So you are a software tester. It does not matter whether it’s your very first day as a beginner or you have just entered a new project or simply finished your morning coffee and are willing to find some defects: every single testing session begins with questions you have to ask.
Your primary aim is detecting, tracking and reproducing defects so they may be fixed with ease. To do so you will catch yourself in a loop of proper questions and answers, dozens of them, indeed. But are there any primary questions you are to ask? Sure, you can begin with:
- What are the requirements? You will never get any result without truly realizing all requirements documentation. No requirements at your disposal mean you are wasting time doing nothing. Requirements allow you to understand what functionality is expected from software and what may be considered an issue. You are as blind as a bat without them, literally meaning those documentations should be your primary focus and a guide light throughout your entire career as a software tester making the question “what are the requirements?’ your rational first choice.
- Are there any limitations? We are talking of any technical limitations you may encounter while testing an app. Critical thinking must be your ultimate superpower. And if you put that mindset to figuring out all possible limitations testing will take on to the next level. Here is a nice example: data input fields that are designed to accept certain pieces of data, whilst inputting something different may cause fascinating effects and even crashes as well as the discovery of multiple potential security breaches. So you, as a tester, have to consider all potential limits any piece of software may have and test them to the core.
- What are the tools at your disposal? Surely it’s not the guns that win combat, but the soldiers wielding them you won’t like it close and personal when your only solution is your fist. Same with software testing. Right tools may truly do magic and boost your productivity sky high; while a poor choice will do more harm that benefit. Ask about what you have at your disposal and note which tools other teams are using to get a fairly better general picture. Various processes may be automated; hence more tools will be required properly tailored to the scope of the project. You have to consider the language of programming developers were using, the environments they were in as well as those you will be using, platforms, functionality and more. You, as a tester have to be aware which tool to choose for any particular task and if you are supplied with less – point that out to your manager.
- When to end testing? You may be close to a deadline or simply put of ideas, whatever the case you can only finish testing after you answer the following question: what was not done yet? Ask yourself about any places you still have not looked at. Review your specs. It’s always better to run more tests before launch than less, really, even if some deadlines won’t be met.
These four little questions are actually quite more than they seem from first sight and must be treated with respect. You have the answers – you can truly test software!