- It is paramount to have the right tools in place for your testing process as this is key in reducing the amount of time it takes to test specific features. Here are some things you might consider when making your choice.
It is paramount to have the right tools in place for your testing process as this is key in reducing the amount of time it takes to test specific features. Here are some things you might consider when making your choice.
- How often do you want to test? If someone only tests once a month, they might not strictly need to use a Selenium-based tool. If someone is running tests several times per day, a continuous integration tool like Jenkins or CruiseControl will be more appropriate.
- What kind of tests do you want to run? Depending on the size of your project, you may have a large number of tests that need to be run. The more complex the system, the greater the chance that bugs will be missed because they cannot be replicated by a simple tester. It is worthwhile to find a tool which can handle all types of testing for your project.
- How much time do you have to spend on the project? If you have a large amount of time to work with, you can run tests over and over again. However, if your project is a tight deadline, it is good to find a tool which can reassure you that the basic functionality works without requiring time-intensive tests.
- What type of database are you working with? A lightweight database like mySQL will be easier to test with than Microsoft SQL Server. If you are using an object-based database like Hibernate, it may be a good idea to test using the HTTP protocol to make sure you do not have issues with SQL injection attacks.
- What is your long term development strategy? How often will the software you are working on be updated? It is important that your testing tools can handle this. If the software you are building will eventually be released, then your testing process needs to be highly automated and without errors.
- What is the nature of the code? The more complex the project, the harder it will be to test. If you are working with a codebase full of legacy issues, it may be better to find a tool which can automate those issues out of the system.
- How much do you know about testing techniques? This is an important question because there are several types of testing that will need to be done for any project. You may need to be familiar with black box testing, white box testing, unit testing and acceptance testing. It is worth finding a tool that can handle as much of this as possible.
- Consider the cost of your team’s time. If time is money, you want to find a testing tool that does not distract from the work you are trying to accomplish. In other words, if you have more important things to do than test your application, then it might be worthwhile to find a cheaper option with fewer features but faster results.
- Do you have access to a testing lab? A dedicated space where you can run test is important. Having all the right tools on hand will speed up your time to market. In addition, having certain tools on hand makes your testing process more efficient and less prone to errors.
- How much do you know about web application development? If you are not familiar with the technology that your application will be built on top of, it may be best to find a tool that does not require too much configuration or know-how from its users.
- What is your budget for testing tools? If you are working with a large budget, you may be able to get away with a more complex set of tools. If not, it may be worth finding a tool which gets the job done efficiently without requiring a lot of time and money to use.
- How long will your project take to develop? Longer projects will require more testing. One way to test more thoroughly is by automating as much of the process as possible. If you are working on a time-based project, it may be worth hiring a professional tester.
- How much control do you have over your testing process? How often will you be able to use the application? If you will always have access to the application, it is best to find a tool that can let you test frequently. If users are going to have limited access to the application, then it might be worth finding a tool with limited functionality.
- How many people will be using the application? If the application you are working on is going to be used by thousands of people, it is worth finding a popular tool which has been tested by many other users. This will reduce the risk that there are any significant bugs in the tool.
- What tools do you already have in place?
Choosing test tools
Test tools should aim to cover all/some of the following goals.
- Perform tests on demand and also at some of the later stages of development by evaluating earlier releases or prototypes. Encourage regular meetings with developers, clients and managers to evaluate tests that have been executed.
- Have the ability to identify single-point failures in critical areas (also known as high failure rate).
- Can produce a report for each test that details the findings, precise information and conclusions.
- Allow testers to run thorough tests, including operations that mimic a user’s session when they access the application.
- Operate in real-time or within very short periods of time (short iteration times).
- Have the ability to send results to other stakeholders via an online platform or a web-based interface where managers and stakeholders can see the results in real time.
- Are flexible and scalable so they can be used by various QA teams, including freelancers.
- Have the ability to automate repetitive tests.
- Can communicate with other important systems, including databases and servers and have an integrated test environment. Conclusion
A comprehensive suite of professional tools is now widely available to many QA teams on a subscription basis or via enterprise license agreements.
Free open-source tools that organizations can use for testing their software is also available but in limited versions which include a very limited set of features.
In addition to the free open-source software, there are companies that sell such software solutions as a subscription business or on an enterprise license basis which may be better ways to go.
To see more about how to become a software tester – see here.
To read more about software quality assurance, see this Wikipedia article.