To err is human, and coders too, like us are humans and are bound to make mistakes while coding, especially if the needs of the project are complex and if they adhere to the true meaning of agile. But a massive question that needs to be pondered upon is, what if those mistakes are going to be jeopardising to the outcome of the project. Erroneous code could be menacing, involving financial loss to loss in reputation.
To ensure software quality is not compromised in terms of being precise and its performance, software testing is imperative. Efficient testing requires a well planned testing process, which requires analytical thinking and skillful use of latest testing methodologies and tools.
Here are four ways on how one can efficiently test software under complex conditions and strict time constraints:
1. Organise, Plan and Document
The test environment is critical for improvisation of tests, enabling the testers to do their work quickly and efficiently, and with successful outcomes. A dedicated test environment would store all the relevant information related to tests and definitely help the tester to strategize and retrieve the information whenever needed. Due to the fact that a complex project consists of data related to diversified facets, it's always useful to classify data related to testing by means of an organised structure, something like a testing folder in a project repository.
Another important strategy is to Plan and Document all the artefacts related to testing. A test plan is necessary for guiding the thinking of a tester, necessary for analysing the strategies that could be used for success to ensure that a product or system meets its design specifications and other requirements. Likewise, documenting test artifacts like test script is very crucial for efficient testing. Writing clear test script containing all sets of conditions for validating the use cases is necessary for successful testing.
2. Write a comprehensive bug report
Defect Management: As defects or “bugs” are discovered in the application, a practice needs to be followed to ensure consistency of the reports for reproducibility and context of the issues. All issues are reported in Jira following a basic practice.
1. Provide a summary that is concise to the problem
2. Describe the issue in more detail in the description, including the business objective if possible. Be objective in the description so different stakeholders can assess the problem.
3. Provide steps in atomic form so that it requires little domain knowledge to reproduce the issue. Use minimal steps in reproduction, but ensure the stakeholder can reproduce it in their own instance and not just the environment it’s found on. (i.e. don’t use direct links unless you know it exists and would exhibit the same problems)
4. Include expectation and actual results to be clear on the issue. You may repeat what you wrote from the description, but repetition is acceptable. This includes screenshots or other artifacts that may help illustrate the problem better. Refer to screenshot for sample.
3. Be involved
Testing is a collective effort and needs a lot of communication and involvement. Being looped in from the beginning saves a whole lot of time for testing, The more information a tester has, the better he tests. It is very important for a tester to have a solid understanding of the application. When the tester understands what the application requires, he can effectively cover the test cases.
Communication with the team including test lead, managers and developers to various other members of the team allows testers to efficiently execute their task without much complexity. Testers who have access to early knowledge, can prepare early test environments. This will help in avoiding any future issues, preventing any complexities.
4. Love Bugs
The hallmark of a great tester is to love bugs and they should consider them to be cool. To become efficient at testing, the tester should develop a love for bugs and the engineer different ways to find and report them. There is no other feeling like being able to find bugs in code and boasting it to other members. To become efficient in terms of finding bugs, the tester should always search for an opportunity to help explore themselves and be diligent, which will help them for the cause. Remember to keep in mind the fact that a tester's goal is to help developers in terms of bug free coding but not to marginalise them. Success of a project only comes if the bugs are reported and resolved in time.