Manual Testing

Best Practical Software Testing Tips

11.08.2016

Best Practical Software Testing Tips

Software application testing is the process of testing and debugging a software program or system in order to make it more consistent and usable for customers. It can involve many different tests that have the goal of discovering errors or issues within the software and improving its capabilities before releasing it to the public. Typically the developers rely heavily on testers to find bugs in their software prior to release. This article offers software testing tips and tricks to help you make sure your software is running properly.

What Does Testing Accomplish?

Software testing is used to find ways that software isn’t performing properly. These issues are usually called bugs and they can be minor issues or more major issues. Minor issues are things like slow load times, inconsistent loading, images not appearing, etc. Major issues are things like functions causing the app to crash, inability to log in, pages that don’t load at all and others like these. Software with bugs in it can be super frustrating for users and can ultimately make them abandon your software altogether. That’s why it’s incredibly important to conduct extensive testing beforehand and to iron out all of the issues with the software before it is released to the public. It’s also important to test software over time, as new issues can arise when operating systems are updated or when people download the software on new devices.

Actions Before Testing Is Done

The types of tests you need to do will depend upon what type of software the developers have made and what the ultimate goals of the software are, but there are definitely some basic software testing help tests and testing strategies that can be implemented in order to make sure that a software or a system meet its required goals. But first, a software needs to go through some initial stages before a test is done. The typical software development lifecycle includes the stages below:

Planning

The early stages of software development include a lot of different tools and planning, as you might imagine. This means that the team has to gather requirements and make analyses of the application in order to determine its feasibility and find out what it will take to actually get the application up and running. This involves a lot of communication between the development team, stakeholders and users while this information is gathered. The planning stage doesn’t have any set timeline but you should clearly outline the goals of the app and make realistic assessments of what you intend to accomplish with it over time. Rushing through the planning stage only leads to problems and complications over time.

System Analysis

In this stage, the entire system has to be defined in detail. Usually the system is divided into smaller parts so that it is easier and more manageable for developers, designers, testers and project managers to prepare to work on the application in later stages. The more detailed you can be in your systems analysis the less trouble you will have designating roles and tasks later in the development cycle.

In order to make sure that a software is up to speed, a system analyst is usually employed to check out the flow of documents, info and others materials. This aids in smoothing out the process and ensuring that the software isn’t causing wasted costs and time or running behind schedule.

Coding

Coding is the logical part of development. The team of programmers works together in order to use tools to properly code the application to make it into a functional program. This part of the process involves laying out the foundation of the software and making sure that it functions as it should.

Testing

Once the software has been coded, the final process is to test it. Testing is a crucial part of the process because it involves quality analysis that makes sure the software is working properly and is virtually free of bugs. Testers can use different tools to run it through many different types of tests to determine if it has any errors, and the coders can go in and fix any errors that exist. This is the stage where the most pertinent questions about the functionality of the application are addressed and answered. The following are a number of different types of tests used for software testing:

  • Usability testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Interface testing
  • Services testing
  • Low-level resource testing
  • Performance testing
  • Operational testing
  • Installation testing
  • Security testing

Software may need to undergo a number of different rounds of testing. Usually it is tested internally by developers and then submitted for user testing. The users offer feedback to the developers and coders who then go back to adjust the coding and functionality of the app and resubmit for further testing. Depending on the stage at which you release the app initially, this process may be quick or lengthy.

Software Testing Tips – Best Practices for Software Testers

When it comes to software testing, there are definitely some software testing tips that testers can follow in order to save time and money and do the best possible job. It’s important not to skimp on this process because releasing software with bugs or glitches can turn users off instantly. Follow these tips for the best results.

  • Make a thorough analysis of test results: Don’t just conduct pass/fail tests. Make sure to get to the root cause of the failure in the application in order to fully address the problem. If an app crashes when you try to check out, for example, make a note of what items were in the cart and how long you navigated the site before the crash occurred. In a game app, make a note of what stage the game was in or how long you had the app open before a failure occurred. Also make notes of what type of device the software was running on, the year, make and model and what version of operating system it was using. All of this information helps to improve the software after testing.
  • Maximize test coverage: Try to maximize test coverage as much as possible with each test. This means testing all functions of the app every time, not just certain aspects that were having issues before. If the software was reported to have a bug when you try a certain function, such as advancing to the next level of a game, users can report that and developers can directly address that issue. However, during that round of testing, they should also perform routine tests of the entire app to see what effect the updates and changes have made on the software in general.
  • Use small modules: Try to break the application tests down into smaller test cases. For example, you can individually perform a test on UI, a test on security, a test on functionality and so on while you keep detailed notes on each test. It’s important to break these down in order to help you isolate the issues. Sometimes it is difficult to tell where an issue occurs so the more you can break down the different types of individual tests, the easier you will be able to locate the root of the problem.
  • Look for unexpected behavior: It’s common sense to test an app for expected functionality and valid conditions, but it is also helpful to test for invalid conditions and unexpected behavior. For example, you’ll always want to test for potential points where software might fail or crash but you should also take a close look at how the software is performing when no observable bugs seem to be occurring. This can help you find issues you might otherwise overlook.
  • Find subtle bugs: Make sure to go into the testing process with the expectation of finding bugs. Otherwise you might overlook small bugs that exist that may not impede functionality but can interfere with the user experience. Sometimes little things like logging into a software and then logging out again can cause little bugs to come up.
  • Group test cases: Grouping your test cases together makes it much easier to do regression testing. Find commonalities in your test cases that allow you to group them and then study the similarities and differences across the whole batch.
  • Share your test cases with developers: The more frequently and the earlier on you share your test cases with developers, the sooner they will be able to start making fixes and coding changes prior to the release of the app. The process should be a collaborative effort and your whole team should do their part to aid developers in the journey of completing the software.
  • Keep track of your test work: Write down your test progress, data, observations and anything else. Getting into the habit of doing so will help you provide a complete and detailed report of your test at the end of your testing, which is the most helpful thing you can do for developers. The more details, the better.
  • Prioritize your tests: You don’t want to run out of time to do high-priority testing tasks. Make sure to prioritize your testing of the application from high to low and plan accordingly so you can acquire all the necessary data. Try to outline a timeframe for the app from initial development to release and to leave extra time for error and unexpected complications if you can. That way, you can dedicate the bulk of your time to high-priority testing.
  • Submit clear test reports: Once you have completed your testing on the application, write clear, descriptive and informative bug reports and data that include the symptoms of the bug and all the possible solutions. This can be an ongoing process as your software will likely go through new versions and updates to keep up with the latest operating systems. These notes should be kept as records along the way because you can often make the same small tweaks over time in order to continue to keep software running properly.

Testing is a crucial part of the process of developing new software. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us for help. We are experienced in the practice of conducting software tests and can help you learn more about software testing tips and the practice of testing.

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