4 Key Software Testing Challenges and their Solutions
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - January 18, 2021
In the current era, all software, websites, or apps, must be fortified with regular updates to keep up with changes in technology and user expectations. In traditional development formats, making changes to the application was rigid and a time-consuming task. However, advancements in tools and technologies, and the emergence of Agile methodologies have made it quite convenient for teams to modify the software at lightning speeds.
The agile mindset also brought new challenges for software testers or the QA engineers as they were now responsible for rapid and thorough testing of web applications.
With constant advancements in technologies, the software testing process keeps evolving. Consequently, it becomes very challenging for QA teams to stay aligned with the best practices for fast, accurate testing. This article highlights a few critical challenges faced by testers in a highly competitive environment. It also outlines a few solutions to said challenges.
Key Software Testing Challenges and Solutions
1. Lack of Communication
Communication gaps, particularly while conveying the software requirements can create hurdles in constructing accurate test cases. Inadequate communication occurs due to several circumstances such as differences in the time zones of client and developers, misinterpretations, differences in employee shifts, etc.
One must bear in mind that QAs can not formulate adequately effective test cases unless they are clear about technical and business requirements. QA engineers must be aware of the exact user journeys, navigations, and outcomes, or else they won’t be able to create test cases that can comprehensively test the software at hand. Naturally, this will defeat the whole purpose of testing.
Development and testing teams must collaborate at regular intervals in the presence of the product head or managers so as to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Discussions at regular intervals maintain a transparent process and also help team members stay aligned on their deliverables. Clear goals help testers create and execute result-oriented test cases and deliver products on time.
2. Missing Documentation
In some cases, teams miss out on documenting the scope (functional and nonfunctional) and specific requirements of the project after interacting verbally with clients. This may lead to both developers and testers missing out on important aspects of what the client expects. They may need to proceed based on their assumptions, which will cause delays due to the running of unnecessary tests. This may also result in the development and testing of an unwanted feature.
Inadequate documentation leads to lower accuracy when it comes to requirement gathering. It is easy to miss out on vital information that has been conveyed only verbally.
In order to avoid missing out on critical requirements and project objectives, teams must create comprehensive documentation with specific project requirements in detail. Complete documentation will serve as a baseline for QA teams throughout the project lifecycle. It will also help QAs understand expected product outcomes and build the most relevant tests.
3. Diversity in Testing Environments
Apps and web applications are accessed from thousands of device-browser-platform combinations simultaneously. Needless to say, teams need to develop robust applications that run flawlessly across the most widely used combinations. However, given the increasing number of mobile devices already present in the market (plus new ones being released), it is challenging to test applications on every latest mobile device rolled out.
Although testing on emulators and simulators can be helpful in the initial stages, they can not guarantee top-notch application performance in real user conditions. Real-time bugs are detected only when the software is tested on real devices. This means teams need access to device labs that allow testing across a wide range of device-browser-OS combinations. However, establishing on-premise device labs demands huge investment and may not be economically feasible for small and medium-sized companies.
An effective solution is to opt for a cloud-based testing platform like BrowserStack. Its real device cloud empowers teams to choose from 2000+ real devices and browsers for testing apps and websites on multiple device-browser-OS combinations. Besides, the cloud also provides integrations with popular automation tools and frameworks for comprehensive automation testing in real environments.
This means teams don’t need to worry about purchasing or maintaining any on-premise devices. They can access the desired device for testing from anywhere in the world and at any time. One simply needs to sign-up for free, choose the desired device-browser combination, and get started.
4. Inadequate Testing
For an application to be robust and flawless, it needs to be thoroughly tested in different environments. Specifically for complex applications, testers need to ensure that every single bit of code undergoes regression tests. This takes considerable time.
However, clients expect software teams to deliver products in shorter timelines so as to maintain their edge over competitors. This creates pressure on the testing teams to pace up testing. In some cases, QAs also miss out on prioritizing key test cases which leads to insufficient test coverage. This leads to inadequate testing and lets bugs escape into production.
Teams must plan and prioritize their test cases. One must also evaluate which tests require automation and which tests need to be executed manually. Finding the right balance between manual and automated testing is the key to successful testing.
Planning and prioritizing tests will help teams evaluate critical areas that need more attention in the earlier stages and save time later on. This approach will also ensure that critical areas of the software are tested thoroughly in time.
The solutions suggested above will help QA teams address critical challenges effectively. Additionally, it will also help software teams streamline their development and testing efforts in order to deliver robust applications on time.