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Thursday December 3, 2015
Software Testing is an important and inevitable part of the software industry. Even then, it is a field that is filled with myths, misconceptions, and a whole lot of false beliefs. These myths are about Software Testing and Software Tester as a whole. Every person in the industry, including a Software Tester, believes in a few things that are not actually true. When these misconceptions start spreading among the management, it becomes a serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
A number of expectations are put on a Software Tester, and a number of them are not actually realisable. Moreover, they are not given the due respect and importance they deserve. Here are a few common myths and misconceptions regarding the field of Software Testing Services that need to be get rid of:
Yes, many people do actually believe that software testing is a mundane and no brainer job that can be taken up by any person. Well, the irony is that even testers feel this at times. Testing is a job that can get too boring, monotonous, and mechanical, but only if you are not doing it right! People believe that they are doing the same things over and over again, and start getting bored with their testing job. Well, it is just a belief.
If you consider Software Testing to be boring, then every other job like web designing, programming, accounting, banking, analysis, and everything else would be boring right? Why jobs, even daily tasks like eating, sleeping, and socialising are boring. If you consider the part of repetition, then this holds true for everything you do in life. But we do not stop at that, right. We do continue eating and sleeping the same way all through our lives.
A good Software Tester has the ability to look at his job in a creative manner. He finds it a way to gather information through activities done to explore and discover answers to questions that no one has ever asked before. His job is not just finding bugs and flaws in the software. The software in hand needs to be studied, explored, observed, and analyzed completely for you to be able to evaluate it. This is definitely not boring!
The job of a Software Tester is not boring. You just need to change the way you are testing. An all new approach to test, think, and devise test ideas will make you love your job once again. Give it a try.
A tester will be able to test everything in hand only if you provide the resources, infrastructure, time, budget, and everything else indefinitely. It is totally foolish on your part if you expect a Software Tester or a Software Testing team to be able to test all the test scenarios with a limited amount of resources in the given time frame. A good tester makes it a point to prioritise the requirements and build test scenarios that are critical at present. But, testing all these test scenarios is not a possible task. The myth that testing will deliver a 100% bug free software product is what needs to be debunked.
There are several reasons as to why a tester cannot yield 100% accurate results. The lack of infrastructure, lack of resources, limited time frames, the vastness of the permutation and combination for a product, and so on are just a few of the many reasons. Testing can only show you that bugs do exist; it can never guarantee that bugs do not exist.
This can be proven with a simple example. Life-critical systems that are used in fields like medicine, spaceships, and airplanes do go through really critical and stringent testing procedures before they are actually used practically to make sure they function effectively. Even then, it is not possible for a tester to predict accurately and test the actual altitude, air pressure, number of crew members and passengers, the wind speed, total load on the flight, temperature, and so on given a particular day. The simulator is not able to create any random day’s environmental and other variable conditions. As such, you never know what exactly the flight will have to endure once it is put in to use.
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There are a huge number of people who believe in this. Well, you cannot be blamed if you also do. It is easy, especially for a person who has just started working as a Software Tester. He could get confused about his job and role in the industry. As such, many believe that their job is to just find out the bugs in the software and report them.
Well, an important part of the job of a Software Tester is finding bugs, but not limited to it alone. There are further roles that come with it. Apart from digging out bugs, testers need to analyze the requirements, review the architecture of the product, give his reviews and feedback to improve the product and make it more user friendly, validate the help documents for the product, and perform a number of other related tasks.
People usually believe that the role of a software tester is just limited, and this adds to value to the software product. Well, this is absolutely an insult to the whole field of Software Testing Services. A good and skilled software tester is an expert of the software product under test. The programmers usually spend time working on specific areas, modules, functions, or components in the software. But, the tester is someone who has overall knowledge about the whole product. He analyzes and understands the working of the entire system from an end to end standpoint. A tester has a better chance to be able to demonstrate how well they understand the product such that it adds value to the product.
Most of the automation testing experts spread this myth all over. This is just an outrageous prediction with no basis at all. The most insane part of it is that even software testers themselves have started to believe in this.
Test automation tools can never ever replace human testers. There is no big logic to understand the reason behind this fact. There was a time when Computer Aided Software Engineering or CASE had emerged and people had started assuming that one day computers will start writing codes and replace human programmers rendering them jobless. As you see, that never even happened.
Similarly, test automation will never eliminate the need for human testers. Well, not unless human robots take over the planet, long thought!! Till that never happens, human testes will never be replaced for any reason. Humans have a basic capability that test automation tools do not have, which is “emotions”. Since it is only humans who use the software under test, you always need human testers to test it. Test automation tools have this one disadvantage that does not let them replace human testers.
Test automation tools are able to tell you if the colours, layout, and fonts in the screen are as per the requirements, but it can never say if the user will find it pleasant and comfortable to use. Automated testing does not come straight out of a box or a download. It is like you get an engine, but not the whole car.
You can never expect automated testing to find a whole lot of bugs. In fact, you must not even automate all your tests. It is important for some tests to stay manual. Some tests need a whole lot of time to get automated. You must never use automation if it provides no value.
It is not that automation tools are bad or ineffective. In fact, they are absolutely useful for testing definite areas like testing involving performance and load, large amount of calculations, regression tests, and so on. These areas are time consuming and really hectic for human testers. As such, test automation tools behave as supplementary tools that can make the job of a software tester even easier and more accurate, but not as a replacement.
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One thing you must remember is that testers do not work to break your code and put you at fault. They do not love breaking your code. In fact, the code is already broken, and a software tester helps you by finding it. They only disperse the illusion that a product is working perfectly. They show you the bugs and errors that you might have missed out on while coding. This helps you in correcting yourself and making the code unbreakable.
Testers break the false beliefs that the developers and stakeholders have about a software product. They introduce you to the realities and show you where you have gone. This gives a better chance to correct the code. Testers help you and give you a chance to correct your mistakes.
This is a very dangerous, yet very common misconception that prevails across the industry. Even the management encourages on maintaining such a relation between the developers and testers. This does more harm than good in the long run, and its effects could be devastating. A friendly relation between the two could foster a valuable product. The testers will be able to approach the developers for interesting test ideas and even get important clues to help them with the testing process. This enables a better test environment and helps the software product as a whole. One thing you need to remember is that bugs are introduced in the product by the developers, so they are the best persons to consult to find out possible ways to detect them.
These are some of the most common misconceptions that people have regarding the field of Software Testing. Free yourself of these myths and understand the reality. These rumours have been spreading far and wide throughout the IT industry for a long time now. It is high time to put an end to them and start looking at this profession in a better light.