Software testing can be difficult.
To be an effective tester, you must be communicative, efficient, and patient.
If you’re an app developer and you’re looking to learn how to test your own app, you’re taking a great step forward.
In fact, 87% of app developers have found that their app’s performance had a significant effect on their ratings. If you’re looking to start testing, then your goal is to increase your app’s overall performance, which will increase your app store rating.
If you’re getting started with software testing, these are the five essentials:
1. Test Strategy
Your goal is to be as effective as possible. A good test strategy lays out the overview of how to be effective.
To be a good tester, you need to find defects in your app. If you set up tests you know the app will pass, then you aren’t doing anyone any favors.
A test strategy tells you what type of testing would be best to do, the order in which to perform them, and the optimum amount of effort to make your testing effective.
When you’re setting up your first test strategy, you should focus on any features you prioritize as the most important.
If you’re doing this for a client, they should tell you what to focus on.
If you’re testing your own app, you’ll find you won’t know where to start or maybe there’s way too much to test. This is the purpose of a test strategy. Sit back, take a deep breath and try to prioritize your most important features.
Without a test strategy, you’ll end up spending the majority of your time on efforts with minimal results. After all, your users don’t care about the small bugs, they care about anything that impedes their experience.
2. Testing Plan
A testing plan is made for your organizational purposes. This is where you layout what’s being tested, for how long, and by whom.
Think of this step as the path you would take to clear your conscious before releasing to the app store. On your testing plan, you need to not just lay out what is being tested, but also it’s necessary to state any dependencies each step would have on another. This way you won’t run into any surprises during your testing.
Your test strategy and testing plan are living and breathing documents. You will be continually updating them as you discover new bugs.
3. Test Cases
Test cases are prepared as you are writing the program itself. Every feature or step in the program should have an expected result. For example if I sign into my account it should be expected that I land on the home dashboard every time.
To run this test, you input that information as a test case and if it ever comes to a point where that expected result does not happen, then you have a failed test case.
Prioritize test case setups based on what you find is the most valuable part of your app. If you’re testing for a client, talk with them to see which area they find the valuable.
Except for a small amount of ad hoc testing, all of your test cases should be prepared before your actual software testing. This should be set up and thought of in parallel to your app development.
A good test case checks to make sure requirements are being met and has a good chance of uncovering defects.
4. Test Data
You don’t want to run tests on real user’s data, so it’s important to have a set of test data.
Frequent examples of test data are sets of names, addresses, product orders, or whatever information relevant to your app.
In your tests, you’ll be creating, updating, and deleting data. You don’t want to delete or update real data from real users from your app, so it’s important to have a set of test data that can be altered to make sure each one of your functions are working.
Test data development is done simultaneously with test case development.
5. Test Environment
As important as testing itself is the environment you test in.
Apps are likely to be multi-platform. It’s important you test on all devices the app is available on. This includes screen sizes of all types. If you’re creating an iOS app, you need to make sure you’re testing on all relevant Apple devices. This sounds very obvious, but it needs to be stated.
If you’re doing performance or usability testing, there are cases where you need to set aside whole rooms of devices to perform the required testing on the app.
Your testing environment needs to be set up and stated before you start testing. These are the materials and devices you and your team needs to confidently test apps.
Without the equipment and environment available, you cannot test your app with confidence.
Software testing is a growing field. As apps continue to eat the world, software testing will grow with it making sure each app is functioning adequately.
If you’re looking to get started testing your own app or a client’s, it’s important you take in these fundamental essentials of software testing:
- Test Strategy
- Testing Plan
- Test Cases
- Test Data
- Test Environment
In your time as a tester, you will run into difficulties such as undocumented requirements or a lack of organization. With these essentials in mind you will be able to approach your testing with clear focus.