As days go by, the quest for high-quality is elevated, and there are no limitations in our strive for flawlessness. This results in an augmentation of the standards for both product quality and user experience.
Merely owning an application that “does its job” isn’t good enough for an average user. Even customized professional tools designed for certain user clusters are expected to meet higher standards. Market requirements are always in flux, hence quality assurance (QA) methodologies must be responsive to those changes.
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- Why isn’t Full Stack Enough?
- When is the Right Time to Begin Testing?
- Overachieving Full Stack Testing
- What More Needs Testing?
- Summing Up
Why isn’t Full Stack Enough?
While full stack testing boosts confidence in a product’s quality from both QA and user standpoints, it may not cover all angles. Reasons for lack of coverage could include the absence from requirements, lack of visibility, or the testing team’s inexperience.
Presently, conducting functional tests on all layers (backend/frontend) is merely a baseline for cutting-edge quality assurance. It doesn’t quite cut it for an exceptional product. Teams must be driven to do the extra mile in delivering top-notch product quality and user experience.
Using an Agile method, small teams tackle specific functionalities in brief sprints. This fosters effective communication and idea-sharing among the team. It stimulates debates on code enhancements, posing appropriate queries to product owners, and promotes cooperation during the development process.
When is the Right Time to Begin Testing?
Ideally, testing should commence as soon as possible. Occasionally, factoring in QA during the commencement stages can highlight weak architecture zones and provide insights from a QA viewpoint. An application that is not testable can significantly hike up troubleshooting and testing expenses.
Factors worth considering include:
- Development time for test strategy: The team needs to brainstorm potential methods to carry out end-to-end tests with limited access and authenticate data without direct database access.
- Testing duration: Conventional approaches might falter, and workaround solutions might become necessary.
- Costs associated with troubleshooting: Time needed to replicate defects may surge.
Overachieving Full Stack Testing
Proactively identifying bugs early, even before they are implemented, is ideal. This is the benefit of anticipatory testing and properly incorporating the QA team into the technical requirement and development process.
Here are a couple of ways teams can increase efficiency and broaden test scenarios.
Stages where testing can be carried out:
Reviewing requirements with the developer & product owner/field expert: This would be an excellent opportunity for the QA team to gain a clearer comprehension of the business rules, project’s value, and engage in direct dialogues with the product owner. However, a single session or even a few may not impart a thorough project understanding.
Exploratory testing, code assessments, and field research can provide QA with additional application insights and enable them to draft educated questions post-session.
Reviewing architecture: This allows for an efficient collaboration between developers and QA. QA has to familiarize themselves with the architecture, its drawbacks, bottlenecks, and various testing strategies. Developers must comprehend test scenarios being planned by QA to either enhance them or address weak spots in the architecture.
At this phase, the team completely understands the requirements: There shouldn’t be anybugs in functionality, and the software users should be gratified.
What More Needs Testing?
Non-functional tests are usually the additional components that require testing. Here are a few types of non-functional tests that should be undertaken:
Assortment of Non-Functional Tests:
#1) Assessing Performance
System performance involves several aspects that might negatively impact user experience. Consequently, initiating a performance testing technique is vital.
#2) Evaluating Speed
Executing basic tests to gauge the system’s response time to user commands is crucial.
#3) Performing Load Tests
Such a test scrutinizes the system’s ability to handle loads akin to production by simulating varied client counts.
#4) Conducting Stability Tests
Stability tests authenticate the system’s capacity to manage loads over a prolonged period, mimicking user activity cycles to evaluate resource management during high activity times.
#5) Implementing Scalability Tests
These tests specifically focus on clustered applications to establish if the system can maintain a stable response time despite increasing loads.
All these parameters warrant a specific test strategy. Strategies are formulated based on load profiles and anticipated user counts.
Rise-up – Cool-down tests, where the load shifts over time, are occasionally implemented to confirm whether the system can regain normal functioning after encountering heightened loads.
There are various supportive tools for these tests, such as Gatling for simple tests, SoapUI for agility, and JMeter for extensive scripting options.
System Performance Test:
#6) Assessing Usability
Ideally, the team should be given details about the workflows, designs, and user experience features. However, in certain cases, the team might have to generate these details themselves.
As the first users, QA can give feedback, but striking the appropriate balance can be difficult. Design and usability interpretations can greatly vary, and getting the precise answer can demand time.
Providing the team with documentation including color schemes, favored fonts, and design patterns of the company is a perfect solution. Certain aspects are ideally left to professional experts.
#7) Checking Industry Standards
At times, users harbor certain expectations.
For instance, the login page. Expectations and creativity should consider aspects such as the order of login and password entries.
Certain design patterns and styles become standard user expectations and should be considered. QA specialists have to be aware of both the application they’re testing and industry trends.
#8) Undertaking Security Testing
Security testing is arguably the most complex part and often does not receive sufficient attention. It demands high IT competence and time to implement security testing techniques. Standard tests can cover some ground, but most exploits target distinctive platform/application vulnerabilities.
Tests for data encryption, restricting access, and performing vulnerability assessments (e.g., SQL injections) are basic but might not be all-encompassing. In-depth understanding of the architecture and continuous learning are pivotal for effective security testing.
Several articles detailing different types of security attacks and their preventive measures are readily available. Reading these can add some flavor to your coffee breaks.
#9) Emphasizing Initiative
Initiative is a key component. It encompasses acquiring new skills, proposing improvements, and demonstrating interest in the project’s future. Understanding the technology stack utilized in a project aids in devising an efficient test strategy inclusive of relevant scenarios, thereby boosting testing efficiency.
This approach enables transcending the conventional 9 am to 5 pm work hours.
Implementing QA at the onset of a project can be economically beneficial. Nonetheless, going an extra mile can set superior standards for an impeccable product.
A single usability issue, security loophole, or incapacity to handle peak loads can undermine user trust. This QA methodology entails high levels of motivation from all team members. While it may not be suitable for every team, it’s worth the attempt.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.