Quality Assurance (QA) testing is the process of ensuring that the product/feature delivered is of the highest possible quality. In other words, planning and executing various techniques to prevent issues with your software product or service, and to ensure a smooth and intuitive workflow.
Here are a few best QA practices to ensure your product/service is efficiently and effectively tested.
1) Combine test automation and manual testing
If and wherever possible, your QA methodology should ideally combine both automated testing and manual testing. The key is to determine which type of test is most relevant for each aspect and stage of the product. Manual testing allows you to cover a wide range of conditions and scenarios. They are preferable for exploratory testing, usability testing and ad hoc testing. To save time and resources, manual testing should be supplemented with frequent automated tests. Automation is the most suited for white box testing, load tests and other performance testing. Also, any test that needs to be performed repeatedly should be automated. If the ecosystem allows, you can even supplement manual testing performed in-house with crowd testing. With this approach, your product can be tested on a much larger scale in a time-efficient manner.
2) Incorporate agile methodologies into software testing
Adopting a methodology that incorporates testing into a series of short development cycles is an excellent approach. Agile methodologies are especially relevant for mobile apps, given that these products typically have short development cycles and mobile users have extremely high expectations regarding functionality, quality and frequent updates.
In agile, QA testing forms a part of the design and development processes, rather than a concluding separate phase. This collaborative approach requires designers, developers, and the QA team to communicate and work together, and often a single repository is used for the app code.
3) Efficient task management skills
Whether you are a beginner or experienced QA resource, efficient task management is necessary at some level or the other. If you are a beginner, it is necessary to know which tasks need to be done by you, and what is their order of priority. For managerial or senior levels, task management involves delegation, follow-ups and feedbacks. Task management tools like Testworthy
, Jira, Wrike or even a combination of two or more are necessary to ensure smooth flow and operations.
4) Have basic knowledge of programming
Although QA resources do not need to know coding, they should have basic understanding of what is happening in the code and server level. It’s best advised to sit down with your dev team and try to understand the logic from code level. This will give you a larger perspective on how the application actually works. Programming knowledge will also help you in Automation testing, if you wanted to transition towards QA automation.
5) Top testing tips
Mastering testing takes time and practice. However, there are a few tips you can follow for optimal results:
1. Test one thing at a time:
Tests should have clear objectives. Each test should focus on a feature or perspective such as user interface or security.
2. Use regression tests:
Testing a main feature once isn’t enough. New additions to the code repository can interfere with features that previously passed tests, so make sure to use regression testing for checking the effect on other features.
3. Mechanism to report and track bugs:
Determine how bugs will be reported and what kind of data is needed. Will you use an open-source bug tracking tool, or build one that’s specifically suited to your workflow?
4. Leverage analytics:
Decide which QA metrics to track. Keep records of every test conducted
and use this data to determine where bugs are likely to occur. This data will help you develop new tests that target problem areas.
5. Use unit and integration tests:
Unit testing will isolate each component of your app, while integration tests assess how well each subsystem works. Run unit tests in parallel to save time, but don't move onto integration tests until you have ensured that individual components work like they should.
6. Consider the UI:
Having a basic understanding of how the UI works will help you perform end-to-end scenarios and get a feel for the UI of the app. It might be best to wait until you have fixed issues detected during unit and integration tests, before you start testing the UI as well.
Do keep in mind that best practices are not "hard and fast" rules. What works for your specific conditions and needs might be different from other scenarios. However, treating these tips and best practices as "guiding principles" will help you get direction and clarity on how to approach any type of QA process.