the required quality is achieved.

  • If bugs are discovered at a later stage, the regular development process too would be impacted, as developers have to attend to the high priority bugs before carrying forward with the deliverables.

 

Losing clients’ trust – It is the duty of every team member to ensure that they are able to preserve their client’s trust. And the best way of doing so is through frequent communication and delivering a stable and reliable product.

  • When software testing quality is hampered the build quality provided to the client is appalling. This not only diminishes the client’s faith, but also can lead to various escalations and in worst cases many even threaten the carrier of team members, and the credibility of your company.

 

Chances of ROI decreases – When bugs in an application are identified late in the development cycle, the cost incurred to fix these issues increases. Such additional costs can take a toll on the application’s return of interest.

  • If a bunch of bugs is identified just before the release, the only option available is to stall the delivery and work on the urgent bug fixes. This can shift the deadline and can even jeopardize the product launch.

 

How to improve Software Testing Quality?

Perfecting testing methodology alone is not enough to improve testing quality, the testing needs to work on the software testing quality and development process as a whole to add quality. Some of the noteworthy areas to work on are:

Gaining business knowledge – Possessing strong business knowledge is a prerequisite for every tester. It helps you to understand the features and also help track any loopholes that might be present.

  • Business knowledge is an absolute necessity if you want to try out all possible feature specific negative scenarios.
  • Business knowledge improves confidence in the software testing quality team and helps to deliver a product with minimal bugs or issues.
  • Proper requirement grooming/ analysis – Requirement grooming is the very plinth over which every feature is built. With proper understanding and analysis, a tester would not only be able to test the application sticking to the mandated guidelines but will also be able to detect relevant high-quality issues.
  • If there is any lapse in requirement gathering, the whole development process can be delayed. Under extreme circumstances, the team might even have to rollback the changes at the last moment.

 

Writing quality test cases – “The login button should be displayed. It should have some color. It should be clickable”. Even though these are valid test cases, they don’t add any quality. While writing test cases, the motive should be to target both positive and negative scenarios and not focus on the volume.

  • All the test cases should be documented and maintained so that they can be referred by any team members. In the case of any change requests, these test cases too should be edited so that they are up-to-date.
  • While performing regressions testing, the test cases should be prioritized based on their complexity and deliverables.
  • Test case execution report should be properly curated so that testers can track down the build and time since a certain feature started malfunctioning.

 

Business specific automation test suites – Testers should be practical while approaching automation and not opt for automation testing just for the sake of it.

  • When a couple of features are already in place, the software testing quality team should utilize the business specific test cases and convert them into automation scripts. The main purpose of the automation scripts should be to eliminate manual testing overhead and to add value.
  • They must ensure that the automated test scripts closely align to the business logic and test a complete flow of the application.
  • If there is need to automate the sanity test cases, different automation suites should be created to make tracking easy.
  • Testers should be patient about maintaining these automation test scripts in case they fail due to application changes. They must make it a practice to utilize these scripts from time to time and also urge developers and clients to utilize them. After all, there is no such thing as too much testing.

 

Test scheduling – Even though test scheduling is not a necessity in every project, but it does improve test efficiency.

  • Using test scheduling tools like Jenkins, testers can schedule the execution of their automation test suites. Such practice ensures that your automation tests are executed on a daily basis without fail.
  • Using the execution report testers and developers can identify whether the script failure was due to automation script issue or any prevalent bug in the application.

 

Educating developers about the importance of testing – The mindset of a developer is different from a tester, but such difference shouldn’t bar the developers from software testing quality the application themselves.

  • As the team as a whole is responsible for preserving the quality of the application under development, developers should also pitch in and test the application.
  • For developers, it is essential to write and execute unit tests before merging their code. They should also pair test with testers to identify defects at the earliest stage.
  • Testers should educate developers about the importance of testing and keep them in the loop when any major bug is encountered.

 

Conclusion

  • Software testing quality can be improved by sticking to a stringent test plan.
  • Using quality business specific test cases over ad-hoc testing is the key to improving manual testing quality.
  • Automation scenarios should be created keeping in mind the major functionalities and not merely for the sake of it.
  • Testing team should educate developers regarding the importance of testing and indulge in pair testing to reduce the occurrences of bugs in the application.

 

About the author

arindam bandyopadhyay author

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

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