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Suggestions for Boosting Software Testing Efficiency: Part I

For this week’s blog post, I thought I’d take a step away from ISEB and ISTQB certifications and broaden the subject matter to include software testing as a whole.  Specifically, in this post (part I of several), I will be focusing on ways in which software testing processes can be improved to be more effective and efficient. 

As you probably know, one problem in our industry is that there is very little information sharing when it comes to software testing best practices.  This is problematic because there are many types of software testing methodologies out there, and all of them can be improved by incorporating best practices into the process.  So I thought it might be helpful to do a top-5 list focusing on this very subject.

Specifically Define Entry and Exit Criteria

Every step in the software testing process should have well-defined entry and exit criteria.  This helps to reduce testing gaps, and also allows management to have more visibility into the overall process.

Test on Every Relevant Platform

It is obviously critical to ensure the product being tested functions properly on all the applications for which it was developed, and therefore a methodology that incorporates every applicable environment must be formally integrated into the testing process.

Do an Internal Beta

If you are testing a consumer product of some sort, why not ask company employees to be your guinea pigs?  This reduces costs since actual user data can be obtained without doing an external beta. 

Deploy Automated Testing Tools

It goes without saying that the greater the number of automated tools used in the software testing process, the greater the efficiency of said process.  Any time manual work is reduced or eliminated, money will be saved and testing gaps will be minimized. 

Create User Scenarios

Creating user scenarios that address the various functions of the product being tested helps keep testing efforts focused on the main objective – making sure the product works properly in the face of normal and expected consumer usage.   

Well, that covers my list for this week.  Whether you have your ISEB Foundation, ISEB Intermediate, ISEB Practitioner, ISTQB Foundation (CTFL), or ISTQB Advanced certification, the tips outlined in this post can help optimize the efficiency of your software testing efforts.  Don’t forget to check back next week for Part II of this series.


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