Software testing professionals like us are under constant pressure to get more done in less time, with fewer resources and increased scrutiny. Finding time to make changes can be challenging when under so much pressure.
But what if you could just tweak a few things and improve processes? How would it affect your day-to-day life? Would you be able to work fewer late nights or spend less time on mind-numbing activities? Maybe you could be more strategic and help propel your career to new levels.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb.
It’s easy to feel there’s no time to make changes, but you can still take control of 2024. By putting in a little extra effort now, you will get the right things in place and reap the rewards throughout the year.
The following three software testing steps will make your life easier, help you achieve your goals, and allow you to focus on your own progression.
1. Tidy Up Your Test Cases
So many testers waste so much time on redundant or poorly written tests.
You’ll have seen it yourself: test packs grow steadily over time, but testing windows stay the same duration or decrease. Systems and requirements change over time, and we add new tests without removing old ones.
Reviewing your test cases for relevancy and accuracy will reduce testing time, ensuring that all testing is relevant and provides value.
- Remove Obsolete Cases: Go through your test cases with an open mind, ask business users if you can, and try to eliminate any tests that no longer apply to your current application state.
- Update Test Cases: Do the tests reflect the way users work? If your system has been in a while, there’s a chance your users will have learned shortcuts and easier ways to do things. By reflecting these changes, you can make certain tests easier and quicker.
- Enhance Documentation: Different testers are experts in different business processes. If test cases aren’t adequately documented, testers constantly ask their teammates for advice, which wastes productive time from both resources. If each test case is well-documented, it is easier for team members to understand the purpose and steps, reducing the need for help.
2. Automate Repetitive Tasks
I know you’ve heard it before, but automation really is the biggest way to get more testing done quickly.
Yes, it requires an initial investment, but nowhere near as much as you probably think. These days, AI makes automation easier than ever by speeding up creation and reducing maintenance effort.
In 2024, automation must form a key component of efficient software testing. It not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of human error.
It’s best to start with a small pack covering your most executed tests and build from there.
- Identify Candidates for Automation: Look for tests that are run frequently, are time-consuming, or are prone to human error.
- Get Automation Tools: Robust professional automation tools offer a solid return on investment (they more than pay for themselves) and will integrate well with your development and deployment pipeline.
- Set up Training Sessions: Provide training to bring your team up to speed on the latest automation techniques and tools.
3. Learn a New Software Testing Tool or Technique
Learning something new is useful in itself, but it will often trigger new ideas and give you the impetus to make changes.
Luckily, software processes and tools evolve faster than any other industry, so there is always a new skill to pick up. It could be self-study, an industry-recognised cert, or online training; the most important thing is stimulating your grey matter.
The right tool or technique can also positively impact your testing process. This could be a new test management software, an automation tool, or a technique like exploratory testing.
- Learn New Tools and Technologies: Allocate time for your team to learn and experiment with new tools to increase productivity and coverage.
- Adopt New Testing Methodologies: Investigate and adopt testing methodologies that suit your project’s needs.
- Regular Retrospectives: Set up regular retrospective meetings to discuss what went well, what didn’t, and where there’s room for improvement.
A Few Bonus Software Testing Actions to Consider
- Strengthen Security Testing: Given the increasing importance of cybersecurity, you can use this opportunity to implement or enhance your security testing practices.
- Improve Test Data Management: Accurate and relevant test data is crucial for effective testing. Review your data generation and management strategies.
- Focus on Performance: Don’t let performance testing be an afterthought. Plan and execute regular performance tests throughout the development cycle. Maybe start to shift performance testing left with a free tool like LoadRunner Developer.
- Foster a Quality Culture: Encourage every team member, not just testers, to take ownership of quality. Quality should be a collective responsibility. You could present to the wider project team to give them hints and tips.
Taking proactive steps early in the year can set you up for success and make your life easier. Visualise what you want to achieve in 2024 and act now to achieve it. Make 2024 the year of change and improvement.