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Effective Software QA Testing: 10 Essential Principles

QA Testing Principles

You can find lots of articles describing the technical aspects of testing. However, you can hardly find so much info on general principles and approaches to such work, though, knowing them, you can significantly improve testing process efficiency and final results.

In this article, I have decided to explain the basic principles of effective software quality testing which I learned based on my experience and communication with other specialists in this field.

Some of them may seem obvious, however, just because of that, they are often neglected in practice. Taking these recommendations into account and adhering to them, you can significantly increase workflow efficiency.

1. Break the app into parts. There are no trifles. Study the app thoroughly from the exit button to the dead last function. You have to know the principles and dependencies of all interconnected modules. This is environment testing, which allows you to identify a huge number of bugs that will certainly become client-side when omitted.

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2. Think like the end-user. Act as if you were the end-user. Do not forget that people who are absolutely a far cry from IT and with a completely different work style may use your software. Check what the user can change, what access rights can be set, and what these rights can theoretically allow “braking” in the app.

3. Think broad. Remember that your software does not live its life in a vacuum on a separate clean computer or smartphone, study competitors, if possible. Probably, something non-obvious will become more clearly visible to you from the outside just because you have studied someone else’s app functionality. Besides, you may be able to offer some unique useful function in your app.

Quality testing checklist

4. Write down all vulnerabilities. Do it even if you cannot unambiguously attribute them to bugs. Such spots can often cause errors in your app. You will have your own reference book describing your experience, and you will open it every time you have some supplement to make while testing the next version.

5. If you can apply a load — do it. The load includes not only, for example, mass calls or connections but also situations with a lot of data, several users, etc. Ask your fellow workers for help. Enter more test data, add multimedia, if necessary.

6. Study OS and programming languages. Even if you cannot write a decent and more or less complex block of code, you will anyway be able to understand app architecture much better, anticipate points where issues may arise, and comprehend what are their reasons.

7. Study and review the documentation. Documentation is that part of software which is also tested. If you have not come across such a case yet, do not thrill to it, but on the contrary, make sure to read the documentation of the software you are testing — you will see new opportunities for working with software there, and perhaps, you will come across some inconsistencies or even overt errors.

8. Interact with the team. The quality of any product depends on each person who has been involved in developing it. High-quality software is well designed, well thought over, well documented and tested. Involve your fellow workers in the testing process. Ask them for advice because developers and managers are the indispensable sources of user experience and professional expertise.

9. The earlier, the better. The closer the software comes to the release stage, the more expensive it will be to fix a defect. To find defects as early as possible, you have to start testing procedures in the earliest stages of software development.

10. Consider the context and product features. The testing process and objectives will vary, depending on the project context and type. For instance, security plays a critical role in one product, usability in another, etc. Therefore, it is a bad idea to work with all projects, using some versatile template.

Testing involves knowledge, responsibility, and a bit of luck. Hope this article will be useful to you!

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December 11, 2019

Quality Assurance engineer. Finds and fixes bugs in a product or program before its launch, collaborating with developers on fixes to those problems when necessary.

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