Typical Software Testing Mistakes: Way Out


3 m read


Tips & Tricks

Software testing mistakesOnce, a well-known Irish novelist Abraham “Bram” Stoker said that we should learn from failure, but not from success. This article is devoted to the most common software testing mistakes, particularly the mistakes, revealed by Brian Marick.

No matter if you are an experienced tester or dummy, this information will prove useful to you, as it doesn’t only outline typical testing failures, but provides effective tips on how to prevent them.

So here is the top list of mistakes, we’ve decided to share with you:

  • Testers` irresponsibility for Usability

In case usability problems do not study valid glitches, the testing task is defined too narrowly. There is a special restriction for testers on testing if the product does what was intended, rather than what was intended in useful. Consumers don’t regard distinction as important – the testers should not either.

  • Misinterpretation of the Role of “QA”

A lot of mistakes are made because people are thinking that responsibility for ensuring quality rests with the testing team. This role, commonly appointed to the first testing team in an institution, causes the appearance of barrier between the team of developers (indicted for producing low quality) and the consumer (whose rights must be protected). It is characterized by the testing team called as “Quality Assurance Group”. QA sets in authority to block shipment of the product. This is completely dispiriting task: improving is beyond team’s power, but it can enforce a minimal level. The harsh truth is that generally that authority is more of “illusion” than reality.

  • Inefficient Time Management

When you put stress and load testing off in the last moment, you have less time for doing something substantive when you find out that your product scales up only to less than 12 users.

  • Overreliance on Beta Testing

Don’t trust so much to Beta testing. This kind of testing seems to provide you with test cases that represent consumer use – as the test cases are consumer use. Besides, glitches reported by consumers are supposed to be important to consumers. But here such a problem arises: most likely, the consumers are not that representative. In the traditional hi-tech marketing model4, the users of beta testing, particularly so-called “put it on your site and they will download” users belong to the early adopters who are keen on tinkering with up-to-date technologies. For sure they do not support pragmatic paradigm, they are not eager to wait the technology to be proven and safe for adopting.

  • Having Developers Test

One of the two typical mistaken methods to set up a testing organization (understanding by this staffing policy) is using testing as a transitional job for new developers. It has some advantages. One is that you can keep poor staff away from the code. A bullhead in testing is not as dangerous as a bullhead in development. Another benefit is that the programmer has an opportunity to learn some useful information that can turn out to be really valuable in future (who knows maybe it will help to build your career). Moreover, it is a good way not only to do some useful work, but also to study the product for the new staff.

  • Being Trapped by Testers

Beware of testers` traps who pretend to be domain experts. In many cases, the tester of the accounting package is aware of a little information about accounting. Therefore, she finds glitches which aren’t important for accountants and as a result ignores ones that are. Later she writes reports which make relevant glitches seem irrelevant. A developer can not see past not typical test to the underlying serious problem.

  •  Poor Glitch Reporting

Finding just a failure is not enough – it must be reported. Unfortunately, poor glitch reporting is a typical mistake.

  • A Trap of Expectations

No matter what kind of approach you use, do not expect regression tests to discover a large number of new glitches. It’s a trap. Regression tests reveal that the changed code or new one breaks that used to work. This happens even more often than we can expect, and most glitches are in the new or changed on purpose behavior of the product. New test have to catch those glitches.

If you have experienced other typical mistakes, you are welcome to share it as the comments.

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