Stakeholders receive important feedback from quality assurance testers about the state and the quality of a new application, enabling them to fine-tune decisions leading up to rollout.
A task tagged as QA Approved is what everyone requires, but behind the scenes, there are several software testing challenges that a testing team needs to face to reach a level defined as QA Success. With the advancement and development of new tools and processes, much of the usual monotony found in QA tasks has been reduced, but at the same time, the team faces a set of new challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the trending challenges faced today by the software testing industry.
Challenges in Modern Software Testing
SaaS Model and Cloud Integration
System testing a decade ago involved using a stand-alone application with few or no integrations, but a lot of today’s systems are created using the SaaS model or cloud integration. This transformation requires testing teams to upgrade their skills regularly and remain aware of the latest integrations and developments. At the same time, testers need to possess excellent communication and interactive skills so they can effectively collaborate with both internal and external teams.
Multiple Device Compatibility
With so many browsers and device choices available today, applications need to be compatible with many. Even with several emulators and simulators available, cross-browser testing and device compatibility remains challenging for testers. Sometimes a requirement states that testing needs to be conducted on real devices which means the QA setup requires a lot of hardware and the latest versions installed to perform successful cross-browser and compatibility tests.
Setting up Test Environment and Test Data
Creating a test environment similar to a real environment has always been a challenge for QA teams. It requires effort from development, and also assistance from third parties to create a sandbox and to set up integrations. With the international reach of the European GDPR and other imposed data regulations, the creation of test data is another challenge for the testing team. A few years back, an entire data dump could be taken from production and copied over to the test environment, but now data protection masking must be in place to avoid moving confidential data to the test environment, which makes it more difficult for testers to generate data close to the real-time data.
Adoption of Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Testing
The software testing industry has mostly transitioned from Waterfall to Agile and DevOps. There has been a growing myth in the testing community, suggesting that in the world of Agile and DevOps, testers will become obsolete. There will always be a need for testers; all that is required is a change of mindset and a new thought process from the testers. Agile requires breaking up modules into user stories which are tested for each sprint; the testers must align and plan to test the user stories keeping in mind the overall global objective and not just one part of it. The aim of pass/fail for a test scenario is acceptable, but more than that, the team now needs quick and continuous feedback along with recommendations from each of the testers. The team of developers appreciates a bug report that carries a detailed description of any failure, which can help them to fix the problem quickly.
UX/UI and Design Testing
Applications need to be exposed to and used by a range of different users, so attention needs to be paid to the look and feel of the product, as well as its performance. Many business owners hire design agencies to guide the design aesthetics of their product. From a QA perspective, functional testing is still the primary focus, but due to changing trends, the testing team now needs to make a shift and also be capable of validating the systems from design aspects as well. A lot of attention is required to ensure the final product doesn’t have UX flaws and offers the best user experience.
Lastly, waiting on the schedules and efficiencies of other teams has always been a challenge, and will continue to be so. Software testing is never a stand-alone activity, and irrespective of how good or fast the associated team is, there will always be a dependency on teams such as development or deployment. The start of test execution is also dependent on when the release is marked as ready for QA, and the same happens when the team needs to wait for bug retesting. Squeezing of overall QA timelines and extended work hours have been experienced across numerous projects.
Irrespective of the challenges faced by testers on a day to day basis, software testing teams continue to deliver on time despite setbacks, and with the expected level of quality.