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Home Guide What is Context-Driven Testing?

What is Context-Driven Testing?

By Sanghita Ganguly, Community Contributor -

Context-driven testing is a type of software testing used before launching in the market to test it on all the parameters, including performance, UI, speed, functionalities, and other aspects of the software to identify and fix bugs. But many companies are unaware of it, its importance, how it’s beneficial, and how to go about performing context-driven testing.

In this guide, we will understand context-driven testing, its importance, principles, benefits, and best practices for conducting it. 

What is Context Driven Testing?

Context driven testing focuses on using dynamic testing approaches in different conditions. It comes with a standard assessment methodology to test the software with modern operations.

Context-driven software testing is a practical way of testing executed by end users in real user conditions. This way the developers can see the real output of using the software and rectify any bugs, if any, that are found while testing. It includes objectives, techniques, time, planning, flexibility, and standard and results for the software testing.

Simply put, context-driven testing is used to assess the software with a set of values to test as it is built to find bugs and improve on optimizing the software for release.

Basic Principles of Context Driven Testing

The founder of the context-driven school is Cem Kaner, Brian Marick, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord, who have given seven basic principles in context-driven testing:

  1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.
  3. Over time, projects unfold in ways that are often unpredictable.
  4. Good software testing is a challenging and intellectual process.
  5. Right steps can be taken at the right time only through judgment and skill that is exercised cooperatively throughout the project.
  6. People working together are crucial for any project’s context. 
  7. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, it means the product doesn’t work.

These seven basic principles can easily be understood through context driven testing examples like building a web application project requiring these seven fundamental steps to make a web app in reality.

Why is Context-Driven Testing important?

Context-driven testing is quite different from standard testing. It tests the software as per its requirements and makes customized rules and plans for assessment. On the other hand, standard testing comes with a preset testing methodology to test any type of software. It is modern, advanced, and customized testing that first analyzes the software and its requirements for complete assessments with a set of values. 

It analyzes the software before testing to understand the situation like:

  • Whether the software has documented or undocumented requirements
  • Testing and development teams belong to different companies.
  • Fixed schedules or flexible schedules
  • Availability or composition of the testing team
  • Type of the project

There are many more parameters that would uplift the advantages of context driven testing by asking these questions and then starting planning for testing. This approach is more suitable, and logical, and has advantages for QA testers than predefined testing. 

By using context-driven testing, QA testers can get many realistic answers before testing the software. These are –

  • Clarify the objectives
  • Product evaluation
  • Risk analysis associated with the product
  • Plan the test strategy
  • Supervise the major test planning challenges
  • Share the idea
  • Set up logistics

When QA testers plan to do software testing but don’t know about the objective, end goals, risks, and other factors, then context-driven testing is a great alternative to test the software with complete process and planning.

Best Practices for Performing Context-Driven Testing

  • Put forth a lot of reasonable and high intent questions. 
  • Ask questions from the perspective of BA, QA, and DevOps. Without logical questions, it is difficult to understand the context of the project.
  • Plan the test beforehand. Discuss the plans with the people that matter and take feedback so that you can get real insights.
  • Make the adjustments accordingly. The software project doesn’t always go entirely as you would have expected. Be flexible and incorporate the changes.
  • Don’t apply any of the practices without thinking logically. Applying practices blindly could jeopardize the entire project. Sometimes you might face a time crunch and you have to take a logical route out of it.
  • The stakeholders should decide when the project should be terminated. Since they have the power and responsibility, they should also decide when the project should be over or closed. 

Wrapping Up, 

For context-driven software testing, BrowserStack’s infrastructure is suitable for any business, from SME to enterprise-level entities. Whether your project is agile without following any plan of predictable testing actions, or perhaps, more adaptable and challenging in nature, context driven testing is better on a real device cloud.

When there is no room for error and accuracy is your key driving force in any testing project, testing on the best infrastructure should be your goal.

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