To Each Project Its Own Testing Approach

by Dmitry Kirsanov 10. November 2023 11:48

In every realm of work, there is a uniqueness that demands recognition. This truth shines brightly in the world of software testing. It is critical to understand that no two software development projects, even those sharing a technological DNA, can truly be considered identical. Various variables - from the environment within which they're created to the team orchestrating their inception – build unique compositions of software ecosystems. And for us, the software testers, it is paramount to understand and consider these peculiar compositions.

Let's dig a little deeper into some specific examples. Picture this - a software product is on your testing radar. You must determine its peculiarities that could significantly influence test execution. First, you have to understand the technology underlying your product. Is it a web application? A mobile application? Perhaps it's a comic mixing of both? You need to understand what languages and software libraries are used, the platforms the product operates on, and the product’s unique architecture. Is there an API serving as a bridge to the client? How does it store data: is it in a relational or a document database? Also, try to grasp how the software is integrated with other systems and the nature of these interactions? Are they real-time integrations, or defined in batches? Finally, ask yourself, is the software custom-built, or is it an off-the-shelf solution being installed?

That's a lot to ponder, isn’t it? But it doesn't stop there. One must not forget to consider the dynamics of the development environment as well. How is the system being built: Agile development or a traditional Waterfall approach? How frequently are the production releases planned? Look at the company or enterprise for whom the product is being made. The business priorities, work environment, team organization, and communication avenues can all impact your approach to testing.

What about the team behind the software product? Who are these people, what are their strengths and weaknesses? Do they work under the same roof, or are they resiliently working across different time zones? The answers to these questions will inevitably unfold in various contexts, impacting testing strategy.

Approaching software testing with these parameters in mind makes it less effective to adopt a “one-size-fits-all” methodology. It also means that what’s essential to test will change continually. Each product is built or installed in its own unique context, with its own distinct parameters that should directly influence testing techniques. Acknowledging the need for adaptable testing strategies that reflect the ever-growing landscape of software development is crucial in effectively recognizing potential threats and weaknesses in a system.

Let me paint a scenario for you: You are testing a patient portal application for a hospital over a long period. Initially, you're testing features such as public information availability for patients. This information may include parking directions, clinic info, or non-patient-specific health info. As the testing progresses, you are faced with a new feature that allows for display of patients' private information and the ability to pay bills online via credit card. Here, security and privacy risks multiply, which means you should now be considering various new testing parameters, such as ensuring patient data confidentiality and testing for credit card data vulnerabilities during transactions. Suddenly, your previously effective testing protocol appears inadequate.

This uncertainty and change are a part of the job for a software tester. Unlike developers who can learn a few technologies and comfortably build a lot of different applications using the same syntax and libraries, testers are constantly on their toes, learning, adapting, and applying. It is a constant race against the evolving tide of technology.

The dynamic world of software testing is far from dull. As methodologies, technologies, and systems evolve, our task as testers is to adapt, learn, and stay ahead of the curve. So, buck up, software testers! The only constant in our work is change, and that’s what keeps us on the edge of our seats!



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