#1 Running Out of Testing Ideas?
This is the most common problem that an s/w tester can run into while on a project. How many times have you been in a situation where you didn't know what else to test and how? This phenomenon can be called as "tester’s block syndrome" [a condition, associated with testing as a profession, in which a tester may lose the ability to find new bugs and defects in the software that (s)he is testing].
How to overcome this trap?Pair Testing: Pair testing can be an advantage to generate test ideas that seem to have dried up when you try alone. Pair testing is nothing but a testing technique where two testers work in pair to test the software under test. BCA (Brute Cause Analysis): Testers can employ this unique brainstorm technique when one tester thinks about a bug and the other tester thinks of all possible functions and areas where this bug can manifest. Think 'Out of the Box': Instead of thinking about the feature/ function/ application in front of you (being under test), rather; tester should start thinking in opposite directions. Have you ever been trying to run functionality test when you ran out of ideas? How about performance, load and stress tests? How about tests involving data, APIs, structures, platforms, browsers, devices, operations? #2 Missing the Testing Goal?
How many times were you in a team meeting where your manager or someone from the dev. team was talking about this cool new/enhanced feature that needs testing and everybody else in the meeting room appeared to be 'getting it' whereas it was only you who had no idea what it was? When in such situation, nodding your head as if you are able to understand everything may seem like the natural (easy) path but trust me; it is not the best path to go unless you want to end up in trouble later in the test planning and execution phase of this feature! How to overcome this trap? Ask Relevant Questions: The importance of good questioning skills cannot be stressed enough if you plan to be an excellent tester. And this very skill can come to your rescue when you are trapped in a situation like the above. It's okay to admit you don't understand something and then get it clarified than to not admit and be ignorant for rest of your life. Brainstorm: Okay, so you have asked tons of relevant questions about the upcoming feature/ application/ product that needs testing and have taken notes. Now what? Now is the time to pull your testing team and brainstorm ideas to find all sorts of possible test ideas, strategies, plans etc. for this test project by gathering a list of ideas that come spontaneously by the teammates. #3 Suffering from In-attentional Blindness?
How many times have you missed a very obvious bug or a defect or an error that was right there on the screen, staring right back you and yet you missed it because you were busy ticking off the other test items from the testing checklist or executing the test case document? Situations like these can be very embarrassing not only because you missed something that is so basic and so obvious but also because it happened when you were actually busy religiously following the test cases to find things just like these! How to overcome this trap? Stop blindly following the Test Case and Test Matrix: Before starting to use a test case for your testing always ask yourself the following questions and then adjust your test cases to fill any missing links. #4 Not Sure if 'It' is really Working... or Not?
How many times have you come across issues that you didn't report as errors and bugs because you were not sure if it was really a bug or something that you did wrongly and later those same issues were found and picked up by a co-worker or your manager or, god forbid, your clients or the customers?
How to overcome this trap? Trust Your Tester's Instinct: If your instinct is telling you that something is fishy and what you're observing and experiencing could very well be a bug, then follow your instinct and report it to the devs. After all, what could be the worst case scenario? The devs might come back and say it is something that you did wrong (misconfiguration of certain settings, misunderstanding of the actual feature etc.) and not a bug. It is still much better than ignoring it thinking it might not be a bug and later your manager or customer finding it. #5 What to Test and What can be Skipped... Safely?
How many times have you been in a situation when you felt overwhelmed by the number of possibilities and choices to approach testing? With the complexity of software and technology becoming more complex day by day, often the number of things that a tester needs to consider while testing can be overwhelming. And with the project deadline approaching fast it can be very challenging to decide what to test, where to begin, how to begin and what can be skipped. How to overcome this trap? Gather Intelligence Data: First of all, look at the existing bugs in your bug tracker tool and make a note of critical bugs. Talk to developers and ask them to think of top 10 most critical things in the product that affects majority of end-user functions and make a list of them too. Go through the review docs, user manuals, implementer’s guide and basically anything that can give you an idea of things that are going to be most important for your customers and end users.