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How to Enhance Software Testing Quality: a Comprehensive Guide

Software Did you know that the cost of fixing bugs grows exponentially as your product development progresses?




Did you know that the cost of fixing bugs grows exponentially as your product development progresses? Starting your software testing process early not only saves you money but also prevents unnecessary stress. Just look at what happened with the startup Flud – their last-minute testing led to a major failure because they didn’t conduct proper stress testing. So, how can your company ensure top-notch software testing quality?

Organize the Testing and Quality Assurance Procedures

Testing and Quality Assurance process guides you in figuring out what needs to be tested, the main tasks to focus on, which areas each team member is responsible for, and how much effort is required.

Ready-made templates can be really handy for this. For instance, following the IEEE 829 software testing standard means considering 19 different things like references, what exactly needs testing, any potential risks with the software, what you’re aiming to achieve with the tests, and what resources you’ll need, including staff and training.

Here’s another approach known as the Google inquiry technique. It considers different aspects of software development like implementation costs, maintenance expenses, usability, and the potential risks and benefits.

Using the standard approach can clear up any uncertainties when you’re getting ready to make a test plan. It also helps your team work together better and makes everything go faster when everyone is using documents they’re familiar with.

Implement Testing-Centered Development Strategies

Here are two methods you might want to think about. With test-driven development (TDD), you start by making the test cases before writing any code. If the code doesn’t pass the test, you fix it before moving on to the next part.

With pair programming, you team up with two developers who work together at the same time: one writes the code, while the other reviews it.

This method is great for catching most weaknesses early on.

Schedule Formal Technical Reviews

It’s like a team get-together where software developers look at the product or specific features based on what’s needed.

To make sure it’s useful, you got to plan it out beforehand. Usually, there are about five people involved, and it lasts for about two hours. That’s usually enough time to cover what needs to be discussed and achieve what you set out to do.

Afterwards, one person puts together a summary of all the technical points discussed and sends it out to everyone who was there.

Utilize User Acceptance Testing

User acceptance testing (UAT) helps you see how your program looks to the people who will actually use it.

Even if your software seems really cool and impressive to tech experts, it might be completely confusing or frustrating for the people you’re aiming it at. This was perfectly illustrated in the TV show “Silicon Valley” when a startup founder introduced a groundbreaking technology, only to have it flop because the user interface was too complicated.

So, you want your customers to give their opinion on your product. You can either hire professional testers for user acceptance testing or involve the end users themselves in the review process.

This way, you can gather really valuable feedback to make your app even more user-friendly.

Maximize Automated Testing Efficiency

Automated testing doesn’t completely replace manual testing, but it’s really handy for tackling lots of repetitive tasks.

To make it even better, you can use something called a test automation framework. It’s basically a bunch of tools and rules that help you create test scenarios. The best parts of using a framework like this are that it helps generate test data, runs the tests, and then analyzes the results for you.

Moreover, automated testing frameworks can help your business grow and handle the growing workload.

For example, Facebook’s engineering team recently talked about how they use SapFix and Sapienz, which are hybrid AI tools for testing and fixing bugs. These tools can automatically come up with different solutions for bugs, check how good they are, and then wait for a human expert to approve them.

They’re planning to make these tools available as open-source software soon.

Blend Exploratory and Ad Hoc Testing

These types of testing rely on being super creative and having a unique perspective on the product. They might sound a bit like user acceptance testing (UAT), but they’re actually a different way of doing things.

Exploratory testing is kind of like following some loose guidelines. It’s great for projects where there isn’t much documentation. Test scripts aren’t written beforehand. Instead, QA managers have some objectives in mind and then they just go with the flow, trying out different things to see what works.

Ad hoc testing is even more relaxed and free-spirited. There aren’t really any goals or rules to follow, and no documentation is needed. Testers just play around with the software, using their gut feeling and past experience.

Usually, ad hoc testing comes after all the regular testing methods to catch any bugs that might have been missed.

Use Code Quality Measurement

If your QA team has clear quality metrics, they’ll know exactly what to focus on when testing.

One option to consider is the Software Quality Model. ​It splits quality into four key areas: security, reliability, performance efficiency, and maintainability. For example, performance efficiency deals with problems that affect how hardware is used and how quickly the software responds.

Each area has its own detailed description and a list of standards. 

Altogether, this model contains over 100 rules that every software engineer should be familiar with.

Make Reviewing Code a Part of Your Daily Routine

One of the best practices is reviewing code on a peer-to-peer basis among team members at equal levels. Every team member can give a fresh set of eyes to detect bugs before a code revision round by the tech leads. 

Making code review a daily activity helps you speed up your software development process.

Provide Clear Bug Reports

For instance, at Belitsoft, implement a standard bug reporting template. It covers various details like priority, environment, reporter, assignee, affected version, fix version, component, status, issue description, pre-conditions, steps to reproduce, actual result, expected result, additional details, attachments, and links to related tasks or stories.

This template can be adjusted based on the needs of each project.

And Lastly, but Equally Important, Tip

Create a supportive and positive atmosphere for your QA team. A person’s mental well-being impacts how well they work and perform on the job.

Start by clearly defining the roles within the QA team. When each member understands their responsibilities, it reduces misunderstandings and conflicts.

Encourage open communication and teamwork. Schedule regular team meetings to address ongoing issues, have one-on-one conversations with team members when needed, and hold retrospective meetings to learn from mistakes and celebrate achievements.

Effective communication fosters creativity and speeds up task completion.

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