A product is ready in the dev environment. But would that be enough to roll it out to your customers? Definitely NO!
Testing is the most important activity for ensuring that the product developed is in line with business expectations. As an integral part of the software development process, testing helps you evaluate the overall product quality, stability, usability, and security.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a reference guide to verify whether your QA processes are aligned with the radical ways of QA practices? So this is what we are trying to convey through this blog. Let’s begin…
QA planning and processes
QA plan and the process should be well defined and documented. A person from your team or any stakeholder should comprehend and get the hang of the overall testing strategy and the business goals.
Good documentation fills the gap between the team and the project stakeholders. So proper planning and defined process will bring quality to how the project meets customers’ needs and requirements. *
For this, we need a quality management plan to support project stakeholders and entail the benchmarked quality standards. The plan should cover quality objectives, activities, tools, and reporting defects and problems.
Test strategy is a more detailed document that should align with the requirements. It should cover the scope of testing, test objectives, test schedule, defect tracking, and risks identified.
Test plan to prioritize and describe the testing scope and activities. It should be brief and contain only appropriate information to avoid duplication and effort. Test cases should be unique and clear to classify, track and review at later stages.
Test-oriented implementation is one of the best ways to improve the quality of the software. One of the ways to achieve this is by using extreme programming (XP). XP is a software development methodology that focuses on developing high-quality software with the capability to adapt to changing requirements.
2 XP practices are closely related to testing:
- Test-driven development
- Pair programming
Test-driven development (TDD)
In Test-driven development, the developer writes the test cases first and then writes the code. When a new feature or an enhancement comes, the developer starts with writing a test. An automated test case will be written before writing the code to fulfill that test. This method will help to improve the design and refactor the code till it passes all the tests merely focusing on the functionality.
TDD is an iterative development method that will help to increase productivity and quality of the code and application. Benefits of TDD:
- Increase quality
- Reduce development costs
- Reduce coding complexity
- High productivity
Pair programming can also be called an extreme programming technique. 2 developers will be working in parallel on the same computer. One will write the code and the other will review the code and provide suggestions. This can increase code quality thus reduce debugging and refactoring costs.
Benefits of Pair programming:
- High code quality
- More knowledge on the product and how it works
- Clean code
Start testing early
Plan a testing strategy early rather than pushing it to the end of the development. This can reduce unidentified defects, implicit requirements, and gaps.
Frequent testing can also help to get continuous feedback from the business and stakeholders. This will help to increase the quality and stability of the product.
Automation- this can help to increase test coverage and improve the testing process.
Team collaboration and agile ways of working help to build cross-functional teams where members will be tightly coupled thus increasing productivity and quality.
Regulate technical reviews often
Frequent Technical reviews by peers to identify and track functional and technical defects at the early stages. Formal Technical review (FTR) is a round table meeting where software engineers ensure that the developed software meets the predefined standards and requirements.
The best time to do FTR is when the MVP is in place or when it is matured enough to assess. After the review, a detailed report should be prepared to analyze the product or how good it is to release to the market.
End-user testing or UAT is mainly done by Product owners (PO) and Business analysts to measure and review the deliverables. Check the gaps, whether the product developed is in line with the requirements, and ensure the quality is met.
UAT is mainly done to check whether the product is ready for release to market. UAT helps to identify defects/ gaps missed during the unit and integration testing. Sometimes the QA misses or if there is a gap in the knowledge of the product then the POs will be able to identify during UAT.
A good test case or test user documentation will help to do a smooth UAT and the internal stakeholders will be able to mark and track the errors rectified and which all are pending to fix.
Increase automation tests
Automation tests using automation tools can considerably improve the quality of the software and also reduce the time to run the tests. Automation can help when you are planning to do:
- Cross-device and cross-browser testing
- Performance testing
- Load testing
Automation saves time, reduces human errors, enhances test coverage, and helps in batch testing and parallel execution.
Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)
CI helps to integrate the changes and enhancements into a product multiple times in a day. Each piece of code runs the integration tests whenever a change is made. This will detect defects and bugs quickly and also find them in the code very easily. A very good practice is to combine the CI with automation.
CD is mainly practiced for Agile methodology where you can release the changes to the customers quickly. With CD, you can automatically deploy the changes that pass the tests.
CI/CD requires continuous testing with the help of automation in a single system.
Exploratory and Ad hoc testing
It is like you are examining your product with no predefined test strategy or test cases. Exploratory testing is conducted on a fly without any plan or test design and it is executed quickly. Then the results are
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