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How to spot your application's weak spots?

1.5 trillion USD a year. According to the research conducted in 2020 by CISQ (Consortium for Information and Software Quality) that is the amount of money US companies lose on poorly working, bugged applications, released without proper testing. Application’s weak spots and vulnerabilities can easily be exploited by malicious actors, leading to critical issues and great losses. To avoid the risk, it is necessary to invest in software testing and to implement effective testing techniques.

How small mistakes can ruin your product

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The lack of testing affects not only the commercial companies, but also the social services. In 2015 The Washington Department of Corrections (DoC) discovered that 13 years prior, about 3200 inmates were prematurely conditionally discharged from prison. It happened as a result of an issue of the software used by DoC for administration purposes. Another incident of that nature happened in the UK, where over 20 thousand couples needed to repeat their divorce procedure, because a flawed system did not recognize them as formally divorced.

Examples of great failures due to the lack of thorough testing are countless, and spread over many different areas, casting a shadow on both technological and social solutions.

We’ve already mentioned the stunningly high yearly cost generated by software errors. The problem appears in many industries, affecting companies’ reputations and customers’ trust. One of the frequently discussed examples is the gaming industry. There are numerous game titles that experienced a crushing failure because of how flawed they were upon release. 

Among these titles there is the infamous “Assassin's Creed Unity” released in 2014 by Ubisoft. As a part of a popular and successful series, it was met with high expectations, but completely failed to live up to them. The neglect of the testing phase made the game almost impossible to play, due to countless bugs and performance issues. The situation was so bad that the company needed to release a good number of patches to fix the errors, as well as offer a free game for every player affected, in order to make up for the terrible and highly unprofessional failure. As a result, not only did Ubisoft lose time and money on fixing the errors, but they also lost a lot of respect and trust from the players and fans of the game.

Some of the issues described above could have been avoided by investing in thorough testing with the use of professional tools designed for this purpose. Releasing flawed software is likely to ruin your reputation, lower your profit, and put in danger sensitive data of your customers. 

Although testing is one of the essential phases of software development, many companies still don’t realize its importance. It’s a short-sighted approach that springs from the lack of awareness and can lead to a number of errors, including security issues and data leaks. The results are often far more damaging to the finances and reputation of the company than investing in people and tools capable of detecting application vulnerabilities before it’s released.

How to make sure your testing is effective?

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We’ve already discussed why testing is so crucial to the success of any application. However, it needs to be organized and executed properly, in order to bring the desired results.

The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that testers are a part of your team just like everyone else. Therefore, they should be equally included in the planning process, and participate from the very beginning. Their insight is very important, and can’t be omitted when making plans. Moreover, the more transparent the planning is, the fewer misunderstandings will emerge later on. Giving testers the chance to voice their opinions is necessary in order to create an accurate schedule for your project. 

Another important aspect of effective testing is including tests in the early stages of your project’s development. The sooner you start testing your software, the less complicated it will be to eliminate bugs. Some issues, if not discovered and solved in the early stage of development, can become so deeply interwoven into the structure of your software that getting rid of them will be a complicated and time-consuming process. Additionally, it increases the risk of new bugs emerging from the rushed process of fixing the old ones. To avoid such situations, it’s best to shift your tests to the early stages of production. Giving both testers and developers enough time to work on the software and take care of every detail is an investment in the successful future of your product.

How to spot your application's weak spots?

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The above good practices should be supported by tools designed for testing purposes that enhance communication and transparency in the team. Creating a comfortable and functional environment for both testers and developers is necessary to achieve satisfying results.

One of such tools is QAlity Plus – Test Management for Jira. It allows users to create test cases, report bugs, and provide details on the test results, all within a Jira issue. Since testing often involves a lot of phases, it is particularly important to keep a clear and transparent record of every step taken. QAlity Plus was designed to meet that need.

QAlity Plus also helps in monitoring all of the test case statuses in the form of Test Execution Reports, giving the user a quick overview of everything that is currently happening in the project in terms of testing. Seeing how many tests were passed, and how many were failed or blocked by other issues, one can gain an understanding of the general quality of the application, as well as its weak spots.

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Traceability Reports: A deep check of your application’s quality

Even more detailed information can be found in the Traceability Reports, a QAlity Plus feature designed to assist in the deep analysis of tests and their results. 

This feature allows you to trace the connection between tests, test executions, and bugs over a selected period of time, and within a selected project. Moreover, it provides you with information on how the requirements connect with the test cases. This helps you to assess the condition of your system as well as to stay informed on its test coverage.

To make test analysis more comprehensive, Traceability Reports give you an insight into the number of test executions, the ratio of failed and passed tests, the number of bugs discovered, and the percentage of bugs resolved. It also allows you to quickly and easily check the description of each bug, as well as each test case history. Using various filtering options, you can generate reports according to your needs, and quickly access the essential information displayed in a clear and transparent manner.

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Generate a Traceability Report to track tests, test executions, bugs, and requirements within your project.

 

The actual quality of your application is often not as straightforward of a matter as one might think. To assess it accurately, you need to engage in a deeper analysis of carefully chosen data. For instance, as you probably already realize, the fact that a certain test case has passed a 100% of test executions does not automatically mean that it is flawless, especially if there were too few tests executed in the first place.

The parts of your application with the lowest requirements coverage are the weakest ones. They require additional attention or substantial changes in order to reach the desired level of quality. Similarly, you can analyze the particular requirements’ frequency of failure to determine what element of your application remains the most challenging one, and if the reason for this can be identified and solved.

 

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To gain a clearer and simpler view of your test cases, you can also choose to skip requirements.

 

Having all of these details gathered in one place and organized in a functional and transparent manner, you can come to accurate conclusions and make informed decisions about the project’s future. Additionally, it gives you more certainty about the quality of your product, as well as its current stage of development.

Delivering a thoroughly tested, high-quality product is the very foundation of building a positive relationship with your customer. If you want it to be filled with trust and satisfaction, investing your resources in testing is one of the best decisions that you can make. As they say – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Secure your product’s success with a professional tool. Try QAlity Plus – Test Management for Jira and see for yourself!

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