23 September 2019

QA Best Practices: The Path to Perfection

 
qa best practices


Along with the advancement in technology, companies have started inheriting a lot of QA best practices in order to enhance the whole procedure and bring top-notch quality end results.

  1. Top QA Best Practices Everyone Should Follow
  2. Top Key Trends Influencing The Present QA
  3. Agile Testing Process As One Of QA Best Practices
  4. The Value Of Test Cases
  5. QA Best Practices During Sprint
  6. Automated Testing Best Practices
  7. The Takeaway

Even though quality assurance is heading towards perfection, yet, there is still a long way to go. 

Companies should by hook or crook inherit these QA best practices because they not only bring a huge difference in their work but also enhances their business conditions as well, it helps them evolve as a company and attracts a major number of clients as well.

Top QA Best Practices Everyone Should Follow

So let’s focus on the top QA best practices which can make the deal for all the quality assurance testing companies out there.

Involve a dedicated QA team

What makes quality assurance of the best quality is the team working behind it. A dedicated team comprising of diligent and efficient workers is what makes quality assurance of the best quality. 

The entire process of quality assurance involves multiples steps of different intensity and different genre. Specialists from different fields who are experienced and take the work seriously should be assigned for the work because casualties can lead to a lot of mistakes. 

Hence the responsible and dedicated team is undoubtedly one of the main pillars of QA best practices.

Define deliverables

Explaining the positive aspects of the work is really important before initiating the work. 

This not only motivates the team to work with better approaches but also gives them enough idea on how much intensity and dedication they need to put in order to make the work successful. 

Defining deliverables on a project falls under the QA best practices because this represents a better idea of the benefits and the products how it is going to benefit the public forum as well.

Writing good test cases

Test cases play a quintessential role in bringing out the top-notch quality end results. It influences the final outcome and also makes the whole process of quality assurance effortless and seamless as well. 

Writing good test cases enables the end tester to get a final idea about the software, whether it has got bugs or any other defaults which require to be cured. A lot more information is provided through the test cases. 

testcases

Test cases fall under a vital part of QA best practices because they directly or indirectly influence the whole process of quality assurance. Since it influences the end process majorly, no matter how much effort is being put in the previous steps if the end process is not done properly, it will make on the difference.

Combining test automation and manual testing

In the process of quality assurance testing combining automated testing and manual testing is an important part. This process enables the tester to understand which type of test is relevant for which specific stage of testing.

Manual testing is the stage which covers a wide range of factors including user experiences, usability testing, and a lot more. 

The specialists who are assigned for this sort of testing should know the utility and importance of incorporating different tools and methodologies in the process. 

They should also be aware of different user experiences in order to make the end results flawless in order to satisfy every sector of their targeted audiences.

Automated tests, on the other hand, take care of all the searching and verifications that require being done frequently. It saves time as well as makes the process equally accurate. Hence combining both manual testing and automated testing falls under QA best practices.

Making all the steps verified by automated testing will not make the entire process flawless because some steps require special care; hence, both the testing procedures are asked to be combined.

Continuous integration

Continuous integration helps in making the end results flawless. It involves retaining the main code, and the tester keeps incorporating smaller and smaller changes into the actual system of the software. 

The main code is not altered; instead, all the changes that require to be performed is done by continuously integrating the system.

Continuous integrating enables the tester to find out the flaws present in the system very effortlessly. This step is considered as a part of the QA best practices because it enhances the whole condition of quality assurance to a huge extent and makes a dynamic change in the end results as well.

Focus on user experience

While creating a software, assembling it into components the tester or the developer might think this is the best that they are creating. But when it comes to the understanding of the user’s perspective, many projects fail to bring the required attention from them. 

Hence understanding the user experience is really important. Understanding the standard of the product as well as its utility among the targeted audience is really important. This enables the developers and the testers to create something that is absolutely appropriate in bringing the perfect amount of recognition from the targeted audience forum.

Code review

Finding out flaws from the system and rectifying them on time is what makes a project flawless. Reviewing the code continuously is one of the most effective ways to find out problems and bugs in it.

The testers who are assigned for doing this work should be familiar with utilizing multiple types of tools and should be efficient enough to point out the bugs in order to bring out the best possible results in quality assurance. This is why code reviewing is a quintessential part of QA best practices.

Manual functional testing

Emphasizing on manual functional testing is very important in terms of evaluating the condition of quality assurance or software testing. This involves the tester to manually run all the test cases thoroughly in order to find out any bugs present in the system. 

This is one of the most primitive sorts of the testing method and takes quite a lot of time to find out the bugs. No involvement in automated testing should be done in manual testing. 

Being a conventional method of software testing, this is quite an important step hence added in the list of QA best practices.

Detailed non- functional testing

Non-functional testing is the arena of verification which deals with criteria like utility testing, performance, overall appearance, reliability, and a lot more. 

Generally, companies do not pay attention to non-functional testing and mostly spend hours behind the functional aspects of software. 

Non-functional testing, for instance, can be the concern of a company to see how many targeted audiences can simultaneously log into a website. Or like how long a page does takes to load etc. the aspects of non-functional testing directly or indirectly influences the user experience of a project as well. Hence it is included in the list of QA best practices.

Cross browsing and cross-device testing

Cross browsing and cross-device testing of a software is probably one of the most basic forms of testing that again; many companies do not pay enough attention towards. 

Cross browsing testing basically deals with software’s functionality when they are running on different browsers. This whole process deals with checking and verifying whether the software is able to run on the majority of the browsers.

cross browsing

On the other hand, cross browsing testing involves testing the functionality of the software on different devices. Software running on a computer can definitely face hindrances when the user plans to run it on their smartphones. 

This can hamper the whole user experience procedure; hence, it is always advisable to thoroughly run cross browsing and cross-device testing before the final launch. 

Since both of these aspects of testing influences user experience of software, it is undoubtedly one of the QA best practices.

Security environment for testing

For testing purposes maintaining a secured environment is really important. While carrying on the testing procedures, it often happens that a lot of data associated with the build-up of the software is hacked or exposed into the world, which was not supposed to be happening. 

In order to carry on an effective testing procedure maintaining a secured environment is really important. This is one of the most uncommon things which people do not pay attention into at all. 

Hence while inheriting all QA best practices, one should maintain an extremely secured environment while testing is really important.

Carry regression tests

Regression testing involves running all the test cases of the software after incorporating any new feature into the system. 

This is mainly done to check if the existing features or codes are properly running after adding the new features or not. 

Regression tests make sure the entire system is functioning properly and definitely plays an important role in bringing out the best end results; hence, they are also included under the QA best practices.

Carry Tests Throughout Agile testing process as one of QA best practices

Agile methodologies are an important part in terms of mobile app development where the product possesses a shorter developmental circle, and the expectations of the users are equally high. 

The agile testing process is basically inclusive to the entire designing and developing the process. 

It is nothing exclusive and is a collaborative work done by specialists of different level. Designers, developers, testers as well as users take part in this testing process in order to provide positive as well as negative feedback on the functionality of the software. 

agile

The help of clients here is mentionable because they pay a quintessential role in influencing the user experience of the software ultimately. They send their feedback on how the project is working; if it is working efficiently, providing the desired results, everything will be verified when the clients go through the software. 

The feedback is sent to the developers they make the necessary changes, and ultimately, the official launch is done.

Agile methodologies are not very commonly adopted by companies, but they effectively manage time and brings out the best possible test results; hence, they are included in the list of QA best practices.

Now let’s focus on how the trend of quality assurance or software testing is actually evolving as time is passing, and technology is evolving as well.

Top Key Trends Influencing The Present QA 

Among the brand new trends associated with quality assurance testing a dynamic change is seen in the behaviour or working agendas of the companies, user experience has become their prime strategy goal. 

Previously they used to work focusing on to the better working of the software according to their opinions. Now the user’s perspective is utilized as the indication of the proper functioning of a project.

Another notable change happening in the whole process of quality assurance is the involvement of artificial intelligence or AI in carrying out the processes or steps of software testing or quality assurance. 

Artificial intelligence’s involvement is nothing but the outcome of advancing technology; this aspect has definitely made the whole process of testing extremely effortless and not at all time-consuming. Also, better methodologies are being incorporated, which again made the processes of quality assurance more accurate.

Utilization of artificial intelligence is still a very new aspect in the process of quality assurance testing and has got a long way to go even though it falls under one of the QA best practices. 

Many people are trying to incorporate it in their working process, but around 55% of the companies are still not sure where exactly they need to incorporate the utility of artificial intelligence. Being a fully technologically driven aspect, artificial intelligence is undoubtedly a complicated aspect. 

A person who plans to inculcate artificial intelligence in their working procedure must possess knowledge on mathematical optimization, algorithmic information, as well as neuro-linguistic programming.

The utilization of artificial intelligence is even though not really being accepted by a greater number of companies, yet it is definitely elevating the number of job opportunities in the market.

Numerous new job profiles or roles have been introduced in the whole system of quality assurance work. Let’s see what the new job profiles that artificial intelligence is bringing into the market are.

 ● Artificial intelligence quality assurance specialist: like said before artificial intelligence being a fully technologically oriented aspect it requires someone knowledgeable to figure it out. An artificial intelligence quality assurance specialist makes sure that artificial intelligence is properly implemented in all the aspects of business in order to bring the most accurate end results.

●  Data scientists: data scientists are needed to understand the whole working procedures of artificial intelligence after implementing it into the business. The algorithms, coding, etc. requires a specialist who is knowledgeable about these aspects in order to make artificial intelligence run effortlessly and bring the desired end results as well.

●      Artificial intelligence test experts: other than the conventional test experts, artificial intelligence test experts are required for this case because there is a lot of technologically oriented work which requires understanding such as machine-generated algorithms and coding languages associated with programming and the entire procedure. 

All these programming language implications and coding are some of the parts of artificial intelligence which a person with bare minimum knowledge will never be able to figure out on their own. Hence the requirement of a specialist becomes inevitable.

Focusing on alternate quality assurance skills

As technological advancements are taking place, new skills are also getting incorporated into the whole process of quality assurance tests. 

For example, IoT (internet of things), Blockchain, artificial intelligence, etc. require a lot of new techniques and skills in order to carry on the whole process of quality assurance testing effortlessly. 

A conventional tester who has been indulged into testing procedures might not always be aware of the new skills associated with these new technologically advanced options. Hence learning these new skills will fall under the QA best practices.

A company who is specializing into quality assurance testing should inherit these skills of QA best practices in their working procedures in order to evolve into a better organization and thereby bring effective and accurate results for the projects they are working into.

Incorporating QA best practices and skills into the working system will be quite difficult hence here are some of the better ways how new quality assurance skills can be incorporated into the working system in order to make quality assurance accurate and seamless.

  1. Bring agile test specialists or simply educate the current existing staff on utilizing it efficiently.
  2. Incorporate software developers in the test into the working team.
  3. Make sure that the testers who are working possess knowledge about security, non-functional testing, coding, data management, and a lot more.
  4. Collaborate between quality assurance experts with artificial intelligence experts.

Making quality assurance strategies by centralizing the preferences of targeted audiences also falls under QA best practices.

Client preferences and client satisfaction has become one of the major concerns of quality assurance lately and are considered as one of the QA best practices. 

Developers and testers previously functioned and created software and carried on their quality assurance tests according to their preferences. They basically did what favoured their preferences. 

But in current day scenarios, this mentality is changing; testers are centralizing the preferences and requirements of the targeted clients and thereby testing and modifying projects. This change in preference in quality assurance testing is not only benefiting the targeted audiences but also helping the companies to evolve into better ones. 

This practice is helping in bringing in a greater amount of recognition from the targeted audience and influencing the rates of profit as well.

Agile Testing Process As One Of QA Best Practices

Agile methodologies have been one of the newly utilized testing procedures which are effectively making a change in the whole process of quality assurance testing procedures. The main motive behind the entire agile testing method is to provide quality work which is done utilizing multiple sustainable features.

To utilize agile methodologies and procure the maximum out of it, first and foremost efficient developers are required to initiate the entire work seamlessly. Efficient developers are required because they possess the knowledge of solving issues associated with coding. 

They are more habituated in writing their test cases and also possess enough knowledge to sort them out when they fail and last but not the least efficient developers who are familiar with feature requirements and the processes of implications of tests also they always write better codes.

This does not mean we will only require developers in the entire process. Quality assurance testers are also needed because they bring an essential perspective in the development of the feature, and also efficient quality assurance engineers know exactly where the bugs hide and how to find them without altering the entire configuration of the system. They also can help out the developers to find the bugs out while testing.

SDLC

Human involvement in exploratory testing also is one of the newly utilized QA best practices in agile testing. Here there is a collaborative approach between the testers and the developers to catch the bugs in the system while creating software in order to deliver absolutely seamless results. 

Exploratory testing is a more in-depth way of testing, which involves better verification of faults, understanding the requirements of clients, and evaluating the risk factors as well.

Having a proper idea about all these factors even before the original testing procedure is initiated it gives a proper idea to the quality assurance engineer to find out complications existing in the system rapidly and in an effortless way as well. 

This whole process of inculcating with exploratory testing is a lot more effective than manual testing and is definitely one of the QA best practices. Exploratory testing makes sure the entire process is carried in ultimate security. Hence the process is not only accurate; it is safe as well.

The Value of Test Cases

Writing test cases forms a valuable part of software testing. It not only helps the work of developers but also influences the work of testers to a huge extent. 

For a program, the test case plays the role of a backbone if no legal document is provided on a program the test case written for the program plays an important role and provides all the background information about it. 

The test cases possess information about the tests that are carried on for the program; it basically includes the steps of the tests and the desired outcomes of the tests which were run for the program.

Testing a program with random input is an absurd activity because that will never bring out the bugs and will never target the accurate areas on the other hand if the input is planned and evaluated it can bring out the desired results and catch the bugs existing in the system properly as well.

Also, through the test cases, the client’s expectations and requirements can be easily known.

Now let’s see what the factors which should be evaluated while writing a test case are.

Positive aspect: the test case which is being written should contain the positive as well as the negative test case. Testing the field with the positive value enables to bring out the desired results.

Negative: a negative test will give us an idea of how the program will function when invalid input is inserted into the system. This is really important because it makes the tester aware of the system in a comprehensive manner.

Usability: this is nothing but evaluating the utility of the application and how it will satisfy the users while performing an accurate amount of work.

Performance: this involves the working capabilities of a test in order to make the application’s function flawless.

Security: the test cases should also cover up the cases of security so that it depicts an overall condition of the functioning of the application.

Reliability: this means the consistent working capability of the application, which is evaluated by continuously carrying on the same test.

 The basic format for writing test cases are:

Verify
Using [tool name, tag name, dialogue, etc.]
With [conditions]
To [what is returned, shown, demonstrated]

Unique properties of test cases

 ● Test cases require regular revisions and frequent updates as well. Technology is advancing every day, and the requirements are also changing in terms of application. Hence when the requirements change, the test cases are also needed to be altered periodically. Also, during regression testing, multiple fixes will require changes to be done in the test cases.

  Test cases are very susceptible to getting distributed among testers. The entire testing process will never be completed by a single tester; it always requires quite a number of testers to go through all the steps and ultimately complete it. It often happens that multiple testers carry out one single step as well.

   Test cases are very prone to get clustered together and forming batches as well. Test cases which are concerned with a particular scenario are very prone to function in a series or in a particular manner only.

   Test cases are very inter-dependent. Since test cases often tend to function in a particular chain or series, they become associated with each other. Hence if one portion is not functioning accurately, the other portion will not function as well.

   Test cases play a quintessential ole for developers as well. When there is a bug in the system, developers are asked to fix it. They initiate the whole process by evaluating the test cases only.

Some tips on writing good quality test cases:

    Make test cases as precise as possible. Also, maintain its simplicity to some extent.

  After writing the tests, review them once through the intuition of a tester.

 ● Do not disclose the entire range of test data to the testers because they might utilize the same test data over and over again, and this can lead into ignoring the bugs that are existing in the system.

 ● Keep in mind the end user’s perspective and accordingly write your test cases.

    Incorporate your suggestions in the whole process. Be a potential contributor in terms of ideas.

QA Best Practices During Sprint

Definition of done is nothing but some important deliverables which plays an important role in the creation of software successfully.

Deliverables which includes important descriptive information about the product also falls under the definition of done. Writing code, coding comments, unit testing, integration testing, release notes, design documents, etc. all fall under this sector.

Automated Testing Best Practices

When it comes to automated testing, the testers get endless options to choose from in terms of approaches, techniques, frameworks, tools, and endless ways of writing codes as well. But since so much of options are provided in testing, it becomes quite a complicated procedure instead of getting simplified solutions.

Hence in order to make automated testing easier and simplified one requires to indulge in the QA best practices in order to achieve ultimate perfection and flawless end results as well.

Let’s see what these QA best practices in terms of automated testing procedures are:

● Name the test cases properly. This will make the readability better for the test. In doing so, you can make it whatever followed by the word “test.”

● Maintain a test folder. Include the test cases into the folder in order to make the whole process seamless and finding them out when needed will be much easier if they are saved in particular test folders.

● When it comes to a test data builder, the information associated with it should be maintained separately while managing the test cases. This is basically done because in future if any information is needed, it can be found easily.

● The setup information should be properly incorporated in the test cases such as which browser should be used, what URL is required if maximization of browsers are required or not is recorded in order to make the whole process of automated testing flawless.

● Knowing where to use assertion and verify also falls under one of the QA best practices. Assert is basically the solution or a back up when the test fails and does not perform any further action. On the other hand, verify is what executes the commands and keep the tests go on and on even if there is a result which failed.

● Utilize wait instead of Thread. Sleep because this will unnecessarily increase your urn time and make the whole process of programming extremely slow but using Wait or FluentWait will give you a better outcome without slowing down your process.

● Take screenshots of the HTML sources and the logs while working. This will help you out in rectifying a specific issue if anything goes wrong in the system.

● You can also go for making your own set of methods which will help in simplifying the entire process for your testing as well.

Go for the mapping user interface. This is one of the QA best practices because it helps in maintaining automated tests as well as guides while performing them as well. This enables you to store the entire set of information in a single file; hence if any complications arise, all you need to do it update a single file, and the entire work is done.

The Takeaway

Technology is evolving every day. Every single day we are facing some modification in our daily life activities due to the incorporation of technological aspects in it. The same thing is applicable for quality assurance and software testing as well. 

This being absolutely associated with technical aspects faces a humongous amount of modifications; hence, the practices of quality assurance require a change as well. This is because to stand up to the requirements in testing and to create flawless results, and we have to incorporate all the QA best practices in our testing work.

Quality assurance plays a quintessential role in achieving perfection in a product hence learning the QA best practices is an utmost necessity neglecting, which can cause a huge amount of downfall.

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