With the IT boom in the past decade, software development and testing have become one of the most popular job aspirations. Millennials are increasingly seeking more opportunities to take up software testing as a career path. Except for those who actually work in the field, the term software testing is vague and not so easy to understand. Well, to put it simply, software testing is the process of checking or testing software or a computer application for any bugs or errors. The intent of the profile is to ensure that the final software that hits the market is glitch free. The software after testing must run smoothly for the users, this is the ultimately the goal of a software tester. Now that you know what a software tester is, we bet you would be curious about what does a software tester do.
Life of a software tester-
What does a software tester do?
The day to day activities of a software tester are not limited to simply checking the bugs in software. It encompasses various components. The idea is to ensure the delivery of a glitch free product that is market ready. Following are the activities that a software test does on a daily basis-
The first task on the daily schedule of a software developer is the testing of software that he/she receives from the development team. Testing includes checking the software for any bugs that may hamper its performance. Once the tester identifies a glitch, it is his/ her responsibility to track its origin and fix the bug.
Coordination with developers-
It is no surprise that communication and coordination with developers is an important aspect of a tester’s daily activities. Once the software tester identifies any bugs or discrepancies in the software, it is his/ her responsibility to communicate them to the developer and get them fixed. Therefore, a lot of back and forth goes on in between the developers and testers to ensure a glitch free delivery.
Communication with different departments-
While coordination with developers is one aspect, what a test analyst does is also effective communication with other departments. The software may not only have bugs in the development but also in graphics or other aspects. Therefore, the tester may have to coordinate with departments like design etc to ensure that problems with graphical representations are duly fixed.
Test planning and reporting-
Since each software that a tester receives is different and unique, they cannot follow a one size fits all approach to testing. Thus, an important part of the day to day activities of a tester is to promptly check emails and understand the nature of the next software coming his/ her way. This helps them to plan the appropriate testing methodology and mechanism to prevent time wastage during testing. Once testing is over, the test analyst submits a testing report highlighting the major findings during checking for bugs.
So, what a software tester does on a daily basis begins from understanding the testing requirements, planning the test, executing the test, coordinating with different departments to fix the bugs, retest the software post fixing, and finally, submit the testing report, giving a green signal to the software.
What are the software testing tools?
As technology progresses, a number of tools have been identified that can assist software testers in their day to day activities. Software testing tools are products that a software tester uses along different phases in checking software for bugs. What a software tester does depends largely on the types of tools he/she uses. A test analyst may use management tools to manage the scheduling, logging and reporting of testing to reduce the burden of manual testing. Similarly, execution and performance tools are used by testers to carry out automated testing and judge the performance of the software. Identifying the software testing tool is an art as using the right tool can ensure a cutting-edge software delivery that is bug-free and market ready.
What are the problems software testers face on a daily basis?
It is obvious that there are numerous problems that software testers routinely face. Since they work with different applications each day, new sets of problems keep cropping up. Some of the routine problems are-
Lack of testing documentation-
Firstly, testers always face the problem in terms of concrete documentation. Most developers depend on verbal communication and orally communicate to the tester about the software and testing needs. Due to this lack of documentation, some components of the test may be left untested. This results in subsequent tests and time wastage. Concrete documentation from all departments to the testers can ensure smooth functioning.
Rigidity in software testing tools-
More often than not, software companies expect software testers to stick to the available tools and carry out testing in a specific sequence. This prevents testers from dealing with every application as an individual entity and amounts to frustration. Therefore, testers should be encouraged to use a multiplicity of tools as they see fit to get the best results.
A multiplicity of bugs-
At times, test analysts receive software that seems to be a storehouse of bugs. Fixing one leads to the identification of another and so on. The best way to handle this problem for testers is to sit with the developers and understand the prototype of the software to anticipate bugs in advance. This helps testers in approaching bugs through a different path.
Poor coordination among departments-
As we know that development and testing of software undergoes several stages. This invariably involves inputs from various departments. The lack of coordination between departments may lead to a situation where incomplete software reaches the tester. Therefore, transparent communication between all departments is a must to prevent multiple cycles of testing.
Finally, time management seems to be the greatest problem for software developers. They are often under time constraints as they receive the software for testing only at the last minute. This puts a lot of pressure on them. The wise way to proceed would be to plan a strict timeline and adhere to it to ensure each department gets its fair share of time.
How to make testing more interesting?
- Don’t view your profile as a tester, but as someone who ensures that a top quality product hits the market.
- Don’t limit yourself to the same tools and method to test every software. Innovate and experiment with a variety of tools.
- Don’t give up if you can’t check the bug for the first time. Give yourself room for improvement.
- Learn as you test, and remember you have a special skill set, so show it off.
Recro’s way of testing
At Recro, we believe that unless the testers enjoy their work, they will not be able to perform optimally. Therefore, we give our software tester the freedom to pick and choose the best tools they see fit for their testing. We allow them to develop their model of testing and do not believe in following a rigid system. We encourage our testers to innovate and invent new ways of testing rather than sticking to the conventional ways. In short, our testers have the freedom to test software and applications in their own way. We believe that it is their product, and they know what’s best for it.