What are the key responsibilities of every software tester? You may not be able to see the product of their work, but software testers are vital in assuring quality standards of developing and deploying your new software tool. To ensure the software created by developers is fit for its purpose and meets all your needs, testers perform relevant manual tests, and where it's possible, they make automated tests.
A software tester must consider all the functional requirements and check whether they have been implemented optimally. The same applies to the necessary technical specifications. Non-functional tests, which include, e.g., efficiency, usability, and security, are also a piece in the testing puzzle.
Michał Szczelina is a Senior Quality Assurance Automation Engineer at CSHARK, the testing process that he conduct is usually carried out in 5 stages. Here’s what they are and what tasks each of them involves:
Software testers usually start by reviewing requirements documentation submitted by the client. They often have to follow up with them to paint a clear picture of the necessary functionalities of the tool. This is an essential component of the testing process because if the requirements are imprecise or incomplete, relevant tests cannot be prepared. At this stage, we analyze what effect a given functionality has on the application, whether it affects the application performance or whether it impacts security, or may affect other features of the entire system/application. The scope of test planning in the next stage depends on this analysis.
A software tester must understand user stories and use cases before he can move on to testing the software for validity and feasibility. You will know you’re working with an excellent software tester when they ask you lots of follow-up questions after you’d submitted the requirements documentation. This is the so-called early testing which is usually performed before the software tool is written.
Once the requirements become clear, a software tester creates relevant test cases and scenarios and puts together the overall testing plan following the requirements. This requires a thorough estimation of test efforts and planning workloads accordingly, together with the Testing Lead.
Usually, there are numerous test cases to be verified, so planning is critical for the overall success of the entire testing operation. At this stage, the tester must consider all aspects of testing, including, e.g., relevant security checks, which are oriented and ensuring the tool will not be easy to hack and follows security standards protecting it from data breaches.
At this stage, the tester verifies if the application has been written correctly and whether it can be integrated seamlessly with other components in the destination environment. During this phase, the tester tracks software inconsistencies, retests defects where possible, and records the results of each test.
We test the application in terms of quality in functional tests. If necessary, we test non-functional features of the application/system to check how the system behaves under a high data load or how it handles many users. We also conduct security tests and usability tests. When the evaluation criteria are complete, we perform regression tests to check that the new functionality does not adversely affect the functionality added earlier.
Once the tests are completed, the results are analyzed on database impacts, errors, bugs, usability, and security. The software tester must remain assertive at this stage and carry out re-testing whenever necessary, even if it means that the overall development process may be delayed. Attaining the maximum quality standards is every testers’ mantra.
At this stage, the tester also develops a regression test plan for stable features and makes recommendations for repairs wherever possible. This is where designing and creating automation scripts come in handy. If you’re looking to hire a software tester for your team, opt for someone who has those skills. They will be more independent in providing relevant solutions to problems.
After the testing and retesting phase, software testers prepare relevant documentation and compile reports that clearly indicate how the testing phase went: what bugs and issues have been identified, fixed, and which were impossible to fix, stating the reasons for those difficulties. He also communicates the problems to the relevant teams.
When the time comes for deploying your new software tool, the tester provides support to the client whenever necessary. He supervises the work until the tool is up and running and supervises updates as required. He will be looking for possible ways to increase the quality standard of your tool throughout your project.
This article opens the series about software tester responsibilities, and in general, about the tester's role in software development projects. The series is based on the best test practices that we apply in CSHARK, and the knowledge we share is based on our experience. Read the following article about the technical skills of the excellent software tester here.