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Manual and Automation testing Challenges

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Software Testing has lot of challenges both in manual as well as in automation.Generally in manual testing scenario developers through the build to test team assuming the responsible test team or tester will pick the build and will come to ask what the build is about? This is the case in organizations not following so-called ‘processes’. Tester is the middleman between developing team and the customers, handling the pressure from both the sides. And I assume most of our readers are smart enough to handle this pressure. Aren’t you?

This is not the case always. Some times testers may add complications in testing process due to their unskilled way of working. In this post I have added most of the testing challenges created due to testing staff, developing staff, testing processes and wrong management decisions.

So here we go with the top challenges:

1) Testing the complete application:
Is it possible? I think impossible. There are millions of test combinations. It’s not possible to test each and every combination both in manual as well as in automation testing. If you try all these combinations you will never ship the product

2) Misunderstanding of company processes:
Some times you just don’t pay proper attention what the company-defined processes are and these are for what purposes. There are some myths in testers that they should only go with company processes even these processes are not applicable for their current testing scenario. This results in incomplete and inappropriate application testing.

3) Relationship with developers:
Big challenge. Requires very skilled tester to handle this relation positively and even by completing the work in testers way. There are simply hundreds of excuses developers or testers can make when they are not agree with some points. For this tester also requiresgood communication, troubleshooting and analyzing skill.

4) Regression testing:
When project goes on expanding the regression testing work simply becomes uncontrolled. Pressure to handle the current functionality changes, previous working functionality checks and bug tracking.

5) Lack of skilled testers:
I will call this as ‘wrong management decision’ while selecting or training testers for their project task in hand. These unskilled fellows may add more chaos than simplifying the testing work. This results into incomplete, insufficient and ad-hoc testing throughout thetesting life cycle.

6) Testing always under time constraint:
Hey tester, we want to ship this product by this weekend, are you ready for completion? When this order comes from boss, tester simply focuses on task completion and not on the test coverage and quality of work. There is huge list of tasks that you need to complete within specified time. This includes writing, executing, automating and reviewing the test cases.

7) Which tests to execute first?
If you are facing the challenge stated in point no 6, then how will you take decision which test cases should be executed and with what priority? Which tests are important over others? This requires good experience to work under pressure.

8 ) Understanding the requirements:
Some times testers are responsible for communicating with customers for understanding the requirements. What if tester fails to understand the requirements? Will he be able to test the application properly? Definitely No! Testers require good listening and understanding capabilities.

9) Automation testing:
Many sub challenges – Should automate the testing work? Till what level automation should be done? Do you have sufficient and skilled resources for automation? Is time permissible for automating the test cases? Decision of automation or manual testing will need to address the pros and cons of each process.

10) Decision to stop the testing:
When to stop testing? Very difficult decision. Requires core judgment of testing processes and importance of each process. Also requires ‘on the fly’ decision ability.

11) One test team under multiple projects:
Challenging to keep track of each task. Communication challenges. Many times results in failure of one or both the projects.

12) Reuse of Test scripts:
Application development methods are changing rapidly, making it difficult to manage the test tools and test scripts. Test script migration or reuse is very essential but difficult task.

13) Testers focusing on finding easy bugs:
If organization is rewarding testers based on number of bugs (very bad approach to judge testers performance) then some testers only concentrate on finding easy bugs those don’t require deep understanding and testing. A hard or subtle bug remains unnoticed in such testing approach.

14) To cope with attrition:
Increasing salaries and benefits making many employees leave the company at very short career intervals. Managements are facing hard problems to cope with attrition rate. Challenges – New testers require project training from the beginning, complex projects are difficult to understand, delay in shipping date!

These are some top software testing challenges we face daily. Project success or failure depends largely on how you address these basic issues.

For further reference and detailed solutions on these challenges refer book “Surviving the Top Ten challenges of Software Testing” written by William E. Perry and Randall W. Rice.

Over to you:
Many of you are working in manual and/or automation testing field. Though I have addressed many of above challenges in our previous articles, I want your views on handling these software testing challenges.  Feel free to express your views in comment section below.


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