The Best Testing Tips from The Test Chat Challenge

A bit over a month ago, I took part in The Test Chat’s #21days21tips challenge. While I did enjoy sharing my tips, I most enjoyed learning from others taking part in the challenge.

Here are my favourite tips, in no particular order:

Note that I have copied the tips from the authors, but I may make edits for grammar, clarity etc.

1. SLIDE for Accessibility Checking

  • Styles
  • Links
  • Images
  • Design
  • Evaluation

By Suman Bala

2. Non-functional Testing especially Performance and Security Testing are very Important.

Do not leave it until the last minute, for example at the end of your testing cycle or just before a major release.

Learn basic performance and security testing, even though there is a separate Team/Agency who are responsible for it.

Perform some low-level performance and security testing while doing system testing.

If you are following Scrum, do it after a few sprints or before a minor release.

Here is a link to access all Security Testing resources in one place.

By Shailesh Gohel

3. Version control is an integral part of software development

Here is a link to an online git explorer which is very handy for knowing the usage of commonly used git commands.

By Dimpy Adhikary

4. Understand Priority and Severity

How bad is a bug? Without context, that question is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” Not all bugs are equal in severity, nor is their priority always obvious. WE might think this a bug is a showstopper, imagining the possible negative scenarios and warning of those consequences, but that may or may not be the bigger picture.

Severity and priority are two different, though related, criteria when evaluating a bug. Severity is how bad the bug is. Severity can be further broken down to impact (how many users are affected), and likelihood (how likely is it that a user will encounter the issue). The matrix of impact and likelihood can be a useful heuristic to evaluate severity.

Priority is how important is it to fix it, as well as how timely that fix needs to be. One of my favourite heuristics for evaluating priority is the Eisenhower Matrix, which asks us to evaluate based on whether or not we consider the bug Important or Not Important, versus Urgent or Not Urgent. In my view, testers can express an opinion on priority, but should not be the arbiters of it, unless they will also be the ones fixing the bug.

By Matthew Middleton

5. Don’t Expect Magic From Test Automation

The primary reason for test automation is to free up QA time for interesting exploratory testing and to give confidence to the team that the application is still in good order as new changes are delivered.

Don’t expect automation to find lots of bugs. In fact, the number of bugs found by automation is always much less than manual and exploratory testing.

By Manish Saini

6. Be Consistent

Inconsistency is a bigger problem compared to things being hard/tough/difficult.

Only consistency can give you a compounding effect in your career.

By Rahul Parwal

7. Relationships are at the Heart of Testing

You can have all the technical and testing know-how in the world, and without good relationships with the people in your project, your skills will be wasted.

Building positive working relationships with developers, management, and pretty much everyone involved in the project you’re testing can make the difference between success or failure.

Consider this scenario: you find a weird bug, and you can only reproduce it some of the time. You want to work with a developer to try and figure out what’s going on, so you can better understand why it hasn’t been reliably reproducible.

If you have a positive relationship with developers, they’re more likely to choose to help you. After all, you interrupting their work isn’t always going to be ideal for them. If you haven’t spent the time building those kinds of relationships, you’re a lot less likely to get the help you are looking for.

By Matthew Middleton

8. Remember to retire redundant tests periodically

Merely adding test to your test suite and having high number of tests in your test suites may indicate increased coverage but is certainly not an indicator of greater value addition.

If you go on adding tests to your tests suites in the name of covering new functionality and/or to cover regression, it might show you in good light when it comes to test coverage. However, just having tests in your test suite does not mean they add value. You must do a periodic cleanup of your test suite.

By Brijesh Deb

9. Small things can make a big difference

One of my favourite bug stories is the time that the letter é in the username of an email address crashed an entire production database. When our DBA told me the cause, I was blown away, for two reasons:

  1. Up until then, I didn’t know that characters outside of the usual English ones were even allowed in email addresses. Turns out, the RFC does allow for it in the username part of the address.

  2. Something that small, an unexpected ASCII character, could cause so much havok.

Since that time, I’ve been far more careful about watching for small things, especially when it comes to inputs, but also when I’m told that something is a “small change” to the code.

By Matthew Middleton

10. Invest in Yourself

Invest your time and money on something that makes you better each day. Don’t hesitate in spending your money and time on:

  • Learning something new
  • Joining courses/workshops to upskill
  • Attending conferences/webinars to listen to experts and implement that in your work
  • Setting goals - Short, Mid, Long term and executing those
  • Growing your professional network connections
  • Buying & reading books that help you grow in your Life and Career
  • Writing more about your learnings and experiences
  • Finding a mentor
  • Taking good care of your health
  • Spending quality time with your family, and loved ones
  • Taking breaks, vacations to rejuvenate yourself when needed

By Manjunath N P

11. Mentoring

If you are really good at something please invest your time in helping others, mentor them to climb up their career ladder. Mentoring is not just about giving, you will learn so much from the Mentees.

Also being a Mentor doesn’t mean that you cannot be a mentee. When you have a strong knowledge on something to share, you can mentor people who are looking for the same expertise. When you need to scale-up or learn some new tool/technologies you can turn as a Mentee, find your mentor.

By Pricilla Bilavendran

12. Showcase your learnings by making it public

Share your learnings on the platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, WordPress, Blogger, YouTube, GitHub, etc. - Don’t just keep your practice and learnings confined to your PC

Say you have learned to code, practiced automation, built an automation framework from scratch of some demo website, automated its end-to-end functionality - then push that code to your GitHub repository make it public, and mention that in your Profile/CV

Not just the code, suppose you were curious and tested some popular websites - then in the GitHub/Blog mention your test ideas/test scenarios, testing approach, test techniques you used, and list all the defects, and risks you found.

Next time when someone asks to show what you have learned about testing or how you tested? Just share the links showcasing your work with a brief explanation.

By Manjunath N P

If you’re curious about my testing tips for this challenge, you can check out my Twitter thread here.

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