Why Software Testing Needs Revolution? (and Here is How)

Like every technology, software testing is also growing. As we see, nowadays, technology is evolving fast, there is a question to ask ourselves – as a tester are we growing? (Do not misunderstand this question as growing by learning 5-6 automation tools).

After spending almost a decade in the industry and observing number of projects and technologies, I would like to claim that this is the right time for software testing to be revolutionized.

As usual, I have points to support my claim. Read on –

software testing revolution

End users’ view point has changed:

End users and customers are spoiled for better with multiple choices. Due to neck cutting competition, every business holder wants to have maximum customers and to attract customers or to satisfy end users, they are ready to hit any milestone, be it timeline, cost, product itself…..anything.

And with this change, customer and end users want more perfect, more aesthetic, more reliable product or application in defined timeline. Also customers nowadays do not provide vague requirements and as they are very clear about the requirements they do not want to do any compromise when their requirements are implemented.

With this scenario, as a software tester, we cannot just keep doing traditional testing. We too need to change ourselves, our thinking process, our ideas, our way of working and our eyes to observe.

Here is how:

  • Can’t we ask more questions when we read requirements?
  • Can’t we prepare brief documentation for our and team’s understanding?
  • Can’t we work on improving communication?
  • Can’t we ameliorate our analysis and reporting skills?

If the answers are yes, what are we waiting for? This is the right time to implement, execute, change, observe and report.

Technology is changing rapidly:

Changing Technology

When mobiles were less popular and people were rarely talking about mobile application and most of the people did not think about using different applications on the move, life was easy. Wasn’t it? With growing market for mobile applications, definition of software testing has been changed.

Mobile testing is totally different than the traditional testing and we have to get used to with it.

Here is how:

  • We need to think about more scenarios
  • We need to observe more people and how they use their mobile
  • We need to understand ultimate purpose of product / application

Again, if you are agreed, what are we waiting for? Let’s start implementing from this moment.

Numerous tools but lack of ideas:

automation must be coupled with manual

Automation is in demand and the most painful fact is – people think that if they know automation, they will be automatically considered as good tester.

Sorry to say, but that’s not the case. No tool can replace human mind. Yes, tools definitely make our life easier but ultimately they are created by humans and they need human efforts to use. I am not trying to say that manual tester is better than automation one or vice-a-versa but the point here is testing cannot be completed without ideas and manual efforts. No tool can test / report application/product’s behavior on its own. The tool only follows the script and you need to be prepared to analyze the results generated by the tool.

Nowadays, when market is presenting 100s of new tools and utilities and when we are always at short of time for testing, automation is a must requirement but it should be coupled with manual testing.

Here is how:

  • Let’s learn something new every day and implement it
  • Let’s think about 5 new ways you can test the current application / product
  • Let’s do some detailed research about which tool can make our life really easy
  • Let’s observe the product more closely and provide more details about the bug

Certification:

Software testing Certifications

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How many of you would agree to this statement – anyone can learn and explore more if he is not under pressure of exam? After years, we can understand that those races for marks took us nowhere. Instead we would have taught the subject just to learn. (On a lighter note, my husband always makes remark that whenever I have guests invited for dinner, I unconsciously add more/less salt as I feel pressure. I am sure, in one or the other area of life, we all observe that kind of pressure situation where we have to perform within limited time and believe me, that fear of performing good makes us so conscious that we forget about learning and enjoying, i.e. the process. We just become result oriented and that’s not the good sign for the community).

I am not opposing certification but they are not at all measurements of your real skills. No exam can assess capabilities of someone within time limit. When it comes to software testing, it’s about growing day by day.

  • You cannot think 1000s of ideas in a day,
  • You cannot learn an automation tool in hours,
  • You cannot observe 100s of bugs within first week of testing,
  • You cannot communicate well with developers and customers from starting point of your career

But it surely is a matter of growing. With experience, we learn, implement, nurture our skills and develop ourselves. Learn from your past mistakes and keep notes of them. When working on other projects, remember those mistakes and try to not repeat them.

Tendency to not upgrade after reaching at a position:

Keep on testing

It’s ok if a senior developer turned lead / manager does not code but a real test manager always tests. Yes, when you want to forget the basic skills, you are screwing up your career. No matter, how many years of experience you carry, keep your brain working the way you did. Spend at least couple of hours for testing.

Here is how:

  • Test Real time products
  • Suggest ideas to make product more useful
  • Study the market and learn why some products are bestselling and others are not.
  • Understand how ideas are being implemented in different ways

Conclusion:

Ultimately, as I have been writing for number of times here, software testing is all about ideas. No software tester can survive in the industry if he is not a good idea generator. So make your mind work. Co-relate your product with any real-time product and think how you would test it. It will give you a new sight to look at.

Also, do not forget to add weapons of reporting and communication in your testing beg. The person who cannot communicate well, cannot achieve success in any industry. Equip yourself with training and implement learning to report better and to communicate fruitfully.

About the author: This awesome revolutionary post is written by STH team member Bhumika Mehta. She is a project lead, carrying 7+ years of software testing experience. She is totally into testing and loves to test everything exists.

As usual, waiting for your comments…..let’s make revolution together.

Happy Testing :)



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26 comments ↓

#1 Sheetal on 07.21.14 at 8:18 am

great post. thanks for valuable suggestions and helping this testing field to be on top.

#2 Tanzeem Ahmed on 07.21.14 at 8:21 am

Well explained especially the example of Salt and Guest. Very true. Awesome post

#3 Kiran Raj on 07.21.14 at 8:50 am

Good post, with nice information.along with example.
Thanks for this… :)

#4 Vamsi on 07.21.14 at 8:50 am

Really it’s true we software testers need to evolve…

#5 Bhumika Mehta on 07.21.14 at 8:58 am

@Sheetal, @Vamsi, @Kiran, @Ahmed,

Thanks for encouraging words and glad to know that you liked the post. Stay tuned for more information :-)

#6 siddhant on 07.21.14 at 9:25 am

hi Bhumika,

this is really nice post for revolution.
i also agree with you all points that testing need revolution .
i am happy that my thinking about traditional testing in mobile is correct. Now i have proof of your post with that “WHY software testing need revolution ?”

Thanks for this post…!!!

#7 JAYSHRI on 07.21.14 at 10:37 am

This is correct, nice article software testing is all about ideas and we have to be moving around it

#8 Vijay N on 07.21.14 at 10:52 am

Hi Bhumika,
— Once again, excellent work. We appreciate your notion.
— The 4 points (questioning the requirement, documentation, imp communication, reporting QA tasks precisely) u mentioned carries a lot of meaning, if anyone wants to move ahead in the industry.
— Want to add one more thing, never read the Requirement Doc like a paragraph. Read the doc and prepare a dummy wireframe of ur understanding.
Try to relate with real world applications. This will surely inflate ur vision about the product and hence u will come up with more questionable scenarios right at the requirement stage.
— A request, keep sharing ur thoughts.

Vijay N.

#9 pravin on 07.21.14 at 1:48 pm

Great, keep it up!

#10 Bharat on 07.22.14 at 6:22 am

Hello Bhumika as usual your post is always inspiring and it forces you to think differently. You hit all the points that need to be revolutionized in QA industry , thanks for sharing such a valuable information keep it up… !

#11 Bhumika Mehta on 07.22.14 at 6:27 am

Hi Bharat and Vijay N.,

Thanks a lot for those kind words….I am really inspired by them :-)

#12 Reegan Kothari on 07.22.14 at 6:45 am

@Vijay & @Bhumika:- I am agree with your points and the way u have presented your ideas,its definitely going to make a print on mind but few concerns always confuse mind which are:
1.Most of the time i hear if you are good in automation your career will fly.Why?(If you know QTP you would be considered on upper hand while filtering resume)

2. If you have cleared ISTQB certification you would be considered on upper hand.Why? (As any certification can not define your idea generator level)
There are so many companies those does not work the way we think or standard what has been defined in books or better you can say general standards

As an example i would like to say in our books or websites it has said prepare this after this(STLC & SDLC) but it does not happen in real.

#13 Bhumika Mehta on 07.22.14 at 9:01 am

@Reegan,

First of all thanks for reading the post and agreeing with some point. Answers to your concerns :
1. there are two things here – knowing the tool and working on the tool. Knowing any tool will not impact on your career positively until you do not know how to analyze the data and what to automation and what kind of logic to be applied. So, it might be true that for SOME companies, your CV will be given priority while filtering but in long way it will not work as you need to show relevant skills too. The side note is – logically if you know any tool, it will restrict your vision as you think you can do anything with that tool and this will stop you by learning new things. How many of automation testers know RFT and QTP both? Why people are not interested in learning JMeter if they know silk performer?
2. I simply disagree with the point that any certification will be able to make positive impact. Certifications are basically to check your fundamental knowledge about software testing. And as I said earlier, software testing is all about ideas and so no certification will be able to check your testing capabilities.
3. No company can fully follow the theories in books. In practical world, there are many constraints and so we have to do compromise while following the general processes. Everyone adapts what is suitable and I would say, until quality of product is not impacted there is less concern about whether you followed agile or waterfall or whether you documented test plan or not.

I hope I attended your concerns correctly.

#14 Jon Hagar on 07.22.14 at 5:30 pm

Revolution implies there is something to rebel against and something new to move to. In many ways some of us (testers) have preached against bad testing for years. So yes, we need to rebel against bad testing, which is very common. But what Bhumika Mehta is talking about, is more evolutionary for those newer to testing than revolutionary. Certification of knowledge does not make one a skilled tester. To be skilled, we need to practice, practice, practice. We’ve known this for a while in most fields of work.

#15 SS on 07.22.14 at 6:07 pm

Your article is very inspiring. There is no other way you can tell it is always to good to grow in the right direction.
I am looking for jobs and I will definitely make this a habit.

#16 Ron Wilson on 07.22.14 at 10:13 pm

Great article. I agree that software testers need to help influence and change how testing is viewed and focus on bringing value added services to the table.

#17 Prajakta on 07.22.14 at 10:51 pm

Excellent article! I completely agreed that Software testing is all about ideas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

#18 Anand on 07.23.14 at 6:52 am

must say…a very revolutionary & innovative article…thanx…

#19 Bhumika Mehta on 07.23.14 at 7:26 am

@SS, @Prajakta, @Anand

Thanks a lot for your readership and glad to know that you liked the article.

#20 Mamatha on 07.23.14 at 11:37 am

Nice article….very inspiring…

#21 Prateek on 07.23.14 at 6:18 pm

Nice article. I loved it so much that I have even shared with my colleagues …inclusive of Dev as well :D

#22 Pankaj on 07.25.14 at 10:18 am

Nice Article. Just wondering on a question keep running on my mind.

What is the future role of a software tester ?
Where a tester with 15-20 years of testing experience fits in the current or future markets ?

#23 Reegan Kothari on 08.04.14 at 6:23 am

Thanks Bhumika for answers!!
Yes,You may right for point 3–> No company can fully….but my point where i have doubt yet,why you need to go through those books(As company adapts and implements process as per their convenience) as well if you want to clear certificates.

Very True:-
The side note is – logically if you know any tool, it will restrict your vision as you think you can do anything with that tool and this will stop you by learning new things.

Yes,and a perception for same what i have A person must be knowing what all he/she knows about tool and what all he/she can execute very quickly and a point where he/she lacking

#24 yogeshwar.n on 08.04.14 at 10:47 am

it’s been 6 months since i have been in this industry… i had stereotype mind of learnt evrything..i was rejoicing my QA life.. your post opened my blind folded eyes..finally its time for me to wake up and be updated… will be waiting to hear more from you..thanks a lot for your post..

#25 Frank.Qu on 08.26.14 at 7:04 pm

It’s very nicely laid out basic assets for a good tester. I agree that testing is not about executing the test cases, but more about thinking through scenarios and cutting through logic complexity to get most efficacy in test case design and strategy seeking.

Learning by doing it is a way to grow. Thinking deeply when you learning plays a more important role to make you a great tester!

#26 Bhumika Mehta on 08.28.14 at 7:23 am

@Yogeshwar.n

I am glad that the post was on time to open your eyes and wake up to the new opportunity to learn :-)

@Frank.Qu

Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting.

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