Guidelines for new testers
Guidelines for new testers
1. Testing can’t show that bugs don’t exist.
An important reason for testing is to prevent defects.
You can perform your tests, find and report bugs, but at no point can you guarantee that there are no bugs.
2. It is impossible to test a program completely.
Unfortunately, this is not possible even with the simplest program because – the number of inputs is very large, the number of outputs is very large, the number of paths through the software is very large, and the specification is subjective to frequent changes.
3. You can’t guarantee quality.
As a software tester, you cannot test everything and are not responsible for the quality of the product.
The main way that a tester can fail is to fail to report accurately a defect you have observed.
It is important to remember that we seldom have little control over quality.
4. Target environment and intended end user.
Anticipating and testing the application in the environment user is expected to use is one of the major factors that should be considered.
Also, considering if the application is a single user system or multi-user system is important for demonstrating the ability for immediate readiness when necessary.
The error case of Disney’s Lion King illustrates this. Disney Company released its first multimedia CD-ROM game for children, The Lion King Animated Storybook. It was highly promoted and the sales were huge. Soon there were reports that buyers were unable to get the software to work. It worked on a few systems – likely the ones that the Disney programmers used to create the game – but not on the most common systems that the general public use.
5. No application is 100% bug-free.
It is more reasonable to recognize there are priorities, which may leave some less critical problems unsolved or unidentified.
A simple case is the Intel Pentium bug. Enter the following equation into your PC’s calculator: (4195835 / 3145727) * 3145727 – 4195835. If the answer is zero, your computer is just fine. If you get anything else, you have an old Intel Pentium CPU with a floating-point division bug.
6. Be the customer.
Try to use the system as a lay user.
To get a glimpse of this, get a person who has no idea of the application to use it for a while and you will be amazed to see the number of problems the person seem to come across.
As you can see, there is no procedure involved.
Doing this could actually cause the system to encounter an array of unexpected tests – repetition, stress, load, race, etc.
7. Build your credibility.
Credibility is like quality that includes reliability, knowledge, consistency, reputation, trust, attitude and attention to detail.
It is not instant but should be built over time and gives voice to the testers in the organization.
Your keys to build credibility – identify your strengths and weaknesses, build good relations, demonstrate competency, and be willing to admit mistakes, re-assess and adjust.
8. Test what you observe.
It is very important that you test what you can observe and have access to.
Writing creative test cases can help only when you have the opportunity to observe the results. So, assume nothing.
9. Not all bugs you find will be fixed.
Deciding which bugs will be fixed and which won’t is a risk-based decision.
Several reasons why your bug might not be fixed is when there is not enough time, the bug is dismissed for a new feature, fixing it might be very risky or it may not be worth it because it occurs infrequently or has a workaround where the user can prevent or avoid the bug.
Making the wrong decision can be disastrous.
10. Review competitive products.
Gaining a good insight into various products of the same kind and getting to know their functionality and general behavior will help you design different test cases and to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your application.
This will also enable you to add value and suggest new features and enhancements to your product.
11. Follow standards and processes.
As a tester, you need to conform to the standards and guidelines set by the organization.
These standards pertain to reporting hierarchy, coding, documentation, testing, reporting bugs, using automated tools, etc.