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Automation & Manual Testing Best Practices - Improve Software Quality

Updated: Jun 9, 2022


Software testing - Automation and Manual testing

Best practices in software testing
Best practices in software testing

Today we are interacting with software apps more often than ever. We have dependencies on the apps for every possible need. With this drastic consumer behavior shift, software apps are becoming the first interaction point and the face of businesses. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to deliver quality software experience to their consumers to gain a competitive advantage. Hence software apps are becoming the most critical aspect of businesses and delivering a quality software experience is becoming the top priority.


One of the ways to achieve a good software experience is through software testing. A well-tested software ensures a quality experience for the end-user. However, it could be a complex and expensive job if not planned properly. Furthermore, these software apps as interacting with each other at various touchpoints increasing the complexity of the software architecture. Hence it is important for software teams to approach testing in a process-oriented and planned approach. Here I would like to put across a step-by-step guide on software testing best practices that would ensure a good customer experience.


Before we proceed on that, let’s briefly understand ways to do software testing. Software testing can be accomplished in two ways -


  1. Manual testing — As the name suggests, manual testing is the process of testing the software manually by following a set of steps called the test cases. These test cases cover every possible consumer flow on the application and any exception scenarios that can occur in the live environment. This process is carried out to find defects without using any tools or automation scripting.

  2. Automation testing — This is the method of running software tests automatically by using automation tools to improve software quality. Test automation primarily automates user flows and requirements to ensure they are delivered defect-free to the end-users. The tools used for automation testing of software control the execution of tests and compare the actual results against the expected result.


Let’s understand how to improve customer experience by following best practices in manual and automation testing -


Manual Testing best practices

I generally break down and arrange manual testing tasks in form of a workflow as mentioned in the following screenshot. Adherence to these steps ensures that I am staying true to the process and would not miss any important steps that would lead to the degradation of software quality. Let’s understand the importance of each step.


Manual Testing Best Practices
Manual Testing Best Practices

1. Create a Software Test Plan - A test plan document is prepared which acts as a guide in the testing process to have the complete test coverage. Learn How to write a Test Plan?


2. Requirement Clarification - Testers review the requirements and raise queries with business analysts for requirement clarification.


3. Write Test Scenarios - Post getting all queries resolved and understanding the requirements, the tester creates the high-level test scenarios ensuring all requirements are covered and maintains a requirement traceability matrix.


4. Write Test Cases - Then detailed test cases are written, self-descriptive steps that testers will execute while testing. Please follow an engineered approach to writing test cases using