The Role of Software Testing


This is my first post in the Bug Life Cycle Series. I need to talk about this because when it comes to the role of testing, it’s not clear. The Role of Software Testing is often mis-understood across the different stake holders of the application development & this list includes testers too.

Testing is considered to be part of Quality Assurance activity since the initial days of Software Development and the same trend is happening as of now too. Even most of the titles like QA Engineer / QA Lead are associated with Testers even though they are not performing the role of QA.

It’s good to capture the mission of Testing & align your test teams in that direction. Every one in the team must be clear on his / her role and see how the same is helping to achieve the mission of the team.

 

┬áIt’s good to note that

  • Testing is not about assuring quality into the systems because theTester is not a Quality Police.
  • Testing is not about targeting for Bug Free Product. It’s just impossible since you can’t build human brain into systems (Of course humans do commit mistakes).
  • Testing is not about fighting with the Development Teams. Don’t act like the enemy of developers.
  • Testing is not about just looking at the documents (so called BRS, SRS, FRS) and writing the test cases.
  • Don’t fight with Developers on the issues need to be fixed for the release instead write good report that reduce the time to reproduce and debug.

 

Testing is a process followed to make things better. It helps to take informed decision by providing the relevant information based on the context.

My teachers made me better by giving the relevant feedback at every stage on my performance. This includes nurturing the concepts, performance in the tests & week areas in the subject. This information helped me to identify the areas missed / uncovered and to improve upon.

Testers need to identify the critical issues with the system as soon as possible and make sure that the information supplied is sufficient to reproduce the issue. We need to supply the information on the presence of bugs in the system to the stake holders. The information should help the stake holders to take informed decisions.

The following list helps

  • Identify the different end users of the system and their interaction with the same.
  • Capture the important scenarios for each end user. It’s good to note that we need to capture the story around the scenario and not just steps.
  • Talk to different stake holders including the customers (incase if you have access) on how the feature might be used & capture the scenarios.
  • Plan towards uncovering the critical issues of the system as early as possible

Final Thoughts

Focus towards what is import for the decision making. Try to uncover important issues first and provide the required information to reproduce and debug the same problem.

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13 Comments on “The Role of Software Testing”

  1. vijay Says:

    Hi Venkat,
    A good analysis of testing work.
    Your approach towards testing is right, that no human or automated system can find 100% bugs from any product or application. This is theoretically accepted and correct, but what if anyone misses 1% of the bugs and client caught the same. Then who should be blamed? Only tester? , What should be the corrective approach? And what tester can do in this situation?


  2. Vijay,
    Bugs caught by the customer. That’s the reality of life and we must accept the same.
    Instead of pointing fingers at some one, the stake holders must analyze the root cause of the problems and capture all the associated factors. Pass this feedback to all the teams associated in the application developement and improve the process so that you won’t miss them again.
    There are lot of lessons that need to learned here & improve the way your test applications. Also check this http://venkatreddyc.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/bugs-and-the-lessons-to-be-learned/

  3. makrand Says:

    Hi venkat,

    really a great and knowledgeful article ……i am a fresher and wanna make my career in testing field…..right now pursuing a course in software testing…..so wud love to get responses from you ,regarding testing scenario……

    thanx

  4. Karthikeyan P Says:

    Hi Venkat ,

    I am a software Developer.I now want a career in Software Testing.I have a lot of queries regarding it.can u help me out.If so please contact me in my gmail pkaarthikeyan@gmail.com
    or my orkut profile


  5. @ Karthikeyan P,

    Let me know your queries. We can discuss further on top of it.

    Venkat.

    • pramod reddy Says:

      i just completed my B.e and i’m planning my carrier ahead so what would you suggest is the best a development field or the testing field??? if its the testing ield y not the development field??

  6. Prem Says:

    very good article, this article really useful for me. I am doing a bit on research about software testing and i found also macrotesting http://www.macrotesting.com to be very good source.

    Thanks for your article

    Regards
    Prem

  7. kavithakamal Says:

    Hi,
    Really nice and informatic article… I’m doing studies on software testing.. This is really informatic. Thank you.. While surfing, I got more software testing related articles in http://www.macrotesting.com. You can check it for any information about software testing article.
    Regards,
    KavithaKamal.


  8. Good article of do and don’t it helps a lot!


  9. Software testing is must either you test your website or software.If you not test correctly then its to dangerous for your website or software both


  10. [...] Based on the contexts, the same bug might mean different things to different people. Do go through Role of Software Testing to understand my mission about Software [...]


  11. [...] The Role of Software Testing [...]


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