Although software testers are tasked with discovering errors in the code, they are occasionally susceptible to making mistakes themselves. These errors can result in prolonged QA time, delays in the completion of quality assurance (QA), and subsequent delays in the handoff to user acceptance testing (UAT).
In some instances, these frequent errors may result in overlooked issues, misalignment, or miscommunication. When we take the time to collect and analyze metrics regarding such errors, we can apply what we’ve learned to future endeavors and reduce the likelihood of repeating the same errors.
QA in Software Engineering
In software development, developers test the code before handing it over for user acceptance testing or UAT. This phase is typically referred to as quality assurance or QA. Prior to delivering a product for testing, QA assists software developers in identifying code defects.
Most Common Errors
Without further ado, here are the most frequent errors committed during software testing.
Beginning Without a Strategy
A test plan is essential for success in testing. Without a plan, novices (and even seasoned testers) may believe they can remember what they’ve tested, what remains to be tested, and what issues have arisen simply by clicking around, but this is a formula for disaster. The testing process should always begin with a deliberate, repeatable methodology.
Skipping Approval of the Test Plan
It can be tempting to skip the review and approval of the test plan if QA signoff is required regardless, but if there isn’t alignment around the test data, cases, and scenarios in advance, you run the risk of testing the incorrect data and discovering it after the fact. Time is lost and cannot be recovered at that juncture. When this occurs, it necessitates revision and delays UAT handoff, diminishing client confidence and jeopardizing future milestones.
Poor Selection of Test Data
Programming flaws may go undetected if testing is conducted with excessively similar data. If a company only tests full-time employees when testing the annual benefit enrollment configuration in their HRIS, for example, they may miss a bug in the enrollment event for part-time employees or the fact that the rates table did not update for part-time employees with a spouse who uses tobacco. It is essential to use data from as many categories as possible to ensure that all issues are discovered and resolved prior to UAT.
Neglecting False-Positive Results
Another frequent error is neglecting false positives or test cases that technically passed (met the criteria to pass) but did not function as anticipated. To avoid passing an issue on to UAT, it is essential to document incidents like these in the issues record and resolve them as issues despite ‘technically’ passing QA.
Avoiding Manual Tests
Testing increasingly utilizes automation, which can save time, increase accuracy, and shorten the duration of a project. However, it is unlikely that automation will completely supplant manual testing. Before binding on WA, QA should always include a manual component to ensure there are no issues that can only be detected by a human eye.
Rejecting Test Results
Another detrimental error is abandoning test results after they have been addressed, when those test cases/results could be useful for the subsequent testing round. Maintaining test results from the previous two rounds is standard practice.
Absence of Regression Testing
Whenever a new feature is introduced, it should be tested to ensure that it has not ‘broken’ anything else. It is known as regression testing. It means that when a new feature is released, more than just the new feature must be tested. Inexperienced software testers frequently overlook regression testing, resulting in unanticipated functionality issues that can disrupt business operations.
Methods for Effective Testing
Consider the following strategies to enhance the probability of successful software testing:
- Always commence with a plan.
- Before testing begins, stakeholders should review the testing plan and sign off on it.
- Include each test case’s expected outcome in your testing preparations.
- Utilize diverse test cases to ensure as many possible scenarios have been examined.
- Maintain comprehensive documentation of test cases, results, and issues, and monitor issues through resolution, assigning responsibility for resolution and retesting to prevent confusion and delays.
- Share as much information as possible, including screenshots, when reporting defects and issues to make it simple for developers to resolve the problem without having to replicate it.
- Find a balance between manual and automated testing to preserve the integrity that only a human eye can provide.
- Keep test results for multiple sessions of testing.
- Outsource software testing to a software testing company; they focus solely on this aspect of the project management lifecycle and are adept at comprehensive and effective testing.
Contracting Out Software Testing with QualityLogic
Increasingly, software development companies outsource software testing and quality assurance so that their team members can concentrate on development. When testing is outsourced, the original agency completes development and then transfers it to the software testing agency for quality assurance.
The benefits of this model include cost savings, enhanced quality, standardized, predictable testing procedures, and a quicker time to market. It also enables concurrent work by allowing developers to focus on essential business activities rather than QA. There are no significant drawbacks, but there are factors to consider.
Choosing a vendor is a difficult task that requires thought, evaluation, and deliberation. To protect client data, there must be in effect data security measures. Important as it is to collaborate remotely, the proper tools for communication, collaboration, and document sharing must be in place. For the majority of enterprises, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
In conclusion, quality assurance is the procedure of testing code prior to user acceptability testing. Common software testing errors include testing without a strategy, failing to obtain approval for the plan, selecting insufficient test data, and more.
Testers can improve the accuracy and efficacy of their testing by utilizing a plan that has been reviewed and approved, exhaustively documenting issues with screen shots, and incorporating manual testing, among other techniques. By delegating software testing to software testing companies like QualityLogic, who specialize in this singular phase of the PM lifecycle, agencies can improve efficiency and outcomes. This is a common practice and an industry standard.