Software testing is a specialty field that allows big companies to have firm control over the quality of a product. If you have your own website, phone app, or dedicated software, it’s a good practice to perform software testing.
How to define quality
I frequently meet entrepreneurs who want to create high-quality products, like Apple. The question I ask them is, What would happen if you don’t achieve the quality level you desire?
Most of my customers work with software development, so they often go to extremes when it comes to the quality of their product, which costs them a lot in terms of software testing and time.
Defining the quality of software or a product depends on the financial impact of a defective product. For example, if there is a product issue, would several thousands devices need to be refunded, or could the problem be repaired with a few hours of coding corrections that could be released the same day via an update?
Here’s the point: The best way to evaluate the type of quality control needed is to determine how a defect or software bug will translate in terms of lost profits and lost clients. Estimate this cost and define how much you are willing to pay per year to avoid it. The result is your quality insurance budget.
Which tests to performs?
There are some awesome experts in software testing, like James Bach. For most companies, software testing is a matter of picking the right tool for the right need. Few companies can afford entire software tests, so let’s introduce some test practices that can help a startup grow into a large company.
1 – Functional testing
A functional test details the results expected from a particular action. It helps testers to follow a customer flow, to check if the usual functions works. It’s good to use an outsource team to run this kind of tests to ensure objectivity. A functional test can be automated, such as with the tool Selenium.
2 – Exploratory testing
To complement the scripted/functional tests, it’s good to allow a tester to use the software in the normal way. Bugs might show up in unexpected ways.
3 – Unit testing
A unit test is the best practice when coding software. It involves writing a test program to see how each part of the software is performing. Unit tests have two big advantages: quickly producing results, and allowing developers to run the test on their end.
4 – Stress/load testing
As soon as a business starts to grow, it runs into issues of workload capacity. It then becomes necessary to test how far architecture might goes. The test involves simulating thousands of users on a test environment.
5 – Compatibility testing
This is one of the best ways to improve quality. Usually a website or a mobile app is developed for a particular browser, phone, or electronic tablet. Compatibility tests involve testing the product across a number of platforms.
6 – Security testing
A security test is more for protecting your company and yourSecurity testing becomes important as a company’s reputation grows.
7 – Usability testing
The way an app or product is used often depends on the user, whether a young person or someone older. A usability test uncovers how people use an app and what can be done to improve the user experience.
8 – TDD (Test-Driven Development)/BDD(Behavior-Driven Development)
Similar to the unit test, TDD and BDD allow developers first to create tests function, make it crash intentionally, and later make it work after developing the right feature.
Automate as much as possible
If you want to save time and money, testing should be easily repeatable. A popular practice is continuous integration. As with TDD, continuous integration makes it easy to build well-tested software versions and to push new versions many time a day in production. Continuous integration is a challenge for most IT companies, but it is doable.
Even if you do not practice continuous integration, you should consider automating your tests. Set up a system to build a test environment on demand. (I mean as many environments as you might need to perform tests very quickly)
What about you?
Testing software is quite a broad domain with many ways of doing things. What really matters is the ability to reach your goal in the quickest way possible.
Pick the tool that sounds relevant to you and batch every test you do (i.e. document and script test).
Feel free to share how you do software testing. Leave a comment, and share this article with others. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.