Software Testing Company As A Partner. What’s The Point?

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07 January 2020 Grzegorz Klos

If you came across this article you probably consider, less or more, cooperation with the software testing company.

I’m not going to give you objective truth. I am the Co-Founder of a QA company, so I will present my point of you view of why it would make sense or not look for a third-party vendor. That’s fair to be clear about it.

Testing Outsourcing – Fear Of The Dark

During the conversations we had with potential clients, the first call was always about their technical needs. Over and over again, we were being asked about the same things before we signed up for the agreement. And that’s ok. 

Founders and Product Leaders, they all have similar fears about cooperation with the software testing company.

There are many doubts and many questions:

– Why choose a Polish software testing company?
– What is better: a company as a partner or a freelancer?
– Are we still going to have an excellent cooperating team with external QA Engineer/s?
– How to start with a third-party provider if we didn’t have any QA processes before?
– Are we going to have to deliver testing documentation to them?
– How to manage the development process and how to track bug reporting?

Often we are one of a few validated vendors by startups and businesses. Each of them has their style and rules of cooperation. 

I am not sure if we are exceptional with our answers. Maybe we are giving boring arguments, just like everybody. Who knows? 🙂

In today’s words, we all use the same set of tools to communicate and software development methodology (which is often something between Scrum and Kanban). And we can all check our competitors to copy fresh ideas into our company services or sales-marketing approach. 

Being exceptional ain’t easy.

Software Testing Company from Poland or Where?

I want to raise some crucial issues for decision-makers.

Let’s start with the first question I listed above: Why choose a Polish QA company?

I’ve read tons of articles on this subject, and most of them crossed the good taste of advertising. The point is that they are full of arguments, but even the slightest case against is missing.

I am writing this article from Poznan. And yes, there are hundreds of talented people here and across Poland. However, gifted people are almost everywhere. 

I think most European startups and businesses pick up Polish companies as their outsourced partner because we are around the corner, and we have developed a global reputation of reliable specialists in the IT industry. I guess, for good reason.

When technical human resources are running low, Poland can be the right direction. It’s easy to have daily standups with hired software testing agency.  A flight from Paris, London or Berlin to Poznan only takes from one to just a couple of hours. And that’s a huge advantage.

Read more–> QA Outsourcing to Poland

Even for clients from the ES time zone (New York, Boston, etc.).

source: Airport Poznan

In the market, there are a lot of Asian companies, mainly from India. In terms of numbers – companies from India enter the world markets very boldly. Great job!

It’s hard to criticize their knowledge and quality of service. Indeed, the time difference and distance between India and the USA/Europe can be problematic.

Sometimes at Apphawks I work with companies and freelancers from India but in other areas such as SEO support. Especially in those where an email exchange is enough from time to time.

Testing is a process, continuous communication with the client’s development team is crucial. I see that our QA Engineers, when they are in the projects, are constantly in touch with our clients. There is always something to talk to about with software developer or Product Owner. 

Lack of time difference helps to avoid congestion. As a CTO, Head of Product or Founder, you have to decide what is crucial for you. 

How would you like to run Sprints with outsourcing QA Engineer or QA Team? I prefer to be in close touch with our clients.

Software Testing Company vs. Freelancer

Let’s face another question. 

Decision-makers often want to validate more than one option. Naturally, they consider Freelancers as good assets for the in-house team. The cost might be lower, and they don’t have to sign any QA Agreements.

So, why software testing company are better than Freelancers? Good question.

And I have an honest answer without the fluff. I consider my QA company as a team of Freelancers (even if they’re not), and they, as a team, can face all the different technical challenges our clients have.

The team has this added value, which is intellectual ferment or brainstorming. So yes, clients will get, for example, one QA Engineer, if they are interested in Body-Leasing, but he has our support and our QA knowledge. They are going to buy not just the experience of one man, but of the entire company.

At Apphawks, we have an internal Slack channel where we discuss some technical problems. That way, the process is much faster and more efficient. Generally, by having internal QA talks, we can improve and speed up everyone’s work.

What is better for almost the same price?

Many exceptional Freelancers are expensive, and they like to work with many shorter projects. With software testing company, you will have a feeling of stability, because we are not going to cancel the contract in the middle of deployment when your customers or investors are waiting for a significant release or bug fixing.

If you are working with Freelancers, it’s hard to know what they do at their home. With our Technical Co-Founder, we have an eye on our QA Engineers because we work from one office. 

I’m not talking about control or distrust. We see what they do, how focused and how engaged they are. We can openly talk about bottlenecks and issues. In our office, we find solutions to those problems to keep ourselves motivated.

There is one more argument – reputation. For a company, it’s effortless to ruin a reputation. Delivering services as a company is a huge responsibility. A company has more to lose. We want to grow as our clients, that’s why we’ll do everything in our power to make customers happy.

QA Process With Testing Company

The last four questions are basically about the process.

You are not sure how to start with an external partner, how you will be working with QA or QA team. You are not sure who should provide testing documentation and finally how to manage it all.

Usually, we have two types of clients’ expectations:

The first group of clients needs QA Engineers(s) in their startups or businesses. They have full control over the hired personnel, and they decide how they like to work. They treat Apphawks’ QA Engineer(s) as a member of their team and “family.” 

They often have daily standups and excellent personal relationships. It’s called Body & Team Leasing. A hired person always has our technical backup, but now he/she is your employee.

Check Out Our New Testing Services Plans

We have the right testing plan for Startups, Businesess and Enterprises.
You can start from 10 to 100+ hours weekly.
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The second group of clients expects us to take full responsibility for quality assurance in their project. It’s called Project-Based Outsourcing. So, in the beginning, we set up the scope of cooperation. Usually, it’s 60 hours weekly. 

We assign each project a “face” on our part. For example, Adam will be the leading Tester with the support of other team members.

Because we take responsibility for the quality, we set the testing plan ourselves. We prepare documentation and work. We carry out manual and automated tests. We make an accurate report of what we have been working on in a given month. 

In this case, Founders or Product Leaders, have more time to develop the project further, instead of managing the delivery team.

In both cases, in the beginning, we have to check what’s under the hood, so we do manual testing and write test cases. After we’re familiar with the app, we’ll write code and run automated tests, including regression. 

In both cases, we have to set up tools for communication (Slack) and platform for bugs-tracking (Jira). We will set with the client his priorities and urgent needs at the beginning of cooperation.

Read more–> Outsource Software Testing Roadmap For Businesess

Conclusions About Software Testing Providers

To sum up, if you want non-binding quality support, go with Freelancer. If you are looking for long term on-going collaboration, go with a software testing company. 

If you know how to manage the development and testing team, go with Body-Team Leasing. You will add extra resources to your company. 

If you don’t have any testing process or QA experience at your company, go with Project-Based Outsourcing. 

If you like to have stand-ups, tight relationships with third-party vendors, and if you want to work in a similar time zone, pick up Polish software testing companies. 

If you are looking for the best price, go with Freelancers or Asian companies.

If you still do not know what’s best for you, schedule a call with me and our Technical Co-Founder. Together we will figure out the best approach for your product.

Feel free to send us an email to schedule a call.

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The Art of Bug Reporting: Writing Tickets 101

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12 December 2019 Apphawks

Writing tickets is an art and craft. That’s why we named this article The Art of Bug Reporting.

Let’s admit it – finding bugs is just the first step to having them fixed. Before developers even start their work they need to see tickets. And this is where problems begin, as some people fail at bug reporting. Their tickets sometimes tend to be written in a very “unfriendly” way. 

It’s not uncommon to see tickets that only their original creators understand (or, even worse, nobody). 

This ultimately leads to some unnecessary conversations or arguments during which both sides have to go through the ticket again, thus wasting valuable time and resources. All of this can be prevented by just paying attention to how you report bugs and improvements. 

Consider this article your “go-to” when you decide to create a new ticket.

Before we get to the template that we follow at Apphawks, here’s a piece of a general advice:  whenever you feel it’s necessary to add more details – do it. Unless it’s a trivial bug (e.g. some typo or something else of similar severity), then try to deliver as much information as it is possible. 

This will make your developers’ work A LOT easier, as they won’t have to ask you about everything.
But remember – the main idea of proper bug reporting is for a person that never saw the app before to know exactly what to do upon reading your report. Don’t overcomplicate. Simplicity is the key.

And here is the template our QAs follow. Don’t worry, I will explain everything further in the article:

A proper bug report should consist of:

  • Title
  • Environment/Device/Browser
  • Prerequisites
  • Steps to reproduce
  • Expected outcome
  • Actual outcome
  • Additional information
  • Media

Now let’s dive deeper into each one of these, shall we?

Title

This is the very first thing everyone sees in the backlog, even before opening the ticket and getting into its details. It should deliver all the necessary information using just proper keywords. Don’t get too minimalistic, though – writing too little may lead to some unwanted confusion with a similar ticket (if such was or will be created).

Here is an example of an improper title

User unable to checkout

Ok, we can see that something is seriously wrong here, because a major functionality fails to work. But what does it mean that “user is unable to checkout”? Is any step broken? Can user even begin the process? There are very little details mentioned to even understand the severity of this bug.

Here is an example of a proper title:

User can’t finish checkout due to error 503

This is a lot better. Now we can see that the problem is at the end of the checkout, we also pinpointed the exact problem the user faces. This can obviously be extended, though this will happen in the ticket itself, not in the title.

Environment/Device/Browser

Sometimes overlooked, this is a very important piece of information for the developer to reproduce a bug. In some cases the bug may be present on one device and not on the other. 

If you’re testing a desktop app, then at least write down your operating system’s name and its version (i.e. macOS 10.15.2), if you’re on a mobile – operating system and its version together with the device (you may split it into two separate elements). 

If it’s a browser – say what browser it is and its version. Not adding this detail can lead to a lot of time being wasted on trying to reproduce this bug on a wrong device or browser.

Prerequisites

While some unwanted behavior can occur without any special “preparation”, some of the bugs only show up under certain circumstances or after certain actions. 

Such prerequisite may be, for example, just finishing some other action, visiting a certain screen, being logged in or using the app as a guest. 

It’s a very important detail to include, as the same bug may not show up for a guest user, while at the same time it may be bothering each user that is logged in.

bug report
An example of real-life ticket, source: Apphawks

Steps to reproduce

Single-handedly one of the most important things to mention in your ticket – an instruction on how to reproduce your bug. 

Remember – other people may or may have not used the app before. Assume the latter and make these steps easy to understand. Keep them short though – adding too much information will more likely confuse the readers rather than actually help them. 

Don’t get super descriptive, but don’t get too minimalistic as well. Remember about the Golden mean.

Expected outcome

This is the behavior you expect from the app, what it should do after executing all the actions mentioned before. 

For example, if your step says “Click Add to cart button” then your expected outcome will be something like this: 

Item is added to cart, button’s text changed to “Remove item from cart”, cart counter is updated. 

A minor detail to remember about here is to write it as “this happens” instead of “this should happen”.

Actual outcome

Similar to “Expected outcome” mentioned above, here you just write down what actually happened. Based on our example we could say something like this: 

Item was added to cart, but counter has not updated, button did not change.

If necessary, both of these can be placed between steps to reproduce (for example, if the bug is more complicated).

Additional information

Remember what I said before we started going through this template? 

If not, here’s a reminder: “whenever you feel it’s necessary to add more details – do it”. This is exactly what this part is about – perhaps it’s worth mentioning if this bug is related to some other bug or a feature, maybe you could add an information about the impact it has on the app. 

Or maybe you think you pinpointed possible lines of code responsible for this bug? Every piece of additional information helps. While not completely mandatory, it’s a nice addition to your ticket.

Media

You may be a Shakespeare of ticket writing, but there is always a risk of someone not understanding clearly (or at all) what you’re trying to say. 

Either that or your bug may be hard to describe and/or requiring something else to better explain what’s going on. Adding a screenshot (or a video, if necessary) is always a good idea. 

Just remember to clearly mark the unwanted behavior – you don’t want your developers spending half of their time trying to understand the ticket and the other half – the movie or the screenshot you attached, do you?

Miscellaneous

While not mentioned in the template, I think it’s a good addition to the ticket. For example, some bug reporting tools (JIRA, YouTrack) allow you to refer tickets to each other (e.g. link some bug to the feature it was introduced in, link the ticket with a similar behavior etc.. Some tools also allow you to choose the type of ticket (Epic, Story, Improvement, Bug) or add proper labels for more information upon creation.

Now that you know how to report a ticket properly, let’s take a look at these two examples. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll mark sections [TITLE] and [DESCRIPTION] like this.

[TITLE]

Broken log in option

[DESCRIPTION]

Despite typing correct data I can’t log in.

Ouch. This ticket doesn’t tell us a lot, does it? You can say it’s “bug reporting done wrong”. We only know that logging in is broken, but nothing more. We have no clue what actually happens, what may be the case. Surely some more details can be introduced, so let’s take a look at the improved example below.

[TITLE]

Logging in doesn’t work on Chrome, console shows error 400

[DESCRIPTION]
Browser
: Google Chrome 78
Prerequisites: User not logged in
Steps to reproduce:

1. Click “Register/Log In” button.

Expected and actual outcome at this point: User sees a modal with “Username” and “Password” input fields and a “Log in” button below them.

2. Type your login data.
3. Click “Log In” button.

Expected outcome: User is redirected to the page one was previously on (e.g. homepage), “Register/Log In” button switched to clickable “[username]” text.

Actual outcome: Upon clicking the “Log In” button page refreshes, above the form there is a text saying “Something went wrong. Please try again.”, console logs error 400.

Additional information:
There was a very similar bug while user was trying to register to the app a while ago, it was reported in [ticket reference here]. No other browser is affected.

This is a lot better, isn’t it? 

The title alone tells you that the problem exists only on Google Chrome and what error is thrown. Upon reading the ticket you can clearly see what has to be done to retest it, you can see the expected and the actual outcome. 

The additional information provided also helps with figuring out what went wrong. There is no media, as it’s not really necessary (though adding it wouldn’t be a bad idea). This ticket is very descriptive, yet not too long at the same time. A fine quality work.

And this is exactly the type of tickets we create at Apphawks. We care about the quality of the software just as much as we care about the quality of tickets, we’re no strangers to proper bug reporting. With us on board you no longer have to worry about any problems with your app, as we got you covered!

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Agile Testing: The Agile Mindset of QA Testers

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02 December 2019 Apphawks

Agile Testing – A Modern Age Documentary 

The purpose of AGILE testing is that it makes sure that any software, as it is being developed and formed is liable to be used for the general public. This form of software testing is unlike others as it is not a final sweeping touch or check performed on software after it is developed and created.

Instead, agile testing occurs at every stage of the software’s formulation. This helps in allowing the developers to produce the best possible thing in the end. 

There are many aspects of agile testing that differentiates it from other testing types. So, let’s discuss a bit about all the things that go into this practice. 

How Does The Testing Process Work Within the Development?

When you say ‘testing’ the first thing that comes to your mind is running the software and using it like it is meant to be used to detect any flaws. But agile testing is so much more than that and instead of just sheer practices, the activity could be labeled more as quality assurance. That is why the testers who are given this task, are usually referred to as QAs instead of just testers. In the field of AGILE, the testing process supports the development in parallel.

It is again important to mention that testing in this work sphere is not a final touch-up but instead a careful process that is carried out while the software is growing in development. It’s mostly referred to by the QAs as “we test as we build”.

The purpose of testing in the AGILE world aims at two primary objectives:

First and foremost, the testing procedures employed are not to detect any issues but in fact to prevent them from occurring and existing in the first place.

This goal is supported majorly by the second one, which is that the testers have to connect with the development team as soon as they detect any defects. This quick connection and synchronisation is done with the help of automated tests.

The way by which agile testing occurs sets it apart from other testing methods in the IT industry because of the careful and fail-safe procedures that are employed. There are specific modules and testing types, such as risk based testing, automated regression testing and exploratory testing. These are different approaches than those that focus on writing down test cases and planning beforehand. Everything in agile is done on time and with efficiency and immediate results.

An agile tester’s role is not one that comes at the end or in the middle of the software creation. The testers are generally brought in at the very beginning of everything so as they are in and aware of everything. Their roles mainly start when they begin to review user stories to see if they are abiding by the INVEST principle. After that they take part in a 3-amigos session in order to distinguish the story details and acceptance criteria. Moreover, if the firm is reinforcing the use of BDD, consequently the testers will scribe out scenarios in Gherkin language which are later used to corporate with step definitions.

The automated tests that the testers do are run in a CI/CD pipeline whenever the team is working on a new build. UI automated tests, in some situations, are also part of the new builds as long as they are quickly responsive.

agile testing cycle

The Responsibilities of a  QA Tester in an Agile Work Space

There are many things that go into being a tester in an agile team. The job requires a certain amount of qualifications from the tester. These start with the agile testing mindset that can be briefed in 12 simple principles. 

This mindset aids the testers in understanding what the team’s actual objective is. 

1. Assistance in Quality and NOT Assurance of Quality
2. Rigorous, Continuous Testing and NOT Final Checks/Tests
3. Team’s Duty for Quality and NOT Tester’s Duty for Quality
4. Teamwork Approach and NOT Independent/Departmental Testing
5. Automated Tests/Checking and NOT Manual Regression Testing
6. API/Technical Testing and NOT GUI Testing Only
7. Customer Needs/Stories and NOT Company Requirement Specifications
8. Exploratory Testing and NOT Scripted Testing
9. Formulation of the Finest Software and NOT Breaking the Software
10. Early Involvement/Beginning Involvement and NOT Late Involvement/End Involvement
11. Short Feedback Return Time and NOT Delayed Feedback
12. Preventing Issues and NOT Detecting Issues

It is with the help of these 12 principles that an agile tester can map out what exactly is needed from him or her. The principles are, what you could call, job requirements. But apart from the principles, there are certain traits and characteristics also required from the tester such as:

Tester must be positive, fast thinker, team worker and a problem-solver
Tester must have a keen eye and detect quality and provide criticism about the software

  • Tester must personally receive information from the stakeholders (not just written data)
  • Tester must be a good evaluator and can report the test results, progress and end product’s quality
  • Tester must collaborate with his/her team and be able to work with 2-3 programmers
  • Tester must be quick to respond to change or urgent changes (improving test cases)
  • Tester must be neat and orderly to organise and plan their own work.

After the tester is ensured to play a fitting role in all of these specifications, they are now set out to perform their agile testing activities and responsibilities. The principles and traits listed out above help in ensuring whether or not the tester belongs in an agile environment or not. After that has been ruled out there are a certain set of activities that are asked from them to fulfil. These include:

  1. Comprehending the Agile Test Strategy, implementing and updating it
  2. Clarify the definition of “Acceptance Criteria” and “Definition of Done (DoD)” to product owners
  3. Reporting and calculating test coverage to all teams and over all platforms
  4. Ensuring the testing tools are used appropriately and fittingly
  5. Managing test data and test environments through configuration and use
  6. Staying in the loop with the team through writing and performing automated checks
  7. Informing the team of any traces of defect and working to resolve the issues
  8. Teaching the other team members about the aspects of testing
  9. Scheduling of the correct testing tasks during iteration planning and release
  10. Playing an active role in discussing requirements with business and developer stakeholders
  11. Participating in meetings and sessions with the team to suggest improvements, story grooming and stand up meetings.

Iterative Model Challanges Faced with Agile

Iterative models are exactly what the name depicts! Basically, the goal is to develop software in small portions (increments). Iterative models that have gained popularity in the past include the Agile methodology: XP, Scrum etc. 

The objective is to formulate the working system in small bits and pieces the team submits at the end of every iteration. In this sort of way, business functionality is not compromised. The testers are able to test every chunk of available product and it is integrated as well besides that. This approach helps in incorporating a lot of functionality, reliability and assurance into the process of software development. 

So, when you look at the iterative model approach from the point of view of the testers, it can be seen that testable systems are produced earlier in the cycle of developing that software. As much as that may be quite convenient to the testers and the team in general, there are undoubtedly a few challenges that do come up because of this approach. 

Check out our services -> Software Testing Services

One of the most obvious and challenging situations is that the iterative model places the testers in keeps evolving. Since the system is constantly changing, the software team, as well as the testers, need to adopt new methods and approaches to tackle this issue. 

New system code is being introduced all the time and testing has to be done at that precise instant when the iterative model provides a new chunk of software. In order for the next chunk to start its development or for the whole team to move forward, the current formulated chunk must be tested immediately. In this case, the testing team views the software as a moving target. They have to keep tabs on it and consistently switch their methods to adhere to the transforming and demanding situation. 

Risk is also a factor that plays a big role in iterative models. Since every time a new increment arrives, it overrides the previous one and adds more functionality and features to the previous one, that also provides a risk of regression to a big extent. 

Basically, when a new chunk of software arrives, the testing team has to check the whole software all over again to ensure that nothing is broken or defective. The process becomes lengthier and lengthier as the chunks start to increase in number. The more increments of the software, the more important it is for the testing team to regression test all of the features introduced so far. 

This consistent testing and checking requires a keen eye, patience and the ability to be able to go through something so many times but still treat it as a new model and analyze it as one too. As the tester is prone to seeing the same thing one very often, things might slip from their attention. That is not supposed to happen and the software testers have a certain amount of responsibility on them to perform this task with great care. 

Another great challenge that is imposed on iterative models like Agile is that the presence of a tester to perform agile testing is at times questioned. Although those are quite extreme situations, that only happens in very rare cases, it is still possible. The reason behind this is that Agile is not a model that is in favor of formal methods or heavy processes. 

The majority of agile teams recognize the importance of testers for them and thus testers are placed with a responsibility of suitably adjusting to their agile world properly. In regards to the tasks that are required from them, as well as the specifications of the specific agile world they are in. 

But, testers should not handle that much stress on top of their heads. Testing groups are mostly needed to prevent defects and detect them but the possibility of eliminating all possible and imminent defects is near impossible. 

And although most of the time organizations and stakeholders demand software and end products that are 100% free of defects, the company will not exactly be prepared to make such investments or reach that very high objective. Sometimes they won’t even go close to fulfilling that desire. 

Traditional Testers vs Agile Testers – What are the Differences?

As mentioned previously, traditional testing methods are quite different than agile testing as there are many features and requirements that go into becoming an agile tester. Let’s explore the differences here below:

Traditional Testing – What Does It Comprise Of?

1. Traditional testing is executed with a top-down approach paired with a model that is easily predictable and understandable. Moreover, the testing is performed through a step by step process. 

2. One of the most distinguishable features about traditional testing is that it always happens at the end of the software development process. After the software is fully created and ready to be used, then the traditional testing takes place. 

3. When the team works together and adopt the practice of traditional testing, they usually start testing different modules of the same software separately. 

4. The fundamentals of traditional testing are not easily bent or changed. They are set in stone and they have to be followed by the book. 

5. In traditional testing, if there are any changes or modifications needed to be done, they are always done when the next release of the software comes around. 

6. Over here, while unit testing is taking place it is performed with every module and is consequently followed by integration and system testing.

7. Not many tools are used during the testing process because when it comes to traditional testing the rule is manual testing. It is the main focus and tools are considered to be more of a rarity.

8. Risk management is not an approved practice, nor is it preferred in a traditional testing workplace. 

9. Feedback regarding the testing process is usually taken from the end users after all the testing process is complete.

10. No joint interaction or collaboration between team members since the testing procedure is performed in phases.

11. This testing procedure needs extensive reporting and documenting through its course. 

12. It is time consuming and requires a lot of effort and money.

13. Although product quality is confirmed in the end, it does take a relatively more time to prepare the end product.

Agile Testing – What Does It Comprise Of?

1. Agile testing follows a very comprehensive procedure that includes iteration and an adaptive model.

2. This testing type usually works with the agenda of “test first” and the defects that are detected later on are resolved during each sprint and then the end product is released.

3. The team working together on the product collaborate actively and communicate openly in a conjoined workspace. 

4. Rules are not that hard and fast in agile testing, as they can be changed and, according to the user and business requirements, adapted.

5. Unlike traditional testing, modifications are actually incorporated in the next sprint of the software testing cycle. 

6. Independent testing is a foreign concept because the agile testing team is actually integrated with Scrum team as well to ensure the highest accuracy in results. 

7. Tools are in common use all the time to keep up to date with technological development and provide faster results. 

8. Agile testing utilizes efficient and timely risk management which is highly effective.

9. Accurate feedback is provided whilst the agile testing is in motion which consequently ensures the best understanding for the testing process and consequently the quality of the end product is better.

10. Continuous updating and interaction is always going on between the team members.

11. Minimum to almost no reporting and documenting is required.

12. Agile testing is cheaper and more efficient than traditional testing as it does not require that much money and even less effort is spent throughout the whole process. 

13. Quick delivery is ensured with agile testing and the quality of the software produced in the end is guaranteed to be of the finest quality. 

Summary

Agile testing is a product of the fast advancing and progressing technological world where software development is required to be of top-notch quality. 

It is a more preferred mode of testing and checking as it incorporated key features and aspects that are otherwise not found in other forms of testing such as traditional testing. 

It is easier to a considerable extent than other testing methods as it relies on tools communication, automatic delivery of information and joint team work. Thus the load and stress on each tester is considerably smaller as when you compare it to traditional testing.

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Cost Of A Software Bug

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08 November 2019 Apphawks

Considering the cost of a software bug and the amount of effort that goes behind the whole process of testing in order to find bugs, many companies tend to avoid the whole process. But this only leads to the formation of a flawed product, which ultimately will not be serving the purpose.

A website is supposed to attract the targeted audiences in maximum number and bring the profit through them as well. It is supposed to function exactly how the company designed it to be, but without software testing, it will never be able to do all that. The presence of bugs in a system is inevitable, and knowing the cost of a software bug and performing tests thoroughly is a must as well.

Read More=>QA Software Testing Services

In this article, we will be discussing in detail the aspects of the cost of a software bug, and in general, why software testing is such an important step to consider for all the software companies out there. Next, focusing on the cost of software testing bugs, we will be discussing the direct cost of a software bug as well as the indirect cost of software bugs. 

We will be discussing the issues one will face if they ignore the process of testing and detecting the presence of bugs in the system, followed by what can be the cost of a software bug at different stages of development and testing.

Why Emphasize On Software Testing So Much?

Software testing is a detailed procedure in which flaws are basically searched for on the website or software. Multiple tests are written, keeping in mind certain situations and criteria which will help in making the app go through different environments, and checking will be done on how it performs under different areas. 

Accordingly, flaws or bugs will be detected in the system. If any are present, proper measures will be taken further to eliminate them.

Not emphasizing on what is the cost of a software bug, let’s see what not performing software testing can cost you:

  • A flawed system is comprising of disputes. The software or website will not work effectively under different situations and will not function properly on different devices as well.
  • Degraded user experience. Your targeted audience will find it difficult to navigate through your website and hence will not gravitate towards your website on a regular basis.
  • Loss in product sale. Since user experience is damaged in the first place, it is obvious that your products will also not get the deserving attention from your targeted audience and will not be sold either.
  • The cost for development and support increases as the bug creates complications in the system. The whole development process is delayed due to this, and also the requests from the customer support system keep building up. This in turn jams the entire system.
  • There will be a delay in the process of adding new features to the system because time will be required to fix the previously detected issues. That will ultimately delay the whole process in general.
  • Customer’s credibility is decreased to a huge extent which is one of the main reasons behind the degraded reputation of the company.
  • There will be a massive drop in the revenue since user experience is hampered. There will be a lot of unsubscriptions happening, people will not buy the products, and ultimately there will be a drop in the revenue production as well.
  • There will be bad reviews generated about the company and the products. Due to hampered user experience, the feedback that will be posted on the website will be not positive, obviously.

Cost Of A Software Bug Depending On The Different Stages

Now let’s see what is the cost of a software bug, depending on the different stages where it is detected.

Early Development

Finding the flaw at the stage of the early development of the website or software.

If this is done, then the cost of the software bug will be greatly reduced, going as far as next to zero. Because flaws are found at the initial stage; hence, the complication is not such a huge factor here, and the defect can be easily fixed almost immediately.

If the defect is not detected immediately, but by the developer or some other employee at a later stage.

In this case, the cost of a software bug will increase because the extra effort is put behind it, and it went out of the developer’s grip while it was during development. The moment when a tester enters the process of testing the cost of a software bug will be counted into it.

Detecting The Cause Of The Bug

This is the place that clearly controls the cost of a software bug, and it keeps elevating as the complication in the system also increases.

Fixing The Bug After The Software Or Website Is Launched

As more aspects are added to the system, the amount of complication keeps elevating. And as the complication increases in the system, finding the primary cause for the bug also increases. Hence a lot of effort goes behind first finding the bug (and how to reproduce it), then searching for the cause or the roots of the bug, and lastly fixing it is some other level of work. Due to all of this, the cost of a software bug is also increasing.

Read More=> Mobile Testing Services

Fixing the bug will obviously charge you a good fortune, but other than the cost of a software bug, if it remains undetected in the system, it will keep causing a loss in the sale and hamper your user experience as well. Hence, other than the cost of a software bug, you will be losing a lot of your profits as well.

So if estimated, the cost of a software bug is not something which is light on the pockets, unless it is detected in the initial stage of development. Otherwise, as the stages get complicated and features are added as well, the price keeps elevating.

Direct and Indirect Cost Of Software Bug

Other than the generic cost of a software bug, there are two types of main costs, namely direct and indirect costs.

Direct Costs

This includes the money that the management invests as a whole in the development of the project, including the salary of the employees and developers as well as the quality assurance work.

Indirect Costs

This can be considered an extra cost which you need to avoid as much as possible. If testing is conducted, bugs will obviously remain in the system, the complications it will cause due to its presence will be falling under the indirect costs. 

To fix all the problems caused by the bug, the amount of money you will spend will be considered as nothing but indirect costs. To avoid it, you need to conduct testing procedures for your project. If the bug is detected in the initial stage or the development stage, then you can easily save a lot of money and also create a project devoid of any minor or major problems in it.

Cost of Software Bug In Real Life

Now let’s dig deeper into knowing what the cost of a software bug can be in real life.

According to the Tricentis’ in-house Software Fail Watch report, the worldwide software failure cost reached somewhere near $1.1 trillion in 2016. This is estimated by taking into account the big companies whose systems failed due to the presence of bugs. There were around 363 such companies, and in turn, it affected around 4.4 billion customers as well.

A few years back, one such complication was seen in the system of Amazon, where their site went down for 20 minutes. This incident took place in 2016, and there was a loss of $3.75 million for this reason as well. This was the loss generated since the site was down, and customers couldn’t make a purchase; apart from that, there were also other costs associated with fixing the complication as well. 

The cost of a software bug is not just a one-time cost; it has multiple cons where you need to spend a good fortune. The cost of a software bug basically involves money to fix its causes or roots and also its effects.

Read More=> Automation Testing Services

In 1962, similar sort of complication was detected in the system of NASA as well. When NASA launched its Mariner 1 spacecraft to venture Venus, the system of the spacecraft gave issues due to the presence of bugs in it. After the spacecraft was launched, it veered off since the bugs started taking over the system. Ultimately, a NASA employee had to command it to self-destruction. All of this happened because a single hyphen was missing in the code, which eventually led to all the complications. The whole project was for $18 millions, and a small unidentified complication resulted in the entire expense of $18 millions to go to waste.

In the year 1990, a similar complication was seen in systems of AT&T when they updated their software for long-distance calling. But unfortunately, the system could not cope up with the speed change in the process and ultimately crashed. Due to this long-distance calls were stopped for almost 9 hours. Over 2000000 airline reservations were not found, and there were around 75 millions lost or missed phone calls generated. The whole chaos cost the company around $60 millions.

Estimating the cost of a software bug is not a doable job because it depends on the stages where it is found. Hence calculating what the cost of a software bug will be is a relative work. 

If the bug is found in the absolutely initiating phase, during the necessary requirement gathering time, the cost of a software bug can be somewhere around $100. 

If the bug or complication is found by the company owner before the testing procedure is initiated, then the cost of a software bug and fixing it will be $1500. 

If the bug is found after the entire production procedure is completed, then the cost of fixing it will be somewhere around $2000. These are all still fixable cases and might not be that harmful long term but if the bug remains undetected, then the cost of fixing it will not be a concern. 

Rather than what will be an issue is the cost or the drop in revenue generation and the massive loss the company will face without knowing what is going wrong in their work.

What Can Be Done In Terms Of Fixing These Bugs?

The most important thing you need to do in terms of getting this totally under control is to test your system. Conducting proper and thorough tests is very important. Also, make sure you initiate a stage where code is reviewed so that any mistakes, if present, are detected easily.

Conduction of both automated as well as manual testing is really important. The majority of people often tend to indulge in only manual testing and avoid automated testing due to its higher cost. But both processes form a quintessential part while estimating the cost of a software bug. Always keep in mind that poor testing methods can elevate your cost of a software bug; hence, there is no point in taking risks in this matter. When you plan to go for it, invest in getting both manual testings, as well as automated testing for your project.

The presence of bugs in the system is nothing uncommon; nobody is so flawless in their job that they can develop something absolutely devoid of any issues; hence, investing in getting your system tested properly is something that cannot be an option. It is an utmost necessity and requires our full attention as well.

In order to finish the entire process correctly, one should aim for 80% of their time into sorting and performing proactive activities, like incorporating features and enhancing the condition of the product. And 20% of the time should be invested in sorting the reactive work, such as finding bugs and fixing them. If this pattern is followed correctly, then the end results will be great as well.

In this time of technological advancement, nobody wants to settle for anything less. When the numbers of software business and startups are flourishing, people are getting multiple options to inculcate from. In this case, they will never consider settling for companies that offer less to them. 

Attracting the targeted audience becomes a huge task in present-day situations; hence, compromising with the quality of the website or application is something that is no longer an option. Conducting tests is also no longer an option; it has become a necessity as well. 

Knowing the cost of a software bug and starting the work accordingly in order to initiate and complete the work with accurate and satisfactory end results is they key to success.

In terms of getting help in software testing, you can always rely on us at Apphawks. Our techniques and approach to handle our clients and provide a solution to them for their cases make us unique. 

If you plan to know anything about the QA Services, contact us .

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Exploratory Testing For e-Commerce

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22 October 2019 Apphawks

Exploratory testing for e-Commerce has been an effective way to detect defects in the system instinctively.

Exploratory testing helps out in developing software which is devoid of any flaws and complications in its system. Not many QA Testers are keen towards utilizing exploratory testing. It is risky and requires a lot more effort as well.

In scripted testing, test cases are first constructed or scripted, and then they are strategically carried on. Exploratory testing for e-Commerce is conducted spontaneously. They are not preplanned and not scripted beforehand. 

In the article, we will focus on the aspects of exploratory testing for e-Commerce. Starting with the requirements in e-Commerce testing. We will focus on why it is really important to conduct testing for e-Commerce sites.  We will focus on how exploratory testing for e-Commerce can improve e-Commerce testing of projects, as well.

Read more=> E-commerce Testing Services

While conducting exploratory testing for e-Commerce, there are multiple areas which people tend to ignore. Yet these are the points which decide whether exploratory testing is going to bring any fruitful result or not. We will be covering that in the next part, providing brief information about the places where testers should pay attention and verify the presence of bugs.

Ultimately we will focus on the best practices of e-Commerce testing. We will next focus on the testing techniques or steps of e-Commerce testing, followed by certain practices. We make sure these practices are considered as proper and effective ways to bring out flawless end results after conducting exploratory testing for e-Commerce.

Why is e-Commerce testing so much emphasized currently?

Maintenance of security

Ecommerce sites are a lot more demanding now. Clients are incorporating a lot of their personal information in their accounts on these eCommerce sites. 

So it is inevitable they will demand security of top-notch level. Hacking and all the scams of getting bankrupt are some of the most common issues which arise with the lack of security in the eCommerce sites. 

This can be controlled and nullified if proper testing like exploratory testing for e-Commerce is carried on before launching the project.

Degraded performance

This is something nobody wants from their site. Already the amount of competition is increasing to some other level, and everyday some new eCommerce site is stepping into the industry. 

To maintain a steady position by providing top-notch quality satisfaction to the clients is really important. Proper e-commerce testing is really important in order to know how the site is functioning overall.

How can you improve eCommerce project by opting for structured exploratory testing?

Ecommerce websites are prone to develop multiple issues that are mostly hidden. A structured way of examining these issues will never bring out the hidden complications. 

Structured exploratory testing for e-Commerce is really important as it brings our despair conditions or uncommon situations, which generally testers never inculcate while conducting their tests in a sketched manner. 

The vulnerability of an eCommerce site is increased when exploratory tests or spontaneous testing is carried on.

A structured way of testing restricts the ideas of a tester because the tests are previously planned. Hence there are chances of missing out certain points. In the case of exploratory testing for e-Commerce will not happen because it is spontaneous, and whatever is coming in the mind of the tester will be executed. And, the situations will also vary and not be preplanned.

What are the required steps to be taken in terms of exploratory testing for e-Commerce?

In terms of testing e-commerce websites, proper knowledge in eCommerce testing is needed, and also testing techniques should be known thoroughly.

Testing techniques should consist of the following steps.

  •     Functionality as well as Exploratory testing.
  •     Regression testing.
  •     Usability testing.
  •     Security testing.
  •     Performance testing.
  •     Compatibility testing.
  •     Third party integration testing.
  •     A/B testing.
  •     Automation testing.

While covering structured exploratory testing for eCommerce, there are certain places that require special consideration. Specific areas that should be considered when planning forward to live testing. 

Structured exploratory testing for e-Commerce is also considered as live testing because it is spontaneously carried on without any previous planning.

What will happen when someone will try to log in?

What will the customers see when they log in, whether they will be seeing a hoarding containing certain news, or will they be directly connected with the home page? 

If the login details are wrong, will the customers get a verification option, or will they be redirected to the password changing option? 

This stuff is needed to be verified in exploratory testing for e-Commerce because it directly influences the user experience of a project and client satisfaction as well. If the homepage is taking too long to load or if there is no message popping after they have logged in, it is really important to be checked. Because these small aspects ultimately make a project seamless and provide ultimate client satisfaction as well.

Are your form fields users friendly and not time-consuming?

Before making your clients reach the final point, make sure the form fields are working efficiently. Make sure your system is asking for enough information not too much, not too less either. 

Do not incorporate unnecessary amounts of mandatory fields in the form. This will do nothing but kill the interest of your clients. That will ultimately make them lose their focus, and they might not make the final purchase as well. 

Make sure these aspects are functioning and not bothering the user experience at all. The information that requires to be filled in the forms before the checkout option comes requires to be hassle-free. 

Also, make sure all the payment options are functioning. Do not be biased in terms of payment options. Make sure a client paying through their credit cards gets equal advantages as the ones who are paying through online payment applications.

How is your app functioning on a mobile phone?

Versatility is really important when it is associated with an application. Not every person is going to browse it through their computers. 

There will be many people who will be comfortable surfing it through their smart phones. Hence it should be checked if the application is fully functioning on multiple media in order to become flexible enough to enhance user satisfaction and also not hamper the user experience.

Read more=> Mobile Testing Services

If an application refuses to function on the phone, it is cancelling a major number of potential clients of the company, and this is something which nobody wants to face.

What are the consequences after you leave the site and come back?

How much progress is made by the site itself after the client leaves it behind is really important to be verified? Whether the information typed in the forms is intact even if the page is left behind or if the information typed will be lost if the client leaves the page in between should be checked. 

Generally, clients are irritated if they are needed to fill the mandatory fields of an online form multiple times. Make sure your application retains the information which was filled in beforehand because no one has got the time to fill in the same spaces multiple times. 

This is necessary to be checked because before making a purchase if the applications ask for the same information every time, the clients will lose interest in checking out and purchasing the product ultimately. This is needed to be eliminated from the system in order to enhance your user experience of the software.

What could be incorporated into the system to make it better from a user’s perspective?

As a tester, you might never find any complication or bug in the system of your project. But that is not the case in every scenario; sometimes despite not finding any bugs and declaring that the testing to be absolutely positive, a project does not perform up to the mark in the market. This is because it did not stand up to the user’s expectations. Sometimes testers cannot predict what users are looking for unless they start evaluating the system’s functions through a user’s perspective only. 

While conducting exploratory testing for eCommerce, make sure you check the entire working features of the system through a user’s perspective. Also, figure out what should be eliminated and incorporated in order to make it a lot better than what it is currently. 

Read more=> QA Services

For this, you can go for conducting a random survey by asking your targeted clients what they look for in the application, what their requirements are, and how it will provide a one hundred per cent satisfaction to them. 

Keep in track of what your competitors are offering to their targeted audiences and try to go beyond them, try, and create something that stands out in the crowd. Then only it will be successful in all its aspects.

Check how the other elements are functioning.

It requires a sharp recognition power of a tester to know what is the small defects existing in the system of a project. There will be multiple minute defects in the function ability of a system. 

This requires to be identified while conducting exploratory testing for e-Commerce and should be eliminated accordingly, as well. Check the basics here; see if the software is properly interacting with the users properly, and check the test results and the algorithms as well. 

Go through all its aspects before declaring it, devoid of any complications and bugs.

What will happen after a targeted client completes their purchase?

This is really important because the majority of the companies tend to give up after the checkout or payment option is fulfilled by the clients. There should be a lot to keep in mind even after that. 

Whether they are receiving enough information about their product’s arrival or if they are getting way too many emails after purchasing. 

Check if they are receiving multiple unnecessary emails or notifications, see if they are getting notifications about newly launched products or things they can try out. These small things evaluate the user experience to a great extent. 

Read more=> What is Exploratory Testing?

Giving the clients a chance of re-ordering or cancelling their orders, also they should be able to write reviews and rate their purchases are some of the major yet basic things that should be checked. All in all, effort should be put to bring back the people who already made a purchase multiple times in the future.

Let’s see some exploratory testing for e-Commerce practices which are best for achieving top-notch end results for your eCommerce site.

Have a plan about your tests but do not script them or make sure you thoroughly follow them. Have a prototype in your mind, and remember the areas where you have to check. Entire pre-scripted testing will restrict your thoughts while conducting exploratory testing for e-Commerce.

Do not attempt to go for rigorous testing; this will exhaust your possibilities of testing. The aims of exploratory testing for e-Commerce are not too high hence taking way too many steps to test in spontaneous testing.

Inherit proper observation skills in order to make better decisions while conducting exploratory testing for e-Commerce. Make sure the tests are properly conducted while proper situations are evaluated. Since exploratory testing for e-Commerce requires spontaneous thinking, sharp observation skills are really important.

Opt For Exploratory Testing 

…and see your eCommerce project stand out in the crowd

Testing of eCommerce sites plays a quintessential role, and it is the same as how we check our final answer sheet before submitting it in an examination. We do this to see for the ultimate time whether there is any mistake in our performance. 

The same thing goes for e-Commerce site; testing helps in checking out for the ultimate time regarding the presence of any bugs in the system. 

At Apphawks, we provide top notch testing services through our efficient team of specialists. We provide 100% authentic information and guide every client through every venture of testing.

Already there are numerous eCommerce sites existing in the market. It becomes your ultimate requirement to stand out in the crowd and make your site the best or your application of top-notch quality. 

In order to gain the attention of your targeted clients and for this, conducting thorough exploratory testing for e-Commerce is really important. 

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Conduct Exploratory Testing For Ecommerce