9 Best Practices of Software Testing

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Best Practices of Software Testing
Best Practices for Testing of Software Applications

As software becomes a core part of business processes, ensuring its optimal performance through thorough testing post-development has become more important than ever. But, in addition to the already complex nature of modern-day, cutting-edge software, frequent code changes during the development cycle, dependencies on the teams involved, and other aspects of development make the process of software testing even more difficult than it is.

Listed below are 9 of the best practices for testing software applications, which can help find bugs, if any, in software during the testing phase and integrate simple and complex improvements to push the power of the software higher than expected.

Best Practices of Software Testing

1. Chalking Out a Comprehensive Testing Strategy:

Depending upon a single testing method will stand nowhere compared to a testing process that integrates Manual and Automated, Requirements and Exploratory, and Unit, Integrated and Functional Testing methods when it comes to building quality at all levels of software. On the other hand, one should also keep in mind that all these aforementioned software testing methods should be used considering the suitability in test cases to achieve the goals. Therefore, as part of the test plan, the scope of the test, preparation, test data, test scripts, responsibilities, management of defects, management of test results, and test exit criteria should all be clearly defined.

2. Favor Early Testing:

It is more cost-effective and less complex to introduce testing and test data early, possibly as early as the specification stage. In addition, software bugs are easier to identify and repair on limited prototypes versus on a complete application.

3. Make Optimal use of Test Artifacts:

By reusing test artifacts, the productivity and efficiency of the testing team can be accelerated. The test artifacts can be used to span test automation objects, procedures, and other plan-related data. Test-related information must be organized in a project to optimize its reuse.

4. Test on Multiple Platforms:

Multi-platform testing is the only way to ensure the compatibility of the software with multiple platforms. Both API functionality and GUI validation could be tested on various platforms.

5. Empower Developers:

When it comes to testing, it would be beneficial to engage the developers and empower them to own the tests and the codes they have written. This would expedite the software’s time to market. As opposed to traditional test methodology, modern approaches such as test-driven development encourage collaboration between developers and testers. Agile promotes a visible demonstration of working code, for which the developer should be an integral part of the testing process.

6. Utilize Tools and Metrics:

The tedious and complicated process of software testing can be made easy by using popular automation testing tools like:

  • Selenium:

    Running on the Apache 2.0 license, Selenium is used to test web applications and also supports C#, Ruby, PHP, Python, Perl, and many other programming languages used for writing test cases.

  • Watir:

    A web application testing tool in Ruby uses Object Linking and Embedding, enabling developers to write easy-to-maintain tests.

  • WatiN:

    A feature-rich, stable, and easy-to-use framework in .NET, WatiN is the reason behind the success of several testing tools such as Watij, Vapir, and Watir.

  • Unit Testing Tools

    such as PHPUnit, Amock, PyUnit, Achoo, SQLUnit, etc.

Using these tools to automate software testing and Quality Assurance (QA) would increase the maturity of the process. (You can read more about Automated Testing here.)

Similarly, developing metrics that track the software quality post- and pre-testing would also increase the value of the testing phase.

7. Create Robust Testing Environments:

Empowering the developer does not only mean involving them in the testing process. It also means that they must be given proper testing environments which simulate the production environment. This enables them to create optimal test cases which produce the desired result of optimizing the software’s performance.

8. Test Multiple User Scenarios:

To test software functionality for the end-user, the most viable method is to create multiple user scenarios. Developers and QA professionals should test the software in ways that most likely reflect the probable usage of the software by a user. This would help in assessing software capability and potential diagnosis measures which can be taken when a specific scenario fails.

9. Implement Change Management:

The testing environment should make changes in the configuration account. This will facilitate the achievement of controlled results and ensure that tests are conducted in an environment that is a simulation of the production environment.

By following these practices, any business, small or large, can improve the performance of their software, whether built for in-house purposes or clients.

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