Five key steps that every software tester should take

This basic testing is designed to identify the bugs that are obvious and can be fixed immediately. You risk getting into an unnecessary and costly cycle where you have to describe the problem to the developers, who will then reproduce the problem, debug it and fix it before trying again.

These are the most important software testing steps that every software engineer must complete before submitting their work to anyone else.

Basic functionality testing

Start by making sure every button on every screen is working. It is also important to make sure that the software can be used to enter text without crashing. It doesn’t matter if you try different clicks, characters, or edge situations. Your testers are experts at this and they can help you make the right choices. This is the goal: Don’t allow anyone to touch your work if it crashes as soon as they input their username. You must test the API functionality of the feature before you submit it to more extensive testing. If you find something not working in your basic functionality testing, it’s okay. It’s okay to tell them it doesn’t work and that you know about it. It can be fixed later. Just don’t forget any surprises.

Basic functionality testing

The second pair of eyes can help you see the source code differently. This step should be completed before you give the code to testing if your coding method requires peer-reviewing. However, you should still test the basic functionality of your code before you submit it for review.

Static code analysis

Tools exist that allow you to analyse bytecode or source code without actually executing it. These static code analysis tools can identify weaknesses in source code such as security flaws or potential concurrency problems. Static code analysis tools can be used to enforce coding standards and to configure these tools to run as part of the build.

Unit testing

Unit tests are written by developers to ensure that a unit, whether it is a class, method, or component, works as expected. They also test against a variety of inputs valid and invalid. Unit tests should be run on every commit to the source code repository in a continuous integration environment. You should also run them on your development machine. Unit tests can be set up by teams to meet certain coverage goals. If they aren’t thorough enough, a build will fail.

Developers can also use virtualized services and mock objects to ensure that their units are independent of each other. Fix any bugs in your unit tests before you let someone else use your code. If you are unable to fix them immediately, tell the other person so they don’t get surprised when they find the problem.

Performance testing for single-users

Some teams include load and performance testing in their continuous integration process. They run load tests immediately after the code is submitted. This is especially true for back-end code. Developers should be focusing on single-user performance and making sure that the software works when they are using it. If it takes more than a few seconds for a page to be displayed from a local (and thus responsive) webserver then you should find out the client-side code that is slowing down things and fix it before anyone else can see it.