Oftentimes, we do not grow when things are easy. Growth comes when faced with challenges. The important thing is to have the mindset to persistently resolve the challenges. I’ve been working as a software tester for four years and I ran into several problems. Each time I ran into one, it gave me an opportunity to learn new things and test my skills in different situations.
In this article, let us discuss some of the most common challenges faced by testers across the world and how to overcome them.
In the current scenario, companies have to face a lot of challenges from their competitors. One of the ways to beat the competition is to be the first to get to the market/client. Releasing high-quality products “in time” is one way to go about that.
Oftentimes, releasing high-quality products “in time” can be quite a challenge for testers. Some of the reasons for the delay in releases could be:
Delays are an upsetting event. However, with appropriate planning and consistent processes, delays can be resisted without any tangible negative consequences.
A Test Plan is a document that describes the test strategy, objectives, resources, schedule, estimation, and deliverables required to perform testing for a software product.
A good Test Plan is a composition of the below discussed checkpoint.
1. Business goal – Understand the business goals, research about the clients, end-users and get to know their needs and expectations from the application.
2. Objectives of the testing – Have a clear idea of the feature/requirement like verifying the conformance of design, performance with the specifications stated in the product requirements
3. Roles and Responsibilities – Suppose multiple people are working on the same project, there might be chances that repeated testing on the same bit. So it’s necessary to have a proper distribution of responsibilities.
4. Impact Area – Dig into the spec doc to get all the impact areas, discuss with concerned stakeholders to document it, and can use it throughout the process.
5. Environment and Tools – Using any required tools is very helpful during testing, which will make our process easy and robust. Meanwhile, keeping a stable environment is all you need for the easy flow of things during the testing phase.
6. In scope – Prior to your testing having better knowledge about what exactly you need to test and what should be focused on more is quite important.
Saying ‘No’ to major changes in the middle of a sprint is an acquired skill that
helps a Tester to ward off most of the conflicts.
7. Not in scope – This is also equally important to save your time in unnecessary things which might not be in scope at all.
8. Testing tasks –In order to reduce dependencies on other teams, dividing the project into smaller tasks will solve it. This will help us during a blocker by making our way to the next task.
9. Risk and Assumptions -Let’s agree that we always have a risk factor involved in any feature/ requirement. Listing down the risks and assumptions will help everyone to prepare and accept them.
10. Milestones – Keeping milestones for small tasks will make us motivated throughout the phase and have a better understanding of the release timelines.
How well you communicate to your stakeholders regarding your needs dictates how well a project can be managed. A Test Plan lets you put all your needs in one place, thereby providing an efficient communicating tool.
Let’s agree that we have come across situations in our work where some bugs would have leaked to production. Situations like these can be very mortifying because you missed something that is so obvious, it transpires when you write test cases and begin executing to find such basic bugs.
1. Peer review – When you wrap up test cases, ask your peers to review them to find missing pieces. Another set of eyes can easily identify the gaps in your test cases
2. Brainstorm – Additionally, it is great to pull your testing team and brainstorm conceptions to find all sorts of possible test ideas and test cases that come spontaneously by the teammates. Endeavor their experience and deliver high-quality products. Don’t forget to give credits to them after the release.
A lot of people hate bugs whether it’s a lurking spider, pestering fly, or an onerous piece of code, bugs are a common source of frustration. Engineers hate when a bug is discovered in their code. Support teams hate running into bugs as they try to help their clients succeed. It pains quality assurance teams to know a bug made it into production. It deflates companies when a customer spends precious time trying to understand why something isn’t working correctly.
1. Bugbash: Okay, you have executed all the test cases and retested all the bugs. Now you must be having a smile on your face and trotting to the DevOps to accelerate the release process.
Wait wait wait…. what if there was a hidden bug you could not find and later clients/customers might find it? It might or might not happen.
So let’s have a backup plan and organize a bug-bash within the Organization. Bug-bash is a company-wide event where everybody, no matter which role they are in, is invited to participate in a session on hunting bugs. Participate to test the project from a variety of perspectives and use cases, resulting in a wide range of defects and feedback.
2. Read the code: Reading the logic written by developers can avail you to find edge cases in the project. going through code can provide more conceptions for testing. I concur that it may be a little difficult to read code at first, but try not to give up! It’s important to try new things and fail sometimes
As a tester, the most painful thing is to have your bug rejected by a developer. It can damage your confidence in reporting more bugs and you might feel regretful in front of your coworkers.
1. Better bug reports: A detailed bug report can actually communicate issues in the right manner below are the much-needed aspects of a good bug report. A bug report is an efficient form of communication for both bug reporter and bug receiver
2. Debugging – Deep-diving into the bugs before raising them is one way to avoid having them rejected by developers.Logs would be one place to check for errors thrown by unhandled or broken code. You tend to either find an error or a warning. Both are good starting points to understand issues. Effective log analysis will always help you to report quality defects. In addition it would reduce 50% of developer effort in reproducing the defect and fixing it.
Developer tools on your browsers would be another place to check for issues. API failures, Internet lags, Cookie or Auth concerns or even a cyber-attack can sometimes be initially identified by just following up your activity on the dev-tools.
How many times have you been in a situation where you don’t know what else to test and how? I’m sure many of you have been through such situations at times :)
1. Pair Testing – Do pairs testing regularly, where two people test the same feature at the same place at the same time by continuously exchanging ideas. It generates more ideas which results in better testing of the application under test.
In addition to that, it has the following benefits:
2. Take a break – Whenever you are running out of ideas, take a break to refresh your mind. Spend quality time with loved ones/friends/colleagues. This will help relieve stress and give you a chance to look at the problem with a fresh perspective . When you come back refreshed, you will be able to find bugs more easily than before.
Spending hours over a teeny-tiny bug that is not straightforwardly reproducible is a frustrating experience. You lose precious time plus no evident track of your efforts regarding the task.To make matters worse, a client reports the same issue to your manager the following day. Furthermore, you do not have a ticket to speak for yourself.
What a way to screw up!!
1. Update configurations
As and when you observe any anomaly in the application, always log a defect. After all, what could be the worst-case scenario? You would rather have a logged bug speak for being aware of an issue than being baffled when it turns out to be a production issue.
How many times have you come across a situation where your team member says “because of you” a bug leaked to production and you end up with less confidence. As and when a bug leaked to production usually people will blame testers. People still think that testers are gatekeepers of quality.
1. Educate your team about the role of the Tester
A project is like a road trip, some projects are very simple and straightforward, like driving to the market on Highways with broad daylight. But few projects are very complex like driving a truck off-road, in the mountains that too in the nighttime. Those projects need headlights. As a tester, you light the way. You light up the road ahead so the programmers and managers can at least see where they are, what they are about to run over, and how close they are to the target.
2. Conduct Root Cause Analysis:
Conducting Root Cause Analysis(RCA) is one of the best ways to understand the root causes of an event that resulted in an undesired outcome and develop corrective actions. The purpose of an RCA is to find out what happened, why it happened, and determine what changes need to be made to avoid such mistakes in the future.
To sum up, I would like to say that if you stay mindful of the above challenges in testing, the chances of success increase substantially. Consistency and persistence to overcome challenges will definitely have a positive impact
I hope you liked the article, and you’re ready to tackle these challenges when and where they occur. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your peers. Any retweet or share is always welcomed.
That’s all for now! Happy Testing!!!
Bhuvan Theja has been a software tester for the last four years and currently working as Associate QA Lead at MoEngage India Pvt Ltd. He is a certified ISTQB tester. He keeps on pushing himself to learn more, alongside being a joyful and friendly colleague to everyone. And he always strives for efficient team processes and ever-faster software release cycles. Bhuvan Theja is a travel freak .In his free time, he likes to play Badminton, Cricket, Table Tennis and Fooseball.