One of the main objectives of software testing is to build a level of confidence in the quality of the software product. There are multiple ways by which high quality software can be produced. Conducting functional testing is one of them. Many testers mainly focus on functional testing of the product to find defects, and to ensure high quality solutions. However, a tester can contribute to the value of the project in many other ways. Let us see how!
As you may already know: Automation saves the time, cost, and resources of a team. A tester could always look for opportunities to automate the manual work. Choosing an appropriate tool depends on budget, development lifecycle, followed by product details etc., a tester has all the required details. Apart from this, automation can be done in other forms such as: create code to record application logs, create test data, mock the production data, or create triggers. The tools recognized for automation can be checked for usefulness by demonstrations or using free versions.
Think Out Of the Box
Out of the box thinking gives us scenarios to test the product risks, which could otherwise be assumed to not occur. A tester could brainstorm to detect all possibilities of failures, and disasters that can occur with the software product. They could also communicate to business stakeholders to let know these risks, so they are well informed that their product is being tested thoroughly by the right test team. The development team may also recognize the work done by a tester, and use them to code and unit test their code. This helps in building a confidence in the product, thus adding extraordinary value to the project.
Research and Analysis
A tester could exhibit excellent research skills to add value to company’s product. Effective research and analysis of competitive product offerings in the market, helps the organization to build products at par with their competitors. This is especially true with product-based companies where competitor product analysis is a part of a daily activity. A tester can collaborate with product research team, get access to tools to conduct analysis and come up with some great insights, and suggest features which could be added to company’s product line. From testing point, apart from functionality, a tester could analyze the performance, security, responsiveness, reliability, and compatibility of the competitor's product.
A tester could use his skills to find out inconsistencies in the user interface of the product. Since a software application may contain multiple screens built by many different developers and designer, this may create some mismatch in UI of the different screens such as buttons, icons, or navigation. A detailed review of the user experience of the software can result in some fruitful findings, which might have crawled in due to different development style, immediate releases of build, instant bug fixes etc.
A Tester can be a part of a customer success team to understand the feedback on usability of the product. Often, the testers will test on requirements user stories, or use cases; but the factual information comes from the customer support team who listens to real customer inquiries, dissatisfaction, or pains. A feature which is written in requirements must be working as expected, but might cause ambiguity in use to customers. Thus, participating in customer support calls helps the testers to add value to the project.
As mentioned above, Testers can involve themselves in the project lifecycle in many ways to add value, other than mere functional testing. Other suggestions include: analyzing the business by creating checklists of functionalities, messages, and errors that are used in the software. Such checklists prove to be very useful to new testing team members, when testing all scenarios. The business stakeholders could also add their part to such documents.
So why not try to become a valuable tester of project team by trying out these points!