Software testing best practices are considered industry constants wherever the constraints of time, quality and resources apply. They hold up regardless of the actual values assigned to each of those boundaries.
Wasted time will delay release cycles regardless of the SDLC timeline.
Compromised quality affects users regardless of your company’s reputation.
Wasted resources mean reduced efficiency regardless of budget.
Considering these industry constants, similar best practices are applicable to any project or product, regardless of size, funding or consumer anticipation. But the project specifics will help you to design your own best practices that all stakeholders can agree on.
The following set of software testing best practices you can apply across any and all of your individual products. By interpreting these five key best practices within your own environment, you will build better products faster and more efficiently and create a better end-user experience.
- Know Your Product’s Objectives
- Map Your Communication
- Prepare for Both Automation and Manual Testing
- Plan for Maintenance and Monitoring
- Enlist Experts
These software testing best practices guide you through the duration of the QA journey, from initial planning through effective testing and on to long-term product maintenance.
As with any good software testing advice, this list begins with understanding what and why we are testing in the first place.
1. Know Your Product Objectives
Only with a clear understanding of the purpose, requirements and functionality of your product can you achieve time, resource and quality efficiencies. In fact, the test cases that make up your QA are a translation of the product objectives into test conditions.
Every SDLC begins with clear definitions of:
- Target users
Every action you undertake within the QA phase—every tool selection, framework design and development methodology should be guided by and remain relevant to your product objectives. The goal is always to deliver a high-quality user experience to deadline and within budget. Anything else is a distraction from why your product exists in the first place.
2. Map Your Communication
Your environment extends from your testing ecosystem to include all the technical and personnel connections that drive your QA and development. Mapping the connections throughout this environment means anticipating and accommodating the communication and technical requirements that optimize your software testing. By embracing an Agile approach of continuous product iteration involving all your development, QA, IT and business resources, you maximize your efforts toward creating a better user experience.
With this approach, you establish clear lines of communication across disciplines and break down the overall project testing requirements into small, easily actionable sprints.
The Agile approach is preferred by the world’s leading enterprises because it is built to accommodate change. The final product emerges from an evolution of continual coding and testing that encourages innovation.
3. Prepare for Automation and Manual Testing
The best possible software testing results are achieved when automation is supplemented with a manual testing component. While automation delivers speed and frees engineers from the product dangers of prolonged, repetitive testing, it has its limitations. Manual testing provides a much better simulation of the user experience and is the only way to achieve 100% test coverage.
Software testing best practices demand that you define within your initial scoping meetings exactly what features can and cannot—what should and should not be automated. This understanding leads to better planning and more realistic time and resource estimates.
This process is also vital to selecting the right testing tools based on your unique business and software needs.
4. Plan for Maintenance and Monitoring
The framework and tools selection mentioned above should always be guided by elements of test monitoring and maintenance.
Monitoring ensures the entire team receives constant feedback on the progress and results of your testing—and it should be done in a manner that acknowledges the skills and experience of all relevant stakeholders.
A strong maintenance program should be capable of managing a variety of tools. Software testing best practices dictate that you have the ability to deploy something that can be easily amended and reused and that includes detailed failure logs so script errors can be fixed with a minimum of fuss.
5. Enlist Experts
Outsourcing your QA produces testing efficiencies that can literally extend the hours in the day. Reaching offshore to scale up your QA effort is less expensive than domestic alternatives and makes it easier to train, maintain and reuse domain experts who are familiar with all the latest software developments in your field. There is no learning curve for these instant experts. They can keep up with your development, and your engineers can continue to focus their attention where it matters most.
As for adding hours to your day, QA experts operating in distant time zones can take advantage of the time difference to produce work around the clock. Tests can be conducted overnight while your developers rest, and the results presented to them the next morning.
Your QA team can also guide you through the software testing best practices for tool and framework selection, audit and industry standard verification, as well as for documentation of steps, process and bugs.
The bottom line is that external QA experts reduce costs, boost the user experience and optimize the testing process.
Software Testing Best Practices That Work for You
Even if you heed this advice and engage the skills advantage of an external QA provider, software testing should be built entirely around your specific product objectives and requirements.
While every product bound by time, resource and quality considerations can benefit from the software testing best practices above, they must be interpreted through your unique circumstances.
QASource has the experience, expertise and facilities to ensure your software testing meets industry best practices. Our team of more than 700 engineers has delivered results for some of the world’s leading enterprises and they can produce the same results for you. Get a free quote or call +1.925.271.5555 today and get your QA process right.