Manual testing – an indispensable testing method (Part 1)
In all the IT companies in Romania, specialized in software services, you can find a handful of QA Engineers/Technicians/Analysts, also known as testers in common language. They perform manual testing on various projects. This testing method has the purpose to ensure the quality in the software.
In this first part of the article, we are focusing on manual testing and how to do manual testing.
What does manual testing mean?
Manual testing is a type of Software Testing. It involves a process in which the QA Analyst is using the functions and features of an application, in order to verify if the software is working correctly. During this process, the manual tester conducts a series of pre-defined test cases based on test scenarios to discover defects (bugs) in software.
So basically, testers take over the role of an end-user and test the software. Manual testing implies testing the software manually, without using any kind of automated tools or scripts.
Now that we have an idea of what manual testing means, let’s see how it’s done.
How to do manual testing?
First, in order to proceed in testing the software, you must understand the requirements. In this way, you will understand what you need to test and what you can classify as a defect or bug.
To help the testers in their job, they create a test plan document. This document describes, in detail, how to approach testing the software. It also describes the workflow that will occur.
Second, test cases. Being a crucial part of manual testing, test cases practically guide the tester through the entire process of testing, with the help of steps to test functions and different scenarios within the software application. Once written, testers conduct these test cases in order to deliver bug-free software.
A good test case must cover all the positive and negative scenarios. It must be accurate (to contain the exact purpose), economical (do not use unnecessary words or steps), traceable (traced to requirements), repeatable (can be used again to perform tests), reusable (can be reused if necessary).
During tests, testers are responsible for logging bugs. As the tests run, if they find any kind of inconvenience or defect, they must write a bug report. A good bug report must have a strong title, steps to replicate the bug, an expected and an actual result, and any relevant information or attachments. These reports will help the development team understand and fix the problem.
The last step is related to reporting on the test results. After running the test cases you must know how many tests were run, how many failed or how many prevailed. A test report is needed to see the testing results in a formal way. It is basically a document which describes environmental or operating conditions and shows the comparison of the test results with test objectives.