In this guest blog Sanjay Zalavadia, VP of Client Services at Zephyr, describes how to mitigate common defects found while product testing.
Software development teams are largely evaluated on how their applications perform under real-life situations. If a build is sent to production with a variety of issues, users will likely gravitate toward a competing program that serves their needs better. Users have a range of options at their fingertips, and any slight mistake could mean the failure of your project.
Organizations have placed heavier emphasis on finding and mitigating bugs as quickly and effectively as possible. Agile testing methodologies are changing the game in this regard by providing teams with the guidelines needed to support fast sprints and thoroughly evaluate code without sacrificing quality or scheduling expectations. There are some common defects that teams may find while product testing, and understanding these will help develop the cases required to catch them.
1. Improper input validation
Security is of the utmost importance for every business, as they all handle sensitive information that could harm customers or the organization itself if it was compromised. For regulated industries like health care and finance, it's especially pertinent to ensure that the apps you're leveraging have the protections required to prevent data breaches. However, the only way to do this is to build in the safety measures from the very beginning of a project.
There are a number of common security defects that can be found when product testing, but improper input validation is one of the most likely to occur. According to OWASP, this vulnerability emerges when the application trusts, doesn't validate or doesn't correctly identify inputs. These inputs can come from a variety of sources, but if the solutions aren't in place to validate them, it can leave the app open to vulnerabilities like SQL injections, denial of service or buffer overflows.
2. User interface errors
The code may be squeaky clean, but that doesn't mean that it will work as the end user expected. Testers must go the extra mile to conduct manual testing on the front end of their application. According to Software Testing Times, teams can determine if there are any missing functions, missing or misleading information, inappropriate error messages, poor responsiveness or performance issues. This type of hands-on evaluation will ensure that the program works as the user expects and that the pieces are in place to make usability and navigation as smooth as possible.
It's important to detect and address user interface errors right away to prevent them from being released into production. If the app doesn't live up to specifications, users are likely to look elsewhere for a program that does. However, by doing exploratory and manual testing on the front-end, testers can head off these issues and work to make the software more appealing.
3. Load capabilities
Apps experience dramatic shifts in user traffic, and it's important that the software is built to provide a consistent experience no matter how much pressure is on it. For organizations with e-commerce apps, for example, they'll likely see a boost in demand over the holiday season. Because businesses can predict when their app is going to see the most traffic, they can simulate just how much they expect will come through. Capable load testing will ensure that required resources are available and that low priority tests are still given the attention they need.
Testers can leverage automation to run a number of load tests on their builds. Automation integration in this way can give teams a look into how their app performs under certain benchmarks and provides actionable information to help improve their capabilities. Load capacity is one of the hardest things for developers and testers to handle, but by approaching this common defect head on, they can prepare their systems for a variety of situations.
Testers have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to catch all possible errors and mitigate them efficiently. However, teams will not be able to succeed without having the right tools and understanding what types of problems they should be looking for. Common defects like load capacity, user interface errors and improper input validation can cause major problems for a project, but can be routed with by understanding what the symptoms of each issue are.