Critical Software Testing Steps Engineers Cannot Miss

If you are working on software development, there is no way to skip the quality assurance part in case you want your digital product to become successful. With the shift-left movement, it’s common to start testing as early as it’s possible to speed up bug discovery and fixing.

So here are the key steps to follow to make your testing process effective:


Plan the strategy

Thorough planning serves as a map to refer to on the road to success. First, you’ll need to develop the testing criteria and gather all the required documentation. Then, decide on the approach and divide the scope between manual and automated testing. This also includes the selection of assisting tools that will facilitate the execution and test results processing.

There’s a choice between open-sourced options like for automation testing or paid solutions that allow storing the test scripts, simulating cross-platform environments, and structuring bug reports.


Define test cases

Once the strategy is ready, it’s high time to start developing test cases according to the application workflows. Basically, a test case it’s a set of instructions to follow in order to verify if new functionality is working as expected. Take the business requirements as the basis and keep instructions as clear as it’s possible. For more accurate results, take into account less obvious steps. For instance, if you are preparing a promo with personal coupons, the test case may include using the same coupon in different accounts, trying to apply it without being logged in, or use the items that should not be discounted per promo conditions to see how the system behaves.


Validate the system readiness for testing

Before moving to the actual testing of a new feature make sure to validate the quality of the build and confirm its stability. If the core functionality is not working, e.g., the interface is not opening, or there are troubles connecting to a database, there will be no use of further functional testing. So performing a smoke test first helps to verify the integrity of the system prior to moving further.


Actual execution

When all the preparation is done, it’s time to schedule the tests. Depending on the software development methodology, the testing approaches may vary: for Agile teams where the product is delivered in small chunks the tests are scheduled during all the development sprints, while in Waterfall it’s more common to adhere to system integration testing that happens less frequently.

But regardless of the approach, you will need to take care of the proper testing environment to be able to execute the tests. Thus, it’s worth preparing for this stage beforehand or finding alternative solutions ( like testing the dummy backend as a temporary workaround if you work on developing the interface for the application).


Review the results

The outcome from the tests will tell you if you are ready to deliver the feature to the end customer, or the release needs to be postponed. Usually, there’s a tendency of accepting the feature if there are no critical bugs and 80-90% of test cases passed. The percentage can be calculated based on specific formulas for software testing. If a critical test fails, the feature needs to be reworked for the next testing round, while if a bug is minor it may be put into a development backlog for further prioritization.

Whenever there’s a new release planned, these steps established in a testing procedure will help to ensure that no critical points are missed and make the processes more streamlined.

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  1. Priti on April 30, 2021


    Really nice. Thanks for sharing this


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