5 Ways To Improve Your Software Testing Skills

Quality is the biggest priority for all software products. With the booming software testing industry, the demand for skilled testers is on the rise like never before. With the right set of skills, you can not only gain projects in software testing but also advance in your career as a tester. Here are a few tips to help improve your software testing skills:

5 Ways To Improve Your Software Testing Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your Software Testing Skills

1. Invest in learning

 Testing is all about providing vital information to stakeholders to help them take informed decisions. To provide meaningful information, you need to know the app and its production environment well. Having sound technical skills will help you in detailing specific bugs & issues that are easier for the stakeholders to interpret. Don’t miss out on any opportunity to pair up with other teams like development team, sales team etc to gain new insights and overall business perspective.

Invest in learning new strategies, techniques, and tools. Additionally, you can follow blogs by professional testers like James Bach, Michael Bolton, Michael d Kelly & Ben Simo. You can even start your own blog and actively participate in discussions and forums on the blogs.

2. Practice testing & writing:

One of the simplest ways to aid your learning & improve your reporting skills in software testing is to take down notes. Make it a habit to learn and jot down new aspects you come across in testing. Practicing your writing skills will help you document the bugs more concisely. Analyze bug reports created by you and even other testers to find ways to improve your reporting style.  Can you make the information more accurate? Is there scope for expressing the content in a way that is best suited to your stakeholders? Are all screenshots and data required provided? Is there any new perspective that you can bring to the table?

3. Participate in training & seminars:

The scope for learning never stops in the testing field. The best way to stay updated is to actively network and participate in testing seminars, meet ups, conferences and training. Be it knowledge of a new application or new domain information, never miss out on an opportunity to learn and grow your testing skills.

 4. Master test case designs:

Find out all the attributes and probabilities required to create detailed and effective test case designs from scratch.

To grow up the career ladder, it helps to know coding that will help in fixing the bugs. So that when you present your reports, you can also provide valuable advocacies that can help fix the issues you report. You can invest your time in learning the basics of coding and also equip yourself to read the source files. This will also enable you to pick up automation skills faster.

5. Build Your Professional Network

Contribute to the software testing community whenever you get an opportunity. Be more active on testing forums, discussions, and platforms related to software testing. Joining crowd testing platforms like 99tests, will not only help you build your professional network but also enable you to work on new and interesting testing projects from anywhere in the world.

These are a few tips for improving your software testing skills. If you would like to add any more tips, please do add them in the comments below.Click on the given link to learn more about, the 99tests Testing Community where you can work on paid projects and enhance your testing skills : https://99tests.com/

5 Ways To Maximize QA Performance

A bug-free software is crucial for the success of any software project. To keep the system defect free, you need to keep your QA team in top shape. To frame a strategy to improve the QA performance, you need to factor in aspects both internal and external that impacts their output. Here are some tips to maximize the performance of your QA team:

5 Ways To Maximize QA Performance

5 Ways To Maximize QA Performance

1. Plan & communicate clearly

Ensure that your testing team has full information and understanding about the project and the testing plan. Planning will not only make the process smoother but also help in identifying tests that can be run concurrently for more efficient time management. Changes if any should be communicated to the testing team in advance. Every app upgrade that requires additional testing cycles should be planned for in advance. Additionally, the size of an update or feature should be considered in your testing plan. The bigger the update, the more the work is for your QA team.

2. Involve testers in creating the test plan

By involving your testing team in requirements gathering phase, you can improve the testing process. It is important that the business and functional requirement are clearly communicated to the testing team. This is an opportunity to provide the testing team with ideas, suggestions and expected test scenarios.

3. Promote a collaborative environment

Bugs found in time are valuable only if they are fixed in time. Ensuring a collaborative work environment where there is smooth communication between the testing team and development team will minimize the risk of insufficient bug fixing. Further, you can also track the time taken for bug fixing to plan the release. You can also use this data to bring down the number of defects from one build to another.

4. Provide opportunities for learning

Encourage & enable your QA team to participate in training workshops and seminars. The more knowledge testers have about the software application they are testing, the more insightful and useful the testing results will be.

5. Integrate an efficient system for bug tracking

By providing a proper system with tools for documentation of the testing results you can help your QA team in tracking the bugs more easily. It is a good idea to track your testing efforts periodically to understand the effectiveness of your testing plans and also the bug rate.

With these tips, you can equip your QA team to reach their true potential and scale new highs with quality software.

Top 10 Mistakes Crowd Testers Must Avoid

Ever wondered how some crowd testers climb up the leader-board faster than others? Are you keen to know why bugs get marked out of scope, duplicate or invalid? Here are the top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid:

The top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid to succeed in software testing.

The top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid to succeed in software testing.

 1.    Not reading the requirement thoroughly and/or not being clear about the requirement

This is the biggest mistake and the most costly mistake that testers make. After spending 30-60 minutes in testing and logging bugs, the bug would get marked as invalid or out of scope just because the tester did not read the requirement clearly and/or did not understand the requirement clearly. Spend at least 5 minutes to understand the client expectations and information which would be useful for testing. Invest your time in understanding the test requirement to make your testing process more effective.

 2.    Over focus of crowd testers on logging the most number of bugs instead of the quality of the bugs

It is great to log as many bugs as possible, but how many of them are getting marked valid is a very important question that you must ask yourself. A tester is considered good only when, the bug acceptance rate is more than 65%.  Make the quality of the bugs you log, your top priority to succeed as a crowd tester.

 3.    Bug report which is unclear and has insufficient information to validate

All bugs with improper and insufficient information to reproduce the bug, including lack of visual proof like screenshots or videos get rejected. A report should be so clear that it should provide the step by step process to reproduce the issue and the exact environment information in which the bug was identified. It must include screenshot / video for more clarity so that when the developer checks the bug report they can easily reproduce the issue and fix it.

 4.    Not knowing what other testers are doing, and following a blindfolded approach

This is an approach where crowd testers do not do any planning and start testing blindly. To grow up the leaderboard testers should know and understand what other testers are focusing on and what has not been tested. They should be aware of the scenarios and the features that were missed out. They should then focus their attention on those areas that would help them stand out from the rest of the crowd.

 5.    Trying to just click around and find bugs in the application instead of in-depth testing

Testing is not about clicking to check if all the links are working but clearly understanding what each link is supposed to do. You should understand the data flow and the user experience that fulfills their needs in the application to succeed as a crowd tester.

 6.    Not thinking like an actual user and not thinking of scenarios which would have high impact

Each application has its purpose, and there could be 100 users who would use the same application for 100 different purposes, in 100 different ways. Testers should be able to relate and think of test cases / scenarios by putting themselves in the shoes of an end user who would use the website or App.

 7.    Logging bugs which do not matter and have less impact on the client and to their users

No application can be 100% bug-free.  There could be many limitations in technology, design, operation etc. Understanding the difference between a bug and good practice is a knack crowd testers must master. For example verification of the actual existence of an email is a good practice however it is not mandatory for all the application to verify the same. Testers need to consider the severity of the application and criticality of the information stored in the database while logging the bugs.

 8.    Not understanding the domain, target audience, and information which can be useful for testing

This is again very similar to the blindfolded approach. Testers need to understand the application, its purpose, target audience and competitors. They must also read the user reviews and the comments to check if the application is doing what it claims to do.

 9.    Not having the required tools ready before testing

Before starting, check if you have the appropriate tools and technology to log bugs quicker and clearer. When you are well prepared, the possibility of the bugs getting marked valid is high. Don’t forget to check the tools for recording your screen, taking screenshots, getting logs and add-on’s for capturing additional information to add to your bug report.

 10. Not learning from previous mistakes

A crowd tester’s job does not get over once the project is complete. If crowd testers wants to improve their performance and ranking, it is a good practice to go through the bugs which they were not able to identify, scenarios which they did not think of and the approach and tools which other testers have used. You can use this information to perform better in your next projects. When we do not take the steps to improve our skills as a crowd tester, we miss out on learning and also opportunity to earn more through crowd-testing platforms.

With the right approach and right attitude, crowd testing can enrich your career and take your software testing skills to a whole new level.

Got any more suggestions on mistakes that crowd testers can avoid? Feel free to add them in the comments below. Click on the given link to learn more about, the 99tests Testing Community where you can work on paid projects and enhance your testing skills: https://99tests.com/

This blog post is written by Bharath S, Director of Operations at 99tests. With over 10 years of experience in the software testing industry, he has led many critical high value projects and has organized many international level testing conferences and events.

Testers Champions League By 99tests

The Testers Champions League by 99tests, a crowd testing platform provides a unique opportunity for testers to put their testing skills to the ultimate test. The Testers Champions League 2016 is a series of online software testing contests, open to all software testers.  Software testers can compete with testers from across the globe and stand a chance to win attractive prizes.  You can register and participate in any of the 12 contests, conducted every month. Each contest is open from the 16th till the 22nd of that month. The dates for submission and other contest details is announced on the 99tests website every month, and also updated on their social media pages. To participate, software testers need to just register and submit their entries during the allotted week for submission. The registration is free and the submission terms are pretty simple.

Testers Champions League By 99tests

Testers Champions League By 99tests

Testers Champions League – March 2016

The first edition of the contest, held in March 2016, had over 150 software testers from across the globe. The details of the contest held in March can be found at events.99tests.com/championships. The contest proved to be an excellent avenue for the software testers to keep their testing skills in top shape. Contestants had to download an app for testing from an open source project, Sourceforge. The testers then had to create a feature map for all the features of the software product. Participants had to pick any three features of the product and prepare an exhaustive list of test ideas for those three features. The criteria for ranking the winners was based on the quality of the test ideas and the test summary. By participating in the contest, Software testers were able to experiment and improve on their test ideas.

Don’t worry, if you missed out on the March 2016, Testers Champions contest. You can still register for the next month’s contest to participate and compete with world class software testers. One-time registration is sufficient for the entire year. Registered candidates will get regular contest updates and details. Don’t forget to include your name, organization and email id at the top of your submissions while submitting your entry for the contest. The Testers Champions League is truly an opportunity for all software testers to explore, learn and improve their software testing skills.

Interested to explore the fun way of software testing? Click on the given link to learn more about a global community of professional testers: https://99tests.com/

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Software testing is crucial to the success of any software product. Effective testing requires the expertise of skilled testers. Today, with the advent of Apps, the demand for skilled testers has grown rapidly. Testing is a highly intellectual work . It involves aspects of discovery, communication, persuasion, control, measurement, accounting & project management.

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Apart from technical skills, a tester needs to develop and master many soft skills. Here are some of the top skills that every tester should develop:

1. Logical & analytical skills

Analytical thinking is the foundation of software testing. You find bugs when you apply logic to the testing process. Mere knowledge of testing tools is not enough. Logical and analytical thinking enables you to think out of the box. You should be able to create various test scenarios. When you apply the scenarios in the workflow of the application, you will be able to give useful insights from the perspective of the end user.

2. Communication skills in software testing

The insights provided by the software tester form the basis for decision making. The feedback of testers have the power to seal the fate of Apps and projects. Crucial decisions like the readiness of an App for release are based on tester insights . Your feedback as a tester must be simple and easy to understand. Unless the insights are provided correctly, it will be nothing more than misinformation. This can mislead the whole project. You should be able to communicate issues to development teams effectively. Hence, having good communication & interpersonal skills  helps greatly in sharing test insights with different teams.

3. Inquisitiveness & creativity

Contrary to myths, software testing is not a mundane process. A creative bend of mind that’s curious about the way things work is a big advantage. This will help you to ask the right questions. Exploring the right questions will help assess the quality of a software product effectively. Think of software testing as an exploratory process, where one has to seek and find answers on their own. It is only by exploring different angles, that one can develop a clear insight on the performance of a product. The more questions you ask, the more you will develop your knowledge about the product. By trying various test scenarios and improving on testing methodologies, you can provide intelligent insights to development team.  Your success as a tester plays an important role in the success of the software product.

4. Learning and adaptability

One basic quality that will help you in software testing is the ability to adapt and learn quickly. Note-making may seem like a general learning skill, but it is a time-saving and useful skill. By noting down aspects learnt in a project, it is easy to execute similar tasks with the same methods. Note-making also aids in learning new testing concepts.

5. Project management skills

Testing can be demanding, at times. Being highly organized will help you prioritize and manage workload effectively. Understanding the business process and the big picture is a big plus point. Project management skills like problem-solving, and negotiation will aid greatly in delivering better results. You need to stay productive even when the going is tough. A willingness to learn and a quest for process improvement can help keep your testing practices in top shape.

Additionally, it is good to have the respective IT domain knowledge and programming skills. With programming skills, you can gain opportunities in code level testing. Knowledge of code structure will help you in developing more valuable insights for the development team.

To succeed in software testing, one must, therefore invest in soft skills along with technical skills. The right skill set will help you scale new heights in your software testing career.

Interested in joining a global community of professional software testers? Click on this link to learn more about the 99tests testing community : https://99tests.com/