29 Software Testing Tips

Written By John Sonmez

Career advice for Testers

1. Find your passion in Software Testing

To some people, working in Software Testing seems like a drag. But others love the complexity and challenge it provides. Whenever you feel doubt about your career choice, revisit your passion for Software Testing: You get to learn something new all the time, solve difficult problems, and in the process, help create a better product that’ll make people happy and improve their lives.

What’s not to love about that? 

2. Remember why you’re in a great career

Software Testers are still in high demand. And you don’t even need to have a degree to get a great job in the field.

The work is fun, flexible, and challenging, but rewarding. If you want, it can also be a great stepping stone for you to level up and transition into a Business Analyst role, for example. 

These are just a few reasons why choosing a testing career is worthwhile.

3. Stay ahead of current trends in Software Testing

The Software Testing landscape has been changing fast during the last few years, owing to everything going digital, increasing options for no-code testing, as well as the rise of AI, among other reasons. 

If you stay informed about any new trends in Software Testing, you’ll be able to prepare for the future and seize any new opportunities that come up.

4. How to move from Manual to Automation Testing

Manual testers are pushed into automation testing because that’s where the market is moving. If you want to make the move from manual to automated testing, you not only need to improve your existing skills and learn new ones – most importantly you need to change your whole mindset as a tester. Keep up with the times and gain access to the most relevant jobs.

Software Testing tips for developers

5. Are you a developer? Here’s what to know about Testing & QA

Your responsibility as a developer is to stay ahead of QA – aim to make your code as flawless as you can.

On top of that it’s also a good idea for developers to know how Software Testing works and what QA is actually doing in their job. Learn about black/white box testing, acceptance testing, automated testing, regression testing, functional testing and exploratory testing, so you’ll be able to have meaningful conversations with your QA staff and improve teamwork.

6. Accept that a good developer isn’t always a good tester

Even though they’re working on the same program, testers are coming at it from a different perspective than the developers. It can be tough for a developer to make that switch in mindset, from having tunnel vision on solutions, to being more concerned with and hunting for potential problems. Unless they’re both aware of this divide and willing to work on overcoming it, this often means that developers are bad testers. If both developers and testers try to better understand where the other is coming from, productive output can be increased while frustration is minimized. 

7. Code reviews & QA approaches

As a developer, it’s crucial to perform code reviews and have quality assurance protocols in place. Not only should you do your own reviews, but also have them done by your team. As mentioned it’s also a good idea for you as a developer to know what the QA process will look like.

Tips on learning and resources

8. Just getting started in automation? How to do it right

Here’s what to know if you’re starting in automation testing: First you need to scout the market to see which companies are hiring and what kinds of roles and skills they’re looking for. Then focus on mastering an object-oriented programming language (e.g., Python) – because the best automation testers also have a deep understanding of code languages. Next you should pick a good testing framework and learn the most important testing concepts. Finally, keep practicing your skills and applying for testing jobs.

9. Get the best learning resources

You don’t need to go to college to become a successful Software Tester. You can find all the testing resources you need online – both free and paid. Get a good book or two, check out some free tutorial blogs & videos, and possibly enroll in a paid course to improve your testing skills more quickly.

10. Create test automation framework architecture the right way

When you’re building a test automation framework architecture, you want it to allow tests to be created such that they’re working independently from changes to the user interface of the program. This means that only the framework interacts with the UI, not the tests themselves. 

11. Acknowledge the challenge of Unit Testing

Unit Testing is hard because there’s layers of complexity to it. It can get to a point where we need to test a class in different states and with added external dependencies. Thus our code will have to become more complex as well. This makes it hard to create a Unit Test that’s a) working without bugs and b) achieves its goal in the most efficient way.

Software Testing skills tips

12. Choose the best tool for your Test Management

There’s multiple categories of tools you can use to manage your tests: Full testing suites, pure play testing tools and open source tools. Pick the best test management tool for what you’re trying to do and make your life as a Software Tester a lot easier.

13. Whether to pick Zephyr or QTest?

Both Zephyr and Qtest are powerful softwares for your test management. The cloud-based QTest tool wins at flexibility and speed of automation testing, while Zephyr has a better user interface, is easier for team collaboration and has better bug traceability features. In a direct comparison of Zephyr and Qtest, Zephyr comes out slightly ahead.

14. Learn Boundary Value Testing

One important Black Box Testing technique is Boundary Value Testing – a method for testing edge cases. It’s easy to implement but gives you a big ROI. It’s something you should have in your arsenal as a Software Tester.

15. Build your soft skills

Because developer-tester interaction and teamwork play such a large role for Software Testers, you’re well-advised to not only work on your technical skills. Your level of soft skills can make or break your testing career. Improve your communication ability, productivity, flexibility, mindset, and above all, empathy with everyone involved in your work processes. You’ll make yourself more popular with your coworkers while setting yourself apart from less well-rounded, socially savvy testers in this competitive environment.

16. Choose the best frameworks

A software testing professional knows all the frameworks available and is able to pick the right one for the job. From the popular frameworks for Selenium, BDD automation, Unit Testing, Mocking, Acceptance Testing, Mutation Testing and Property-Based Testing, to Code Coverage and Static Analysis Testing, there’s a wealth of options out there for you to study and select the best ones from.

17. Master Selenium WebDriver framework architecture

Selenium WebDriver is the most popular automation testing framework out there. Learn to create automation testing framework architecture with Selenium from our step-by-step tutorial, and/or feel free to take a look at other Selenium learning blogs out there.

Master the techniques these tutorials give you and make your next automation project a success.

18. Synchronization in Selenium WebDriver

Your automated tests should be synchronous with how the application runs in real time. To achieve synchronization when using Selenium Webdriver for your software tests, use a functionality called Explicit Waits. Other types of waits like Implicit Wait and DefaultWait are good to know, but not suggested or required to use.

19. Learn parallel testing in Selenium

You can cut down on execution time for your tests by using parallel testing. It not only makes your own work more efficient, but also improves your team’s feedback loop. Implementing parallel testing with Selenium Webdriver means you’ll have to take a number of steps – but it’s well worth it to make your testing process more efficient.

20. Using Selenium with Node.JS

Want to get a more compact script for your automated tests? Then why not use JavaScipt (Node.JS) with Selenium? It makes sense to use this web development language for web automation with Selenium. You don’t need to complicate matters by creating your tests in another language like C#, Ruby, Python or Java.

21. Consider using TestFlight for iOS apps

If you’re looking to test a release build, TestFlight is a great option for testing your iOS app. You should consider it especially if you’re a solopreneur or small business and/or don’t have the budget to have a dedicated testing team. You’ll be able to get feedback from over 10,000 users, test multiple apps at once, as well as give internal users special access – all with this free app testing tool.

22. Learn to properly test APIs

While Selenium is great for UI-based tests, when testing the API of a service, you’re better served using REST requests. Learn how API tests work, pick a good testing tool (e.g. Postman), and start testing APIs more efficiently than you ever could with automated UI tests.

23. Use Agile Testing metrics

Is your company using Agile methodology in their development process? Then your testing has to measure up to the Agile approach as well. To ensure this is happening, you should use Agile testing metrics such as a Burn Down Chart, Running Tested Features and Cumulative Flow. Master Agile Testing and you’ll create a better development environment that consistently produces high-quality output.

24. Abide by Software Testing guidelines

If you want to assure bug-free software, it’s a good idea to orient yourself to the guidelines of proper Software Testing. As part of the Software Development Lifecycle, there’s a Software Testing Lifecycle to follow as well. This way you’ll make sure every detail of planning, review, test case prep & execution, bug fixing, and finally, product release, is taken care of in a systematic manner.

25. Take your job security into your own hands

There’s no question automation is to a large extent replacing manual testing. That’s why it’s important you take matters into your own hands and start securing your future as a Software Tester. Accept the realities of the market. Keep expanding and leveling up your skills. Do this and you’ll never have to worry about being out of a job for long. Worst case, should human testers ever become obsolete, you’ll have become so skilled that you’ll have an easy time pivoting into an adjacent field.

26. Load testing with Locust

Part of testing a software is to assure its performance under load. Locust is a framework you can use to load test your applications. It’s fast, easy to use, and free – making it a good choice for those with a limited testing budget.

27. Unit testing in Android

When unit testing an Android application, should you choose to do it on an Android device/emulator, or inside a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)? It’s advantageous to use the JVM, mostly because it’s faster. Unit testing on a real device or emulator simply hurts the efficiency of your testing process too much.

28. Understand the difference between Games Testing and Software Testing

Games Testing and Software Testing are not the same. For one, fewer things are automated when you’re testing games as opposed to regular applications. Games Testing also has even less of a need for you to have a CS degree, as it’s less technical than Software Testing. When you switch from testing games to testing other software, you’ll enjoy the benefits of higher pay and less overtime worked.Γ

29. Become familiar with testing Blockchain Apps

Proper testing is even more important for decentralized apps than ‘traditional’ software – because once a smart contract is on the blockchain, it can’t be changed. Besides these specialties, testing blockchain apps requires many of the same skills needed in Software Testing. Get familiar with dApps now to future-proof your testing career!