8 Best Practices for QA Testing

Quality software forms the cornerstone of a thriving startup, and its absence can lead to significant financial losses. In 2018, substandard software led to organizations in the US incurring costs of approximately $2.8 trillion. It's common for companies to focus on expansion at the expense of perfecting their software, often underestimating the severe implications of software errors. For example, more than a third of smartphone users have deleted an app after experiencing bugs.

In the realm of software development, the preference often leans towards introducing new features rather than refining existing ones. This approach should be reconsidered. Opting for quick solutions by sacrificing software quality can result in substantial losses down the line. While rapidly launching new features may satisfy immediate customer demands and potentially increase market share, this strategy can lead to significant defects and accumulate technical debt.

This approach may manifest in escalated costs, reduced user adoption, and delays in feature releases as technical debt hampers progress. Hence, adhering to best practices in QA testing is vital for ensuring long-term success in your projects.

 

What is QA Testing?

QA testing is the systematic process used by developers to verify and ensure the quality of software product. It ensures that the software or service is of high quality before it is released to customers. Unlike the product development phase. QA testing evaluates the quality of the final product. And its outcomes.

Key activities in QA testing involve:

  • Identifying and correcting errors, bugs, and redundancies
  • Ensuring logical progression within the software
  • Maintaining a seamless User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)
  • Addressing unforeseen software flaws
  • Confirming that the software meets customer specifications.

The primary goal of QA testing is to determine whether a product fulfils customer’s requirements. There is a secondary aim of ensuring any issues are resolved prior to launch. The overarching objective of QA testing is to improve software development process's quality. It also aims to enhance efficiency striving to meet the highest industry standards. While QA testing traditionally occurred towards the end of the development cycle, modern practices encourage a collaborative approach with software developers from the beginning, fostering continuous improvements and optimal solutions. A QA tester's motivation stems from a commitment to delivering a superior quality product to customers.

 

What's a Typical Example of a QA Process?

The QA process is crucial for confirming that a product meets specified requirements. Although testing methods may differ among organizations, the fundamental stages are consistent:

Analysis of Requirements: QA analysts begin by thoroughly reviewing project requirements to understand their role early in the development process. This step is crucial for establishing a solid foundation for effective quality assurance.

Planning: Once the requirements are clear, QA professionals initiate the planning phase of testing. They define the scope, develop a testing strategy tailored to the project, and outline the QA approach for each stage of the software engineering cycle. This includes specifying necessary testing types and tools.

Test Case Development: This involves creating detailed test cases that outline actions to verify correct system functionality. These test cases help ensure that software features meet specified guidelines and include both manual and automated testing methods.

Test Execution: During this phase, the prepared test cases are implemented. QA testers assess discrepancies between expected and actual results, documenting any bugs, errors, and issues. They may also create additional tests to address these problems, presenting the final results to the development team for further action.

Verification: After resolving identified issues, verification involves retesting the product to ensure all problems have been adequately addressed. This includes regression testing and analysis to confirm the resolution of bugs and identify any new issues, ensuring the product functions optimally.

Documentation and Reporting: The final step involves creating detailed documentation of all tests conducted, their outcomes, and insights into detected anomalies. This comprehensive document records the entire testing process, serving as a reference for future testing cycles.

 

How to Get Started with QA Testing

When an application is riddled with bugs, it can lead to user dissatisfaction. This can decrease customer satisfaction. Potentially this could harm your market position. Therefore fostering collaboration between developers and QA engineers is crucial to prevent defects from reaching production.

To develop and deliver high-quality software, it is essential to uphold stringent standards throughout the testing stages of the app. As your user base grows, the need for meticulous QA testing becomes even more critical. Follow these steps to establish an effective QA process for testing your software:

Incorporate QA Testing Early: Integrate QA testing into every phase of the software development lifecycle. Early involvement of QA teams increases the likelihood of identifying issues and implementing corrective measures.

Implement the DevOps Model: This approach merges development and operations teams to expedite the development and delivery of applications. Moving away from traditional processes, a DevOps model offers significant advantages by reducing failure rates and enhancing time-to-market.

Ensure Clarity and Transparency in QA Testing: It is vital for testers to have a clear understanding of the software product's final deliverables to achieve swift results within tight deadlines. Additionally, transparency allows other teams to monitor and gain insights from the testing process.

Focus on Results-Oriented QA Testing: Direct QA teams to concentrate on the specific business goals of a software product. This strategy creates a faster and more dynamic testing environment, enabling testers to allocate resources effectively and deliver optimal outcomes.

 

Our Eight Best Practices for QA Testing Implementation

These best practices in QA can help maintain the highest standards in product delivery:

1- Combine Test Automation and Manual Testing: 

Your QA testing should include both automated and manual testing. It is crucial to determine the most relevant type of test for each aspect and stage of the product. Manual testing allows businesses to cover a wide range of conditions and scenarios. The QA testers' feedback regarding the app's experience and feel will prove invaluable.

2- Include Agile Methodologies: 

Embrace a methodology that integrates testing into a series of brief development cycles. Agile methodologies align well with the development of mobile apps, where short development cycles are common, and users expect high functionality, quality, and frequent updates. In agile methodologies, QA testing is seamlessly woven into the design and development processes rather than being a distinct phase. Test outcomes are directly integrated into the ongoing design and development procedures, establishing quality as a fundamental guiding principle.

3- Write Great Test Cases: 

It is advisable for developers to participate in writing tests. The agile methodology emphasizes ownership, suggesting that involving developers in the test case creation process will make quality assurance part of their responsibilities. However, developers who author tests may develop biases, potentially crafting code that merely satisfies the test without adhering to broader quality standards or unintentionally creating tests with limited coverage. For this reason, some teams create a test plan but then rely on outsourcing the process or handing it over to dedicated QA engineers.

4- Integrate Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): 

These strategies are used in software development and complement the agile methodology. With continuous integration, the code is kept in a central repository. Developers work on making minor changes to the code and uploading small sections of code to the central repository regularly. Integrating quality management into this methodology involves conducting a series of tests with each code update. While testing the new segments is essential, regression testing is also crucial to assess how changes impact the product's main features. Continuous delivery enables the regular release of new iterations of your product, providing a swift and efficient method for addressing bugs and issues that impact the user experience.

5- Prioritize Communication as a Fundamental Principle: 

This principle extends across the entire software development team, particularly on the testing team. The significance lies in the continuous nature of testing, spanning various stages of development. When the entire team is well-informed about the testing process, it fosters collective involvement in testing endeavors. Regular communication between testers and software engineers is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the ongoing tasks. As a result, it diminishes risks and vulnerabilities and enhances the ultimate outcomes.

6- Elevate the Focus on Security in Testing: 

While testing practices aim to enhance a software solution for superior performance, they are important in fortifying the product against digital threats. Incorporating security-driven tests, such as penetration tests, is essential. Adopting mindset akin to a malicious actor involves attempting to hack your own program. This approach provides valuable insights into your software's vulnerabilities. It not only identifies weaknesses. It also facilitates development of more robust strategies to strengthen the system's security.

7- Select the Appropriate Testing and Management Tools: 

In the current era we benefit from abundance of tools designed to facilitate our work. This holds true for software testing. It is a domain rich in diverse testing and management platforms. While the extensive range of options is advantageous, it can also be overwhelming. Therefore we recommend thoroughly analyzing the available tools to comprehend their advantages and disadvantages. You should carefully consider factors such as ease of use. Also cost, integration with existing tools and scalability should be evaluated to make an informed decision about selecting the most suitable tool for your needs.

8- Use Crowdtesting: 

Crowdtesting can significantly improve the scalability of your testing process by accessing a large pool of QA testers within a short period. You can get results in hours with hundreds of QA testers working simultaneously on various devices, conducting cross-browser testing, and checking different operating systems for software compatibility. You should balance in-house testing, crowdtesting, and automated testing for optimal outcomes.

 

Incorporate Software QA Testing Best Practices: 

Incorporate the following software QA testing best practices into your daily routine for successful testing:

  • Focused Testing: Test one aspect at a time with clear objectives. With each test, focus on a specific feature, user interface aspect, or security concern.
  • Understanding Test Types: Familiarize yourself with various testing types, for example load testing and user acceptance testing (UAT). Understand the distinctions. Know how to effectively apply them.
  • Regression Testing: Implement regression tests because testing a key feature once is insufficient. New additions to the code repository may impact features that previously passed tests.
  • Bug Reporting and Tracking: Establish a systematic approach for reporting and tracking bugs. Decide on bug reporting tools and the required data. Consider using an open-source bug-tracking tool or developing one tailored to your workflow.
  • Analytics Utilization: Leverage analytics to decide on QA metrics to track. Keep comprehensive records of every test conducted, utilizing this data to identify potential bug-prone areas. Develop new tests based on this information.
  • Environment Considerations: Select the appropriate environment for tests, covering various scenarios such as different devices, operating systems, and user profiles.
  • Unit and Integration Tests: Use unit tests to isolate each component of your application. Integration tests assess how well each subsystem collaborates. You can also run unit tests in parallel to save time, ensuring individual components function correctly before moving on to integration tests.
  • UI Attention: Pay close attention to the user interface (UI) by employing functional tests conducted by human testers. These tests simulate end-to-end scenarios, providing insights into the app's UI. Consider addressing issues identified during unit and integration tests before proceeding.

     

Conclusion

These best practices for QA testing should be applied from the discovery stage through software release and subsequent phases, including maintenance and support. However, it's not necessary to implement all these practices in a single project. A skilled QA team can adeptly choose the right approach and tools tailored to meet specific customer requirements, ensuring a seamless workflow and exceptional quality in the final product.

Rohit Gupta
Rohit Gupta
COO