The importance of software testing: As a tech product business, you want to keep rolling out new app updates for the users to find improved and better experience, with new features, solving their problems one after another. However, with constant rollouts, the chances of bugs getting injected also increase multifold in the process.
Thus, there is always a need for continuous testing to ensure the rolled out updates are bug-free. Many of the businesses fail to hire and deploy the right resources for testing continuously and regressively.
As a business, time is always an important factor in cost. Higher the time to go to market, higher are the costs associated. Therefore, with constant and frequent rollouts, such as constant, frequent and lower test-to-development cycle time is critical to the success of the app.
5 best practices that will enable your business to test early and test frequently and maintain higher product quality in every update roll-out are as follows:
1. Leverage the power of Test Automation
The usage of automated scripts (most popularly written over Selenium or Appium based frameworks) to run the most common test cases on different device platforms or browsers each time a new update is under Quality Assurance stage, pretty much assures the consistency of your application across various access channels.
Moreover, a repeated manual testing of all the test cases with each update is redundant and inefficient utilization of resources. Hence, test automation plays a key role for apps that get updated periodically.
The idea is to iteratively keep enhancing the automation suite by adding more edge case scenarios to it over time and make the rollouts more seamless and efficient without any compromise in quality. The automation can cover features testing, compatibility testing, and even performance or stress testing.
2. A dedicated testing team to continuously test new features
Many firms tend to avoid investing in a dedicated testing team and ask their developers to test. This could lead to inefficiency and cause significant quality issues in your product. If you are looking for a combined skill set then go for an SDET profile. But please don’t ask your developer to test. Testing is a completely different skill set and just like you cannot ask your Java developer to code in Python without training, you cannot ask her to test either.
Building a quality assurance team may be a good strategy but with it comes to the cost of hiring, grooming and managing a diverse set of testers to cover different testing types. Therefore, finding a testing partner who can support all your testing needs, on-demand, could be much more efficient than building an in-house team.
3. Involve Testers in the early stages of product development
Shift left is now a common industry standard, however, its implementation is still inefficient. Having testers (in-house or outsourced) actually involved in the early stages of product/feature conceptualization, prototyping and designing allow a better understanding of business flows and diverse test cases (including edge cases) required for testing, ensuring the final product to be higher in quality. This also promotes a test-driven culture in the organization which is surely more quality-oriented.
4. Maintain a close watch on usage analytics – device platforms, system configuration, and user demographics
With higher user penetration especially for consumer apps, the testing team needs to continuously assess the usage patterns and consider that while defining the testing conditions. If the testers understand the target market spread of various devices and browsers, the testing can be optimized towards such devices with every product development cycle.
Additionally, testers also need to continuously analyze the target market response on their product and help in improving its alignment.
Assessing usage pattern helps the business in minimizing opportunity costs when the devices/browsers with higher app usage get missed out for testing or a new feature with low likeability factor gets released to the market.
5. Follow a testing discipline
This may sound old-fashioned but nothing extraordinary comes overnight. Having a strong testing discipline at every stage of the product development cycle will always result in product quality higher than market standards. As more and more features get introduced over time, the testing cost and time would increase exponentially if the testing discipline is missing from early stage of product life cycle.
Strong testing discipline, allows for a more predictable quality and limited spend on quality over time and therefore, helps to precisely budget them in the project costs.
As an organization, you need to imbibe the culture of ‘Quality First’ at every level. Don’t treat testing as an overhead function, give your tester a seat at the table if you are looking to achieve long term success with your product.