Good communication or lack of it, can make or break a software project. Collaboration between QA and development teams is essential for ensuring the success of an agile software project. Any software is bound to have bugs. A healthy relationship between QA & developers can help in finding and fixing these bugs quickly. With good collaboration and smart automation strategies, teams can successfully achieve greater speed and better quality in their software projects.
5 Ways To Improve Collaboration Between Testers And Developers
Team work between testers and developers is crucial for successfully deploying and maintaining a high quality software product. Here are a few ways to reduce friction and increase collaboration between testing team and developers:
1) Encourage Collaboration and Communication
Promote a collaborative work culture where quality is everyone’s responsibly. Get testers and developers to work together while researching about customers, building user stories, and creating unit tests. Inculcate a team culture of collaboration where testers are more than mere gatekeepers who approve or disapprove features before delivery.
Encourage both QA and developers to share their thoughts and ideas. Make everyone feel a part of a single integrated team that is focused on the product’s quality. Apart from arranging meetings, encourage both testers and developers to take the initiative to interact more often using informal channels. Relying too much on formal channels like e-mails to communicate not only wastes time but also discourages open communication and delays resolution of conflicts. Better communication incites more collaboration.
2) Cross Train Developers & Testers
While developers can help testers in understanding the code, testers can help developers in learning more about the test suite and strategies used for testing the product. Knowledge sharing sessions can also help both teams learn more about any specific tools used for the project. This mutual understanding of each other’s process will help the team as a whole to find and fix more bugs.
The code level knowledge prepares the testers with information on potential problem areas of the app. Additionally, having some idea about the coding languages like JAVA, HTML etc. will help testers in communicating their findings more easily. This helps in identifying the root cause of any issues found in the software. Knowledge of the test suite and the testing methods, will empower developers to write better codes for the product.
3) Focus On Finding and Fixing Critical Bugs
By assessing and prioritising bugs based on business goals, product managers must focus on finding and fixing the most critical bugs. Ensure that both QA team and developers understand what is most important for the customers or the end users of the app. When you have a big picture of the project, it is easier for teams to prioritise tasks in line with business goals. With prioritisation, developers and testers can focus on finding the right solutions for the most critical issues in the product. There is lesser tendency to pass the buck as teams are more focused on solving software problems together as part of a single team responsible for the product.
4) Introduce Pair Test Programming
With pair test programming, testers and developers can sit together to discuss requirements, develop code, run tests and assess the non functional aspects of the product. Further when testers test the features on developer’s machine, they can give prompt feedback required for improving the app.
5) Embrace TDD & BDD
Business Driven Development (BDD) is a software development process that is based on Test Driven Development (TDD). In TDD, first the testers create tests for specific business requirements. These tests are run by the developers who then create the codes. Once the codes are implemented, developers can run the tests again to ensure that their codes have run correctly. BDD when used together with TDD and unit testing methods shortens the feedback loop, allowing developers to deliver user stories that exactly matches the business requirements.
Irrespective of the different approaches they use, both testers and developers have the same goal of delivering a high quality software product. When they work together as a team, the true potential of a product is unlocked. Having a good synergy between the QA team and development team thus helps a software project attain both speed and quality that is required for its success.