Tips for Building an Effective Software Testing Team
Software Testing is one of those often-ignored areas of the development process, which often results in catastrophic failures for many firms. In recent years, some industry players have understood the need to invest in the development of skills required to ensure comprehensive analysis of new and/or modified solutions. This field, which is often included under the QA/QC Services category has been correctly recognized as a firm's last line of defense between launching a bug-free market-ready solution or a solution, which is doomed to fail. However, many organizations still ignore an important aspect of testing - it is not a one-man operation (unless it's a very small company) and in case of a team-based multi-man operation, it is important to develop the right mix of individuals who form the team to ensure success.
Unlike many IT industry operations, a typical software testing team comprises of people from different backgrounds such as designers, developers as well as laymen such as prospective users. In fact the more diverse the group, the more robust is the testing process. Simply put if you are designing a financial solution, it always helps to seek customer's advice both during and in the final stages of the development process, which would help ensure that no errors in the financial assumptions occurs and if they do, such problems are identified and resolved at the earliest. But every company invests in developing a core team comprising of programmers and designers, who check the working as well as coding of the software to ensure on time and bug-free delivery of the final product.
Following are some tips to help strengthen your testing team:
Clarity of Roles and Responsibilities
The importance of clarity in defining roles/responsibilities of different members in a team cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Job extension though an important part of the process of developing a team, it is very important to define primary roles of each team member. In this way, you can ensure that different members do not hinder the progress or work of others in the team, while maintaining accountability of each individual team member as part of the overall testing process.
Selecting Correct Skills and Tools
While selecting members for your core testing team, it is always advisable to look for diverse skills among team members. A diverse team is an asset as it allows an organization to check its software from many different perspectives. While someone with a background in web designing could provide invaluable suggestions with respective to the application UI, a programmer would be able to identify and resolve coding errors or make changes to the software to suit client operations. Access to the correct tools is also necessary to help build an effective QA/QC team, because in the current-age of multi platform applications, traditional methods such as regression testing or stress testing need to be revised to suit different types of software being analysed.
Carrier Growth Opportunities and Expansion of Skills
Every individual aspires to climb up the corporate ladder and such ambition if nurtured and directed correctly benefits the organization as well as the individual. The IT industry always moves at a fast pace and if an individual feels the lack of growth opportunities, attrition can be a big problem. It is therefore necessary for organizations to provide adequate financial and non-financial opportunities to help employees stay motivated. The fast paced change in the IT industry necessitates that individuals operating in the QA/QC Team continue to develop and gain new skills, which are necessary to improve their productivity as well as ability to communicate with each other to help resolve problems. Some companies already invest in arranging training programs for their employees however, a more focused approach to develop the testing team further is required for all software development companies.
Author: Abhishek Chakravarti