Many IT companies nowadays adopt agile or DevOps practice to deliver high quality software applications according to varying business requirements. But these practices require practitioners to unify their software development and testing activities. Hence, the programmers and testers have to work as a single team. Also, they must collaborate with each other throughout the software development lifecycle. The IT company also needs to explore ways to improve collaboration between programmers and testers.
7 Ways to Improve Collaboration between Programmers and Testers
1) Adopt Test-First Approach
Several studies have shown the developers can fix the bugs or defects found in software quickly if testing starts early in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). An organization can adopt test-first approach to start testing early in the SDLC. The test-first approach will require the programmers and testers to discuss the types of tests to be conducted. Also, the developers and testers will collaborate with each other to decide the tests that developers can perform as part of the development process and the elaborate testing to be performed by the testing professionals.
2) Make Programmers and Testers Work on the Same Machine
Often a programmer writes the application on a machine and the testers tests it on his own machine. The process prevents programmers and testers to collaborate efficiently. An organization can easily improve collaboration by making the developers and testers work on a single machine. The tester has to test the application on the developer’s machine as soon as the code is written. He can further share his feedback with the developer and get the defects repaired without waiting for the formal build.
3) Define the Tests to be Performed by Programmers and Testers
An enterprise can easily accelerate the software testing process by making programmers perform certain kinds of tests – unit testing, integration testing, smoke testing, regression testing and sanity testing. The programmers have to perform these tests as part of the development process and before handing over the build to testers. But the enterprise needs to convey the details of the tests performed by programmers to testers clearly. The testers can test the software effectively by understanding the tests already covered and to be covered.
4) Make the Tester Identify Complicated Code
The testers can evaluate individual functionality or modules of the software by performing unit defective. Many enterprises require programmers to perform unit testing. But the testers can also perform unit testing and involve programmers in the testing process. The programmers can guide the testers to focus on specific sections of the code. Also, they can consider making changes to the code based on the unit testing results shared by the testers to enhance software quality.
5) Promote Cross-Training
Most programmers are not familiar with software testing techniques and best practices. Likewise, most testers also do not understand how to write and compile code efficiently. An enterprise can easily improve collaboration between the programmers and testers by making them learn from each other. The cross-training will make it easier for programmers to learn how to design and execute test cases efficiently. Likewise, the testers can evaluate the software more effectively when they understand its source code. Hence, cross-training will enhance collaboration between developers and testing professionals, in addition to enhancing the testing process.
6) Focus on Repairing Critical Defects
No testers can identify all defects in the software. They must accept the fact that certain defects will be detected by end users. Also, they can easily get the escaped defects repaired in the next release of the software. At the same time, the programmers also need to accept that no software can be released by zero defects. Hence, they must not confront or blame testers about the escaped defects. The testers and programmers must work together to get the escaped defects repaired as early as possible. Also, they can analyze the escaped defects to make the testing process more effective in future.
7) Develop a Collaborative Work Culture
While unifying software development and testing activities, an organization must focus on creating a collaborative work culture. The collaborative work culture will enable the programmers and testers to communicate with each other through informal channels. The professionals can further share their ideas and thoughts relating to software quality improvement. Also, it will make the developers and QA testing professionals work together on important activities like customer research, unit test designing, and user story development. However, the enterprise also needs to make both developers and testing professionals responsible for the quality of the software.
On the whole, each organization must explore ways to improve communication and collaboration between developers and testers while adopting agile or DevOps practice. It also needs to make the developers and testers work together by creating a collaborative work culture. At the same time, the business also needs to create an open environment where programmers and testers communicate with each other through both formal and informal channels.
A number of studies have highlighted website downtime may cost a business thousands of dollars per minute. A website can go down due to a number of reasons including sudden and insane increase in traffic. Hence, it becomes essential for the enterprise to assess the performance of its website under both normal as well as peak conditions. Also, it needs to determine the maximum operating capacity of the web application as part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to avoid website downtime and crashes in future.
As a type of non-functional testing, load testing helps enterprises to understand the behavior of their websites under varying loads and conditions. The test results further help the business to determine the amount of load or pressure the application can withstand. While performing load testing, the testers simulate real-life user load to assess the performance of the website more accurately. They also use robust testing tools to evaluate the behavior of the application under varying loads and conditions within a short span of time.
Brief Overview of 10 Widely Used Load Testing Tools
WebLOAD helps QA professionals to perform load testing of web application on both Windows and Linux. The testers can further use WebLOAD to perform load and stress testing of web applications using web technologies like AJAX, .NET, Oracle Forms, HTML5 and Adobe Flex. They can even use WebLOAD with both on-premise machines and the cloud. WebLOAD further enables users to perform load testing with complex test scenarios and heavy user load. They can even use WebLOAD under a flexible licensing agreement and varying price plans.
2) LoadUI NG Pro
The commercial load testing tool enables testers to crate robust test cases with simple clicks. It further supports major protocols like SOAP, HTTP, REST, JMS and MQTT, along with varying API formats. The graphical user interface provided by LoadUI NG Pro makes it easier for testers to set up load scenarios. At the same time, the testers can avail advanced scripting feature and test result analysis. They can even set up both local and globally distributed load agents for varying load testing scenarios. The QA professionals can even reuse their existing functional test cases form both SoapUI and SoapUI NG Pro.
3) Apica LoadTest
The automated load testing solution is designed with features to facilitate load testing of web applications, mobile apps, cloud applications and APIs. The developers can further perform load testing the emulating the behavior of over 2 million users simultaneously. The simple and flexible load testing service provided by Apica further makes it easier for testers to observe behavior of web properties under both normal and peak loads. They also have option to choose from a variety of on-demand load testing services according to precise needs of each project.
The commercial, fully-managed, and on-demand load testing service helps QA professionals to perform load and stress testing without putting extra time and effort. Unlike load testing tools, LoadView performs stress and load testing with real web browsers. Hence, it provides more accurate test data and emulates user behavior more precisely. The testers can further avail the cloud-based load testing service by paying according to their usage.
5) Load Xen
The modern load testing tools enables QA professionals to perform load testing more effectively by simulating millions of virtual users at once. Load Xen allows users to scale up the application according to custom load parameters and more virtual users. Also, the testers have option to create real-user-like scenarios according to the workflow. At the same time, Load Xen also provides an array of useful features including option to simulate millions of virtual users, create real user like interaction, create complicated scenarios, concurrent tests, and real-time test results.
6) The Grinder
The open source load testing tool is popularly regarded as the Java load testing tool. The QA professionals can use the Grinder to load test any application with a Java API. However, the Grinder still supports major protocols like HTTP, SOAP and REST Web Services. It further allows testing professionals to write test scripts in two programming languages – Jython and Clojure. The users can further simplify test script development by availing centralized script editing and distribution feature. They can even create test data on the fly by using the data stored in both database and files. The Grinder further allows users to perform load testing based on a number of parameters.
7) Apache JMeter
JMeter is designed as a desktop application and comes with a graphical user interface (GUI). The Java-based load testing tool further runs seamlessly on any platform that supports Java programming language. It is also compatible with several widely used web servers and protocols including HTTP, SOAP, REST Web Services, TCP, mail, LDAP, and MangoDB. The QA professionals can easily enhance test coverage by integrating Apache JMeter with a number of build and continuous integration (CI) tools.
The cross-platform and open source load testing tool is written in Scala programming language. Gatling further simplifies test case creation by providing a recorder. The QA professionals can take advantage of the recorder to simulate user actions and create test cases. They can further customize test scenarios according to precise needs of each project. Gatling further helps test professionals to facilitate decision making by generating clear, colorful, and informative test reports.
The open source load testing tool is widely by testers to perform load testing of websites and web applications. Locust requires testing professionals to write test scenarios in Python programming language. The testers can further run Locust on both single and multiple machines. Hence, the users can easily simulate a large number of users at once by running the load testing tool on multiple machines. They can further take advantage of the extensible web-based user interface provided by Locus to generate real-time and relevant test reports.
10) Diesel Test
Diesel Test is originally designed as a regression testing tool. But it is completely different from conventional regression testing tools. It supports only keyword and mouse driven test script. Also, it lacks robust scripting support. But the testing professionals can take advantage test script playback feature of Diesel Test to perform load testing by emulating the behavior of a large number of real website visitors at once. The tool further allows testers to generate and analyze real-time test results on a regular basis.
On the whole, each QA testing professionalhas option to choose from a wide range of load testing tools. Some of these load testing tools are open source and free, whereas others are licensed and commercial. Hence, it becomes essential for software testing professionals to evaluate various load testing tools according to precise requirements of each project.
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