Before I dive into my final installment of this CS series (for now), I wanted to say thank you if you actually read any of these posts and thank you to my new followers for dealing with the notifications you must have gotten.
For this last post, I wanted to discuss the article 5 Reasons You Are Wasting Your Testing Time by Joel Montvelisky. The author expresses how everyone can do testing but not everyone can do “good testing,” which incorporates more than just what is basic checking.
A short list of main reasons why a lot of people tend to waste time that could have been spent testing other things includes:
- Not having clear goals
- Not understanding what or how much the feature means to your End User
- Not keeping track of what was tested and potential discoveries
- Not consulting what you already know or using references
- Not giving feedback that could be shared to help others
I agree with most of what Montvelisky says as I have personally noticed what has happened from my experience as a Software Quality Assurance Intern when any of the five things above took place based on a task. It is important to understand that sometimes these things may be out of your control but you should still try your best to avoid miscommunication wherever possible.
Montvelisky’s content has not necessarily changed the way I will work as I have already been consciously making an effort to understand what I am reviewing, how stuff is meant to work, logging tasks, connecting tasks to previous occurrences, and communicating with the QA team. If I had read this article before I started working, it would have been more useful as it would serve as a foundation to how one should think of testing beyond the basic functionalities.
Something I wanted to emphasize is the post-test reviews and feedback sessions with peers. I found that if someone else needed to learn about a project or a task had to be communicated with a client, logging any kinds of notes or information was better than not having anything prepared to discuss. They do not necessarily have to be posted for everyone to access but it would be good to note it in any sort of text editor for future reference. I think an example of when to note things is if you found something that does not prevent your current task from being approved but it still affects something for the overall program.
Overall, when testing things I believe you should trust your instincts on reporting things you find. It helps when you try to imagine how much it could affect a program in the long run if not brought to someone’s attention, even if it may seem minimal.
Best of Luck,
Testing, testing. I may need your approval on this article I read by Software Testing Magazine on Approval Testing. Approval testing, as defined by this article, is a way of software testing that results in presenting the before and after of an application for a user (ex: software development team) to review it and potentially approve it. It’s more of a visual representation of testing and one of the major cons is how the results have to be checked manually.
Some testing tools mentioned include: Approval Tests, TextTest, Jest, Recheck, Automated Screenshot Diff, Depicted (dpxdt), and etc.
The main purpose of the software testing tool, using TextTest for example, is checking that the text output after running program from the command line in different ways.
What I found interesting is how a user can see that a test technically could have “passed” or “failed” but still decide to mark it as the other because they choose what feature they are looking for in the end. This makes it a little more flexible to use approval testing as it is more of a guide or guideline for a user instead of only seeing one word and then a short description of what could have gone wrong. I think this process is much more transparent or descriptive with a user about what could have gone wrong or what went right.
One way the content has changed how I will think about the testing is how there are so many more types of software or programs out there than we can imagine which help us better code or create our own software and programs. This one is especially good for visual coders and testers who like to see their results firsthand to compare what they are expecting with what they actually got.
Overall, I found this article was useful because it introduced me to thinking about a better way of logging the differences between what the reference result is versus the actual result. I did not disagree with any of it since it showed us how we can use approval testing to our advantage while still being honest about its limitations.
If you happen to be reading this page translated from English to another language, hello there, you are one of the main characters of this blog post. Without linguistics, the study of language and its structure, we probably would not be able to figure out how to communicate everything we need to globally while being able to understand it at the same time while testing. There are so many online resources that cover what a specific country or region in a country uses in terms of data formats for their computer systems.
Stickyminds featured an article from Mukesh Sharma on Linguistic Testing: Setting Up Your Software for Global Quality. Sharma dives in by explaining what exactly linguistic testing is–which is testing not only localization but also internationalization. These words basically mean everything we are testing on the software either is or would be fully functioning across the globe.
I found this content thought-provoking as I never specifically thought about how developers and testers would have to consider culturally-aware attributes like the formatting for texts, dates, and currencies. As more and more people are gaining access to the internet across the world, that means there are even more and more platforms to test for gauging market readiness.
An example of a situation that could happen in real life I can think of when testing functionality on websites is for international shipping addresses. If a user, we’ll call him Zayn, from London, England is ordering something from a company based in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) and puts in his shipping address, it should not require him to select a “State” under one of the fields after he selects “United Kingdom / England” as his country option. If that field still requires Zayn to select a state when his country location does not have states, there is a problem.
This will change the way I think when I work as when developing code to solve problems or create something new, I will have to think about if the market or target audience goes beyond the USA. When testing the code, of course every possible scenario must be tested already but there will have to be more details to make sure it all goes smoothly–especially since international errors or problems usually take up more effort to fix as communication plays a big factor.
“Forget about automating your regression tests” is some bold advice from Bas Dijkstra, who has experience as a test automation consultant. It made me wonder what exactly led him to making this kind of statement on regression test scripts and his article, On Ending the Regression Automation Fixation, covered various reasons why.
Two reasons why Dijkstra says starting with automating your regression tests is not ideal includes regression scripts being too long and how regression tests are written from an end user perspective. I find this interesting as a lot of software bloggers are saying automation is not always going to be the answer and their answers have yet to make me disagree.
The reason I chose this is because I am drawn to honesty; two examples above were explained with scenarios with failures Dijkstra has faced from creating inefficient or “plain worthless” cases.
This content will change the way I think about creating potential testing cases as there will be questions to ask myself before proceeding with the task(s) at hand. There will be a lot of reflecting on what could be consuming my test time, which parts are too repetitive, or what can just be done better. I mean of course I’ve already been considering these questions but now there will be a more conscious effort to think about them.
Dijkstra’s process especially considers the difference between how many scripts there could be when a computer is trying to translate what a human could have performed when testing. I realize how that would be an issue when trying to understand what could have went wrong or does not match up fully when there is less (specific) feedback when it comes to automation.
Thanks to this article, I will also try to predict how many layers of regression scripts would be too much of a hassle to develop ways for communication between what is being tested under the application. Overall, this information was useful as we should be reminded that “automation is meant to make your life and testing applications easier”; it should make sense and not be done at random, especially for regression testing.
After learning some life lessons through the pages I’ve skimmed from my copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; this article’s version for software developers in test caught my eye. What exactly are the seven highly effective habits of SDETs? Here are the seven habits that Angie Jones, a senior developer advocate at Applitools, wrote about: being intentional, enhancing development skills, enhancing testing skills, exploring new tools, automating throughout the product’s tech stack, collaborating, and automating beyond the tests.
If anyone is interested in becoming a SDET, they should follow Jones’ advice as she is very familiar with interviewing SDET candidates. Something thought-provoking about the first one is how automation projects are not always the best option. Before this article, I understood that not everything required automation but it was the end goal for more projects or companies overall. This is due to my experience; for some reason I believed that just because the company I was at wanted automation for something that everyone else would too. After reading this, I am now understanding that automation is only the goal when it is aligned with the overall outcome.
I am noticing a consistent pattern of guides to becoming a good software developer or tester containing similar tips like “enhancing development skills” and “enhancing testing skills” as people in this industry must always keep learning to stay on top of what’s new. Due to the repetition, I have been trying to keep an eye out for the more unique ideas. One of the ideas that stood out to me more is the one of collaborating.
Jones listed careers ranging from business analytics to software development and mentioned how they would be good matches for pairing up with SDETs to help each other better understand certain features and the importance of what they will be working on. From a sociological standpoint, I like this approach to finding all the resources to complete a project outside of the department. As someone who is always looking for ways to connect with people or connect people to other people, this is an effective idea for helping companies and their people feel more at ease with their jobs. The SDETs may feel less pressure knowing they are not entirely on their own and can request help when necessary.
To kick off this series, I wanted to introduce why Software Quality Assurance (SQA) testing is important not only for testers to understand, but for developers as well. From my experience, I’ve become familiar with manual testing and exploring different types of automated testing for web applications. I wanted to know a little more about how being a good developer also includes being a good tester and found an article on SimpleProgrammer which reveals the importance of knowing how to test.
John Sonmez, the founder of SimpleProgrammer, says that he “owe[s] a large amount of the success [he] ha[s] had in [his] career as a software developer to [his] background in testing.” I can see why he feels that way, as using just a little more time to double-check what you have created could save you even more time in the long-run. For instance, if something you have spent hours working on seems complete and you do not double-check it and pass it on to a QA team, you have to wait for someone in QA or a testing platform to check it. That could take anywhere between minutes to a few days or more. Once it is QA tested, maybe a bug is found and your task falls back into your hands again.
Could the scenario above been preventable? Yes and no. It is a true that “you can never find all the bugs or defects in a piece of [theoretical] software and you can never test every possible input into the [theoretical] software” but you can try your best. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to do your own end-to-end regression testing through the entire software each time you add a minuscule feature but you should thoroughly check what you have changed and the features directly connected to it.
The article continues to describe common testing forms and what they each mean for developers. Sonmez supports the Agile cycle of software development and describes it in the article as well.