Incorporate a Shift-Left Approach
Shift-left testing is one of the recent trends in software development. This approach emphasizes early and continuous testing throughout the development cycle, allowing for early detection of bugs. As a result, if there are any serious issues found, they can be fixed in the initial stages of the software development process, rather than choosing to wait for the last phase, where the cost of fixing bugs multiplies tenfold.
The strength of the shift-left approach is that it focuses on problem prevention rather than fixing bugs. By encouraging testers to actively participate in testing closer to the beginning of the development pipeline and executing smaller tests more often, it allows teams to quickly gather the initial feedback and take proactive steps to improve their test plans.
Shift-left testing doesn’t always mean executing tests early in development, though. Quite often, it means involving testers in discussions with key business users so they can figure out the requirements from a testing perspective and ensure they know what to look for when coding begins.
Conduct Formal Technical Reviews
To minimize bugs and defects at later stages of software development, it’s a good practice to regularly conduct formal technical reviews (FTRs). The idea behind FTRs is to test a product when it reaches a mature state while remaining at an early stage to prevent major errors. Participants are typically assigned the roles of reviewers, producers, and speakers. In the end, they all draw a final report that outlines the results of the meeting, including what was reviewed, who took part in the review, and what decisions were made.
Introduce Code Quality Metrics
You can improve the quality of your software testing by implementing code quality metrics to help your team track success. These metrics can be any indicator that best fits your workflow and allows you to effectively assess code quality. Here’s an example of metrics that can be employed for developing software:
- Reliability. This metric can describe the number of times the code failed and passed during tests.
- Security. Code security can refer to the code resistance against potential vulnerabilities and threats.
- Maintainability. You can measure code maintainability by evaluating the number of lines. In general, the more lines it has, the harder it is to adapt it to new requirements.
- Testability. This metric can be used to outline testing technologies used to test the product, the documentation attached, and the ease with which new test cases can be added and executed.
- Performance. Your code’s ability to respond and execute actions in a certain interval of time can help you measure its performance efficiency.
- Usability. Usability can be verified through exploratory testing and measured by satisfaction levels.
According to 35% of surveyed companies, manual testing takes up most of the time within the STLC. To address this challenge and enhance the efficiency of your testing processes, it’s crucial to implement automation. Automated testing allows you to execute tests in parallel, significantly speeding up the time of testing and improving test coverage. It also reduces the chance of human errors, contributing to the accuracy of the results.
Examples of cases where automation can be particularly beneficial include:
- Regression testing;
- Cross-browser testing;
- Complex, multi-step workflows;
- Load and performance testing.
Create Comfortable Work Conditions for the Team
It goes without saying that in order for the team to be high-performing, people should have comfortable work conditions and know exactly what they’re expected to do. With this in mind, it’s important to assign roles and responsibilities to the QA team during the planning stage. Typically, there are three roles: QA lead, Manual engineer, and Automation tester.
Aside from this, you should invest some time in building strong and trustful relationships with your team. Great teams don’t happen just like that. You need to be open in communication and create an environment where your team feels valued and respected. Respect and recognize the individual strengths and contributions of everyone on the team. Also, support and provide opportunities for professional development. By investing in the skills of your team members, you not only amp up their capabilities but also show them your commitment to their growth.
Last but not least, always stay on top of the trends. Technology is constantly evolving, and staying current with the changes is essential for both your team’s success and the quality of your testing efforts.
To cut to the chase, testing is an important part of the software development process that ensures the quality of the product. However, if it’s not optimized, it can also be a very time-consuming activity, slowing down your product launches and burning the company’s budget. Therefore, optimizing the STLC can be a strategic move to impact the success of your projects.
Testing may occur at different phases of software development. It can be run during a post-production phase or throughout all stages of the software development phase, depending on the project’s development methodology. Despite this, the need for thorough, well-planned testing remains constant. Follow the steps we’ve covered in this article, and you’ll be able to build better software, have happier customers, and leave your competitors irrelevant.