What is Smoke Testing? | Testworthy

How do you know that there is a fire and it might be a problem? You see thick black clouds of rising smoke, right? In software testing, a smoke test tells us if there is a problem in the software build. This is also called build verification testing.

The smoke tests conducted by QA are to confirm that the developers have completed their job of building the software. They primarily check if the software is stable and that every functionality is built and working. To check this, various test scenarios are made to conduct smoke testing. Test scenarios are managed with the help of test management tools to help teams progress faster.

What are the benefits of smoke testing?


There are a variety of reasons why QAs should invest in smoke testing as part of their testing cycle. Smoke testing is a safety measure checking for the software’s soundness and completeness before sending it forward to the testers for further testing. It minimizes integration risks as the software development progresses with more updates. It creates the path for other types of testing to take place and helps improve build quality and verify that existing build is working effectively. Software testing is essential or a seamless customer experience, as it is about the system working smoothly, and smoke testing is an essential component of the testing cycle. Not only this, smoke testing lends itself highly to automation hence the entire testing process can be simplified and sped up with the help of an automation tool to run smoke tests on new builds and features. Test management tools can also increase ease of smoke testing implementation.

When to do smoke testing?


Smoke testing is done at the end of development and the beginning of the QA process. It is conducted when the developers have made the application for the first time. Other than this, it is also performed when the software is a mix of old and new codes due to the addition of new features or update of old ones. From a UX viewpoint, smoke tests can be used to verify that all the buttons in an application work as intended. All this is to ascertain the completeness of the build before moving on to next stages. Smoke tests help catch bugs quickly and before they impact users, hence saving resources such as time and money.

Smoke tests can be done in manual, automatic or hybrid setup. In all cases, a test management tool can simplify the process further.

Manual Smoke Tests: In manual testing, a tester runs the tests or acts like a user and then identifies any discrepancies between actual and desired results in application behavior and function.

Automated Smoke Tests: In this, automation testing tools are used to automate the smoke tests. Some automation tools also employ AI to recommends tests, which saves time for QAs. Automation aids in quick and effortless testing, saving time through faster feedback and deployment.This process can be further enhanced by using a test management tool, like Testworthy, that can also generate comprehensive reports.

Hybrid Smoke Tests: Hybrid smoke testing is a combination of manual and automated testing. In this, a manual tester verifies and approves the tests recommended by automation tools before they can be run.

Smoke testing



Steps for performing smoke testing:


Conducting smoke testing becomes easy when you follow a simple 4-step approach.

  1. 1. Plan – You know you have to plan and make a strategy for your end goals. Likewise, considerwhich tests to run and how many times to test all functionalities. Also determine the number of manual testers required, and don’t forget to have a backup of testers and tools.
  2. 2. Create – Now onto making the tests. Decide whether you want to go for a manual, automatic or hybrid approach to smoke testing and design tests accordingly.
  3. 3. Implement- Once tests are designed, run them and gather results for analysis in the next phase.
  4. 4. Analyze- Now is the moment of truth. View your results to see which functionalities failed, and why? This level of pass and failure depends on the quality standards set by the company.

Tips for smoke testing


  • Don’t Delay: Delaying smoke testing means delaying all the testing phases, which means delaying deployment. So, a delay not feasible at all.
  • Run as many tests as possible: Running several tests will ensure that all bugs are identified and eradicated and enhance the quality of the application.
  • Make a checklist: Making a checklist ensures that you check all components of the software. Smoke testing requires complete testing as it checks for the build of the software, without which further testing is not possible, hence having a checklist at hand can be a useful way to make sure you verify all the important components.
  • Choose the smoke tests required: Not every functionality and feature need to be tested. You have to choose the right kinds of tests to run to get the most out of the testing phase.

Conclusion


Smoke testing is done after the development phase to ensure that the software is built entirely and every component is working as planned. Smoke testing ensures stability of the software build early on, allowing further types of testing to take place in the future and resulting in higher quality software with fewer bugs. It lessens integration risks, improves efficiency and ensures high functionality of the software. Smoke testing is further made easier through automation that allows teams to carry out testing quickly and effectively to identify and resolve problems in time and benefit from smoke testing to its fullest.