Using a Combination of Scripted, Automated and Exploratory Testing for Optimum QA Coverage

Most test teams today are struggling to find better ways to handle their testing. With the advent of Agile in our software development processes, teams are perennially under pressure to provide faster releases without lowering their standards of quality. This, in turn, adds load on the in-house test teams to ensure finding more and crucial issues and to prevent defect leakage. For this reason, testers look at strategies and practices that can help them achieve their goals and add more value to the product’s quality.

In my opinion as a hands-on agile tester, there is no single silver bullet to quality, but a combination of different types and approaches to testing that can help us get closer to our quality goals. Test teams need to strategize and plan the usage of a combination of scripted tests, automated tests as well as exploratory tests for achieving an optimum coverage and best quality software.

Here is my latest article for PractiTest QA Learning Centre where I discuss the need to have a combination of scripted, automated as well as exploratory tests for an optimum QA coverage–

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/exploratory-testing-optimum-qa-coverage/ 

Scripted Tests

When we look at the typical test approach, it begins with test scripting and designing tests as per software functionality. These are created using requirement analysis and test design techniques and also using common sense and skills by our skilled testers. These scripted tests form the starting point of testing a new feature, change or addition in the software.

Automated Testing

In addition to running the scripted tests manually, testers also rely on automated tests. These tests are scripted using various test automation tools and test automation, i.e. ability to write these automated test scripts is, thus, a much-wanted skill nowadays for all test professionals. The ability to run some tests using automated scripts helps repeatability and saves a lot of time and effort on part of the test teams. But most importantly, by automating the drudgery away, it saves the tester from repeated manual laborious tests and frees up their time for more creative thinking and exploration around the application.

Exploratory Testing

Exploration of software is basically looking at the feature/functionality/change and overall behavior from a learning as well as a critical standpoint. Exploratory Testing is a crucial aspect of software testing, which almost every tester performs knowingly or subconsciously.

Cem Kaner coined the term Exploratory Testing in his book “Testing Computer Software” and described it as:

“Simultaneous test design, test execution and learning with an emphasis on learning”

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/exploratory-testing-optimum-qa-coverage/ 

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Is ‘testing’ holding you back? Stop being a bottleneck for software quality assurance

Why ‘testing’ might be holding back the quality of your software

Testing or Software QA, has traditionally been the last piece of the software delivery puzzle. Testing and finding bugs at the end of a release cycle was the norm.  However, fixing those defects, changing designs and redeveloping the features lead to more work done twice, more time spent on retesting and loads of regression. So, this approach meant testing held you back from your final goal of software quality assurance.

Being the last phase of the development process and mostly being stretched for time and resources, testing has been seen as a hold up for final delivery to market.

With the advent of Agile and DevOps the thought process has changed and the focus now continues to be more on software quality assurance throughout the development lifecycle. Testers today need to focus more on assuring quality than finding bugs.If testing prevents you from delivering on time and you become a bottleneck at the end of a release, you need to focus your efforts on other quality assurance activities, which may or may not be a 100% testing but are surely related to overall quality of your software.

In my article for PractiTest QA Learning Centre, I talk about how to overcome this. https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/software-quality-assurance-bottleneck/

Training Developers how to test their code better

Reviews as checkpoints

Customer Focus Groups

Change in team’s Mindset

Tool Support

To read the complete article – Click here –>

Summary

If you feel testing is holding you back from right time deliveries and turning your team into a bottleneck at the end of the release, you need to focus your efforts more on quality assurance activities that are related to the overall quality of your software – and less on the actual execution of your tests. Hope the tips shared here will help out you and your team achieve the quality levels we dream of!

Thanks for reading!
Nishi

The crucial guide to Software Testing for Project Managers

Being a Project manager you often need to take on new challenges and create guidelines for projects in a field you are not always familiar with.

You might have some experience working with a team of software developers, which gives you insight into the relevant testing disciplines. Or you may have directly come in as a project manager and need to begin understanding the process from scratch. Whatever the case may be, we are sure you already have enough on your plate. That is why I have gathered a few basic guidelines – both technical and methodological – to help you succeed in your new assignment as a test project leader!

My guest post for PractiTest is now up on the QA Learning Centre-

Dedicated to all PMs – here I discuss the Software Testing 101 making this a guide to all PMs to all things crucial in test process management. Read More..

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/software-testing-guide-project-managers/

state of mind

Do give it a read and share your thoughts!
-Nishi

 

Key QA and testing takeaways from the Agile manifesto

My first article for Global App Testing blog is now published at

https://www.globalapptesting.com/blog/key-qa-and-testing-takeaways-from-the-agile-manifesto

             >>>Agile testing leaves very little time for documentation. It relies on quick and innovative test case design rather than elaborate test case documents with detailed steps or results. This mirrors the values of Exploratory Testing. When executed right, it needs only lightweight planning with the focus on fluidity without comprehensive documentation or test cases. 

From a QA viewpoint, we can learn from the Agile Manifesto key goals; communication, efficiency, collaboration and flexibility. If you improve your QA team in these areas, it will have a positive effect on your QA strategy and company growth.

>>>The Manifesto for Agile Software Development forms the golden rules for all Agile teams today. It gives us four basic values, which assure Agilists a clearer mindset and success in their Agile testing.

Although these values are mostly associated with Agile development, they equally apply to all phases, roles and people within the Agile framework, including Agile testing. As we know, Agile testers’ lives are different, challenging and quite busy. They have a lot to achieve and contribute within the short Agile sprints or iterations, and are frequently faced with dilemmas about what to do and how to prioritise, add value and contribute more to the team.

The frequent nature of development in Agile teams means the testing methods used need to respond to change quickly and easily. In that way, Agile testing shares some important characteristics with exploratory testing.

In this article I examine the four values of the Agile manifesto to find the answers to an Agile tester’s dilemmas and improve their testing efforts. Read More

Please give it a read and share your thoughts!

Happy Testing!

Nishi

 

Is Excel holding back your testing?

My guest post @PractiTest QA Learning center

As testers, we all worked with Excel at some point in our career. If you are using
excel now this article is for you 🙂 Excel is used as test management, documentation
and reporting tool by many test teams. At early stages, most teams rely on excel
spreadsheets for planning and documenting tests, as well as reporting test
results. As teams grow, sharing information using excel sheets becomes problematic.
What used to be easy and intuitive, becomes very challenging. Encountering
difficult work scenarios like the below, becomes a day-to-day reality:

  • The simple task of figuring out which excel has the test cases you need to run, takes longer and longer.
  • Gathering the status of the testing tasks and your project can only be done by going to each desk one by one and asking them.
  • A tester mistakenly spent 6 hours running wrong tests in the wrong environment because of an incorrect excel sheet which was not the updated copy.
  • Tester’s routinely lose their work or test results because of saving/ overwriting or losing their excel sheets.
  • Most test activities are not being documented or accounted for because writing tests is considered a luxury.

excel--img

If one or more of these scenarios sound familiar to you, you are being held back in
your testing efforts by excel!

In my latest guest post for PractiTest, I have written about how excel can be a roadblock instead of a useful tool for your testing. To read the complete article, click here—->

In here I talk about issues related with use of excel in relation to

  • Visibility within the test team
  • Configuration Management of test items
  • Test Planning and Execution
  • Test Status and Reporting

Please give it a read and share your thoughts!

Cheers!

Nishi

 

The Value of Risk-Based Testing from an Agile ViewPoint

When I first heard about risk-based testing, I interpreted it as an approach that could help devise a targeted test strategy. Back then I was working with a product-based research and development team. We were following Scrum and were perpetually working with tight deadlines. These short sprints had lots to test and deliver, in addition to the cross-environment and non-functional testing aspects.

Learning about risk-based testing gave me a new approach to our testing challenges. I believed that analyzing the product as well as each sprint for the impending risk areas and then following them through during test design and development, execution and reporting would help us in time crunches.

But before I could think about adopting this new found approach into our test planning, I had a challenge at hand: to convince my team.

In my recent article published at Gurock’s blog site , I have written about my experience on exploring risk based testing and convincing my agile team about its importance and relevance using their own sprints’ case study.

Using the analysis of a sprint’s user stories, calculating Risk Priority Number (RPN) and the Extent of Testing defined, I was able to showcase in my own team’s case study, ways our testing could benefit and better itself by following risk based approach in a simplified manner.

Risk Priority Number

To read the complete article, Click Here–> 

In the article I talk about–

  • Tackling the Agile Challenges
  • Benchmarking Risks and a Focused Approach
  • Improving Test Process and Results

Do share your thoughts on Risk Based Testing!

Cheers

Nishi

 

 

 

A simplified Agile Test Strategy for Cross Environment Testing

Cross environment testing is viewed as a tedious and repetitive task and is generally a challenge to accommodate within an agile life cycle. In my recent guest post for Gurock, I showcased my own experience in an agile release wherein we created a strategy for coverage of a number of test environments to support.

Using simple steps, discussions, base-lining and agreement within the scrum team, we created a scalable interoperability test strategy which was later supplemented with automation and other tools. In this article I have talked about-

  • Testing across OS versions
  • Supporting System versions
  • Localization- multiple language support
  • Planning and Test Strategy creation
  • Additional Ownership by testers

To read more, click here.

Give it a read and share your thoughts-

https://blog.gurock.com/agile-cross-environment-testing/

Print

Thanks

Nishi

Five Tips to manage your Outsourced testing

Want to Outsource your testing? Here are my “5 tips to manage your outsourced testing”

I have begun collaborating with PractiTest and with the help of Rachel, my article has now been published @PractiTest Learning Center.

In this article I have discussed about the practical risks for teams that outsource their testing efforts. I have brought forward 5 key tips and tricks to manage their outsourced software testing along with team and people issues as follows:

  • Treat Them like your Team
  • Invest in training the Outsourced Team
  • Meet often, and also in person
  • Centralised System for Test Management
  • Account for Cultural Differences

Please give it a read and share your thoughts!

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/manage-your-outsourced-testing/

Thanks

Nishi

The huge success of Selenium Summit 2018 – a peek into my day at the grand event

Thanks to the fantastic organisation and management of our team and the amazing enthusiasm of the attending delegates, Selenium Summit 2018 organised by ATA at Pune on 22nd March 2018 was a huge success! All keynote talks were greatly appreciated and the hands-on workshops also were received well.

My workshop on “Selenium and Cucumber integration for an extended BDD Framework” received overwhelming response from the audience with more than a full house! 🙂

Here is a glimpse into the event and a sneak peek into the workshop too-

 

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Agenda

Thanks everyone who made this event a grand success!

-Nishi

 

 

Training on Selenium – CP-SAT Certification Batches @Bangalore

CP-SAT stands for “Certified Practitioner – Selenium Automation Testing” is a certification prepared and honoured by “Agile Testing Alliance” & “University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)”, which is the Selenium training course I have been conducting in Bangalore. We conducted a public batch over the last weekend as well as a corporate batch this month where participants got to build, enhance and maintain the scripts in Eclipse IDE and Selenium 3.x WebDriver.

Training Approach:   This course is designed to train agile professionals with the basics of testing web applications using Selenium leading to advanced topics. I approached the training as a combination of theory as well as hands-on execution of scripts using the features of Selenium with ample time given to practice and kept the focus on the practical application of Selenium to resolve common web automated testing challenges.

Agenda: This course focuses on latest Selenium 3.x, its advantages,  WebDriver 3.x configuration and execution related concepts using JUnit and TestNG frameworks, Selenium Reporting mechanism, Data Driven Testing, getting started with Selenium Grid concepts, handling various types of web elements, iframes, dynamic lists etc. To know more about course syllabus – please click here

Course Schedule: The course consists of 3 full days of training, hands on assignments and practical, continuing on later with 5 days of 2-hour web sessions live with the trainer for more learning and queries and clarifications. Thereafter the candidates are given a mock exam to attempt which gives an idea about the real certification exam. The final exam consists of 2 sections – Theory which is Online Objective type Quiz and Practical which a 2 hour exam with given case studies implementation and submission.

We have received tremendous response from the CP-SAT training batches and many more interested candidates for upcoming scheduled training sessions at Bangalore.

Here is a sneak peek into the training room and also some wonderful feedback shared by our candidates-

Public CP-SAT Batch @Bangalore

Corporate CP-SAT Batch @Bangalore

If interested please check the upcoming batches calendar at – http://ataevents.agiletestingalliance.org/

Happy Learning!
Nishi