4 Software Testing Challenges and Their Solution
Life is full of challenges. So is software testing. You can’t imagine a successful software development process without tests. Neither can I. But some stakeholders frequently overlook this stage and regret it.
Good testers are like couriers bringing bad news. However, properly testing a product yields better results. It will scrutinize the solution to uncover defects before a potential client does, improving customer experience, saving money, and bringing more profit. It’s easier to prevent something than to deal with the consequences, agree?
While you may think that I’ll only talk about technical issues, most of the time, testing teams face non-technical problems. More uncovered bugs mean more work for the development team. The tension between testers and developers grows. Deadlines are burning.
At this point, it’s critical to remember that all the staff is united with the same goal: to create the best product possible. And that means you need the highest level of quality assurance. In this article, I’ve collected common challenges testers face and how to tackle them.
Top 4 Software Testing Challenges You Should Prevent
1. Unstable Test Environment
A test environment is a server where you run the test cases relatively safely. It combines software, hardware, and network configuration to build identical conditions when you need to test your product.
Yet the environment in which testers operate isn’t always in their control. For example, you have more than one tester on the team. There may be multiple members of the testing team, and everyone makes changes throughout the process.
That’s what we usually call an unstable environment. If you don’t clearly state the responsibilities of each member, it may be hard to track the status of the current build.
How to Solve This
1) Start with formalizing test environment requirements early in the testing lifecycle. For example, if employees describe the introduced changes, it reduces turnaround times.
2) Create a formal template to capture the needs, allocate appropriate resources with matching skill sets, and buy the necessary infrastructure to introduce new environments.
Note that adding more test environments won’t necessarily fix the problem. It may lead to:
- slower server performance;
- poorer quality;
- fewer chances to conduct regression testing.
3) Instead, you should avoid a lack of communication within a team. You may make use of separate team chats, for example, in Slack, in which the team can discuss testing matters. Also, opt for quality project management tools (for instance Jira), which allows to keep things organized, create tickets and tasks, share updates, and have an easy to comprehend project timeline.
All this creates an organized and controlled testing environment. It allows QA and testing teams to go on to the following phases rather than switching back and forth to check the changes all the time.
2. Communication Gaps and Other Problems
Communication issues occur not only among testers but throughout all stages of software development. Working on a project involves a lot of people. It includes testers, developers, technical architects, marketers, and the business team.
And that’s why it’s hard to prevent disputes and issues within large corporations. Here are several examples.
- Many team members work remotely
Remote work along with different time zones can result in the inability to make collaborative product decisions. There may be cases when you can’t approach someone to discuss the project in person or even talk to them online.
- Management challenges
It’s not uncommon that testing teams face inadequate scheduling or faulty test-related risk management.
- Poor integration of testing and engineering processes
Case in point, when it’s too early or too late to test components and subsystems (before they are mature enough or when they’re very sophisticated).
Another issue can arise when developers spot defects, add new features, and modify test environments without notifying the testers of the improvements. Then the QA team lacks comprehensive and accurate information, provoking chaos.
- Teams use different tools
As strange as it may sound, but not using the same tools within a team is a widespread roadblock case.
All these scenarios hinder the overall release process and cause schedule delays. This may have a long-term negative impact on the test environment quality, time-to-market deadlines, and overall costs.
How to Solve This
1) There is no one-size-fits-all approach to resolving communication challenges within a testing team. How do you involve each person in the process to be on the same page? The possible solutions may include establishing a single, consistent information system across the entire organization.
2) Once again, line out the communication means, project management and other tools that the team will use right at the start of the project to keep things clear.
3. Not Documenting the Requirements
Although each development stage is essential, it’s better to detect bugs before they find their way into the maintenance phase. Figures prove that it’s up to 100 times more beneficial to discover defects during the requirements gathering phase rather than when it’s too late.
However, many teams need to pay more attention to requirements to correctly test software and avoid problems.
Modern project development methodologies, such as agile, mean that hardware and software should be frequently upgraded. It also involves constant feedback gathering and adjusting to customer needs.
Let’s take rapid application development. This approach indicates that developers build a new version of software every week.
As a result, requirements may change at any time. And these modifications may provide a significant challenge to testers and increase turnaround times. That’s why the QA team should monitor or receive heads-ups of any changes to the app’s features or needs.
How to Solve This
1) Provide comprehensive documentation describing all requirements. This documentation will serve the QA teams throughout the project lifecycle. It will also assist testers in defining expected product outcomes and developing the most appropriate tests.
2) Make sure the requirements are accessible and updated timely. This way, you’ll save the team a lot of trouble.
4. Incomplete Testing
A reliable and faultless project should undergo various test combinations. For example, testers conduct regression testing for every piece of code and find the reasons why something can fail.
It’s especially relevant for complicated applications, but you can imagine how long it takes. By all means, testing is a lengthy process.
Plus, testers can miss some bugs as they are humans or have to launch the project urgently. Clients want to maintain a competitive advantage and require software teams to produce solutions in shorter time frames. It’s quite a stressful situation for testing teams.
Suppose QAs don’t have a priority list of requirements. How can they determine what to do in the first place? It results in insufficient test coverage and software defects.
According to The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Infrastructure for Software Testing report, every thousand lines of code contains about 2 to 7 defects. Imagine a typical product with a few million lines of code. Such a complex system will have hundreds or even thousands of bugs.
How to Solve This
1) Prioritize and plan test cases. Think of what you can automate and what is better to perform manually. The proper order helps teams identify urgent areas, where focusing the attention at the initial stage will save time and money later.
2) Keep track of timing as bottlenecks and development roadblocks can lead to an unneeded rush during the testing stage.
Software testing is a crucial part of building a solution. If done correctly, it ensures the projects:
- time to market;
How will the product perform on the users’ devices? Will it be possible to scale it up? Will it handle a sudden traffic spike? QA teams rely on various testing approaches to ensure that the best product reaches the market.
However, it becomes harder to manage and keep up with the changing requirements and the quick development cycle. And that’s where numerous performance testing problems come on the scene.
Ensure great testing results by preventing the issues mentioned above, from creating documentation to ensuring proper communication in the company.
Alex Husar, chief technology officer at Onilab LLC. For over 8 years he’s been working on Magento migration and development projects as well as building progressive web apps (PWAs). Alex is an expert in full-stack development who shares his expertise and in-depth knowledge on modern technologies and Computer Software Engineering.