Posted by: ahmedashfaque | February 22, 2010

Creativity & Motivation on the job – Part 3


In my last post, I had shown some measures to improve motivation for test tasks of test design and test case writing. Let us continue to discuss with the other test tasks in the part.

  • Exploratory testing: Exploratory testing is not random testing by any means. As you must be knowing there must be some thought applied and organization of activities which should go before you start exploratory testing. To make exploratory testing interesting, you can indulge in improving your domain knowledge about the subject matter which is the focus of the application under test. For instance, if the application under test is for retail point of sale (POS) type of application then it makes sense to increase your knowledge of POS systems, what they do, how these systems work, what are the workflows involved etc. Learning these things will be interesting for you and at the same time you will do your exploratory testing better.
  • Test case execution: Many people find executing test cases boring. Let us make this activity interesting. There are 2 objectives of executing test cases. One, to find defects. The other, to certify that the application is working as per specifications. When you pass a test case, you are actually certifying that the application is working fine. Think of yourself as an inspector whose importance is paramount to success or failure of any application. Test execution is not just ordinary and routine job in truth, it is one of the most important tasks for the software product. Only through test execution, quality of the software product is determined. Off course, when it comes to regression test case execution, indeed it is a boring job. For that reason, regression tests should always be automated. Automation of regression tests will definitely help testers to do more interesting and important things.
  • Analysis of test results: I feel, this is very interesting task. For people who think this kind of tasks boring, let me remind one thing. They are not seeing the strategic importance of the task in hand. Aggregated test results show application failure rate, defect density, testing effort etc. But the most important metric it finds out is whether quality level of the application is up to the mark or not. This single piece of information determines if the application is fit enough to be released or not.
  • Filing bugs: Sometimes it becomes tedious to file bugs when there tend to be too many bugs reported. But if you do not file bugs then how those bugs can be fixed. You should know that in the end quality level of the application depends largely on the ability to fix found bugs.
  • Verifying bug fixes: For the same reasons as mentioned in the previous point, bug fix verification is important. If any bug has not been fixed properly then it means there is still bugs in the application and thus quality level is not good. Make sure that all bugs are fixed. Always try to see the larger picture.
  • Making automation scripts: Many testing organizations are still using record and play kind of automation. This is not good because the generated scripts are not maintainable. Try to go at a higher level and try to use best practices like keyword driven automation. Definitely this kind of work is interesting.
  • Test bed preparation: Test bed preparation is an important activity even if you do not think so. For verifying and reproducing bugs, it is important that a good test environment is created and maintained. If test bed is not good then there will be difficulty in reproducing bugs.

Well, importance of having good motivation can never be emphasized less. Better motivated team can do wonders to any project. On the contrary, motivation lacking team can jeopardize just any project. Even routine jobs can be made more interesting with some imagination.

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