A Detailed Guide on Methods of Testing Projects (With Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published April 25, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Testing new applications or software is often an essential part of the software development process. Testing applications or projects before launching them can help lower operational costs, improve productivity rates, protect against vulnerabilities, and solve other issues. Understanding the various techniques and methods for testing projects or applications can help you perform efficient tests to ensure the software is ideal before releasing it. In this article, we explore the importance of testing projects, explain methods for conducting tests, and provide tips to guide you.
Importance of testing projects
Some of the benefits of testing projects include:
Discover issues or bugs before the launch: Conducting tests can help you identify and fix any bugs or troubleshoot issues before you release the product to the public. Software testing is often essential in ensuring you provide high-quality products that function without any glitches.
Reduces operational costs: Generally, it may be more expensive for you to fix a program or application after you release it. As a result, finding and fixing bugs in the development stage may help you save operational and development costs.
Offers more security to your program: By testing your software projects, you can improve their security and protect it against malware, hackers, and other security risks. It may also ensure that the users' confidential information remains protected and secure upon launch or release.
Increases customer satisfaction: With software testing, you can ensure your customers have the best experience when using your program. Improved satisfaction often helps build customer loyalty, increases customer engagement, and helps attract new customers.
Increase productivity: Teams that prioritize conducting tests on their projects may spend less time fixing complex issues close to the release date. This can create more time to focus on other issues that help increase their output.
Methods for conducting tests on projects
Developers often use different methods to ensure that their projects run smoothly. Some of the methods to test, review, and evaluate your projects include:
Test throughout the development process
This process, also known as the shift-left approach, encourages you to conduct tests continuously throughout the development process instead of testing only towards the end of the project's lifecycle. Conducting tests throughout the development stages can help you identify and fix issues as they develop. It may also help you address potential issues before they arise.
It's advisable to be proactive with your testing and prevent problems instead of reacting to them. To do this, you can create a testing strategy at the early stages of your development process to help you divide all your project tests into as many smaller tests as possible, such as functionality and security. You can then incorporate the results of these smaller tests at the later stages of the development process.
Create testable software requirements
It may be helpful to focus on creating testable requirements when designing your software requirements. Testable requirements imply setting measurable metrics or values related to the software's performance and quality. You can also consider writing these requirements objectively and clearly to ensure other team members understand them properly. Here are some methods for writing software requirements:
Test-driven development (TDD): In this method, you can record the requirements as unit tests that evaluate a particular section of the program or application.
User stories: This method focuses on goals and specifications related to customers.
Behaviour-driven development (BDD): The BDD technique emphasizes providing examples and often uses plain-text coding language to carry out commands.
Acceptance test-driven development: This method combines user stories and acceptance criteria, which can create pre-defined requirements for how the program eventually performs.
Create a testing environment
It's essential to create a secure infrastructure for testing your projects. For example, you can consider using cloud-based environments that make it easy to access, share, store, and modify your current projects. You may also decide to use secure on-site infrastructures. Irrespective of the platform you select, it's essential to implement security measures to protect your software from any security threats.
Implement both automatic and manual testing
You may consider using both manual and automatic testing during the development process. An automatic test can help you save time and energy by evaluating and checking for routine problems. While automatic testing can be optional, it's essential to use manual testing for assessing your plan or strategy. For example, you can focus your manual tests on analyzing and reviewing aspects of the program related to user experience, such as navigation and UI/UX design. You may also consider using ad-hoc or exploratory testing frameworks to encourage human creativity.
Strive for maximum test coverage
Test coverage refers to the scope of your software and its specific elements. It's important to create a strategy that covers as much test coverage of the program as it can. Although it may be impossible to achieve total test coverage, it's advisable to aim for a very close percentage to total coverage.
To attain full test coverage, you can create test cases for the software requirements and unforeseen circumstances that you may encounter during the process. You may also include regression tests at different stages in the testing process, which can ensure that other parts of the program remain functional despite the fixes made by the test cases.
Evaluate the quality of your code
You can evaluate the quality of your project by evaluating these four criteria:
Security: The security measures in the software can ensure that the user's information remains safe. You can measure the program's security by monitoring the number of vulnerabilities found during testing and the time for resolving each of them.
Maintainability: Maintainability means how easily you or your team can adjust the program for revised or additional requirements.
Reliability: Reliability assesses how often and how well your program performs seamlessly. You can evaluate this by monitoring the number of program shutdowns or issues the software encounters in a particular period.
Performance efficiency: This criterion refers to the software's operational and loading speeds. You can assess performance efficiency by conducting stress and load tests.
Ask programmers to write different tests
Team members can create testing procedures and requirements for codes written by other programmers. Doing this can ensure the testing processes and criteria are thorough and objective. It's good practice for a software team to create or decide on tests before the coding.
Create an efficient system for reporting bugs
Creating an efficient system for reporting bugs may help you understand the exact issue and quickly develop solutions. An effective bug reporting approach may include:
Summary of the bug: These summaries contain a precise overview of the problem. This summary can ensure that the programmers quickly find specific bugs when going through development records.
Reproduction of the issue: Try to recreate the bug before making a report. If you succeed, you can include a list of numbered steps on how you recreated the issue in your report.
Attach screenshots: It's important to include screenshots in your report. Screenshots often make it easier for engineers to reproduce the bug and provide solutions.
Suggestions for fixes: You can include any ideas you have about fixing the bug in your report. If you don't have solutions, consider including a detailed description of what the solution can achieve.
Conduct user acceptance testing
You can perform user acceptance testing (UAT) to see how the program may run for the users after you launch it. Conducting the UAT by embodying a user persona that the software QA team created is usually preferable. You can also consider creating a focus group of actual users to test the program.
Incorporate tests into CI/CD pipeline
The continuous integration or continuous development pipeline is the procedure and steps that aim to optimize the software delivery process. For example, some CI/CD pipelines run different tests by coders executing a simple command. These pipelines may make it easier for a team to automate and perform tests in the early stages of development.
Perform fault injections
Before deployment, you can use fault injections to measure the potential vulnerabilities in the program. These injections are testing tools or methods that deliberately introduce errors into the software to analyze the ability to adapt, respond, or perform irrespective of the error. A common example of fault injection is robustness testing, which can help you evaluate command line parameters, APIs, and other communication interfaces.
Tips for testing software projects
Here are some tips to consider when conducting tests during software development:
Maintain a dedicated software testing team
A specialized testing team can familiarize themselves with the testing protocols, external security standards, and secure testing environment. Having a dedicated team can help improve the business's productivity. As the project lead, an onboarding session can help ensure the team understands their specific roles.
It's essential to create an environment that supports communication among team members. Effective communication can help every team member understand what's going on during the development and testing process. In addition, if a team member is struggling with his duties, you can encourage them to approach other team members to address the situation and provide a solution proactively.
Customize your testing
It's advisable to customize the testing processes depending on the type of software you're developing. Although a standard procedure may help improve your productivity, it's good practice to consider the unique characteristics of each program. For example, if you want to design an application for smartphones and computers, ensure you test it on both devices.
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