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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Tester

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Not just anyone can claim to be an exceptional software tester. Software testing requires a unique skill set, and the best software testers are the ones that continuously strive to expand their knowledge and hone their testing strategies.

In short, good testers always want to get better.

So how can you become a better tester?

  1. Test for quality over quantity: “Here’s 10,000 bugs… good luck!” Testers, please don’t ever shoot for quantity. Identifying the most important bugs and glitches, and helping the company or developer make sense of the bugs is ten times more helpful then testing for mere volume.  
  2.  Learn to prioritize: In line with “quality over quantity”, prioritizing what you test is extremely important. Testing the mission critical parts of an application before the minute details of an app will help you to identify the most valuable bugs first. This will also allow the development team to fix the most imperative parts of their application as quickly as possible.
  3. Practice and improve your written communication skills: Everyone can right, write? (Ha!). Good testers must have excellent written communication skills in order to write good test cases, bug reports and so on. These testing artifacts are an essential part of QA and must be detailed and easy to consume.
  4. Learn from your own mistakes – and from others too:  Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from others and from your own will make you better tester. How can you improve your bug report next time? How can you prioritize better during the next test cycle? How can you communicate better with the development team? These are questions you should constantly be asking yourself, and your fellow testers.
  5. Be objective and professional: Every time you test, go at it with a fresh perspective. Look at the software you are testing without bias or past experience, and test with an open mind. Testers who think “Oh, I know this software” or “I’ve used this before” are at risk of overlooking important bugs. Objectivity is key.
  6. Don’t be humble with software… think out of the box: Explore the software, ‘test to break’ and be willing to suggest improvements; these are all attributes that make up the attitude of a good software tester.
  7. Question. Everything: Does this work as intended? Does it work on all devices? Does it work under every possible use-case, every time? Question. Everything.  
  8. Think like the user: Remember; your job is to find bugs before the software reaches the hands of users. Pair your technical skills with an end-user’s mindset and you will find the best, most valuable bugs possible.
  9. Increase the effectiveness of bug reports: Attaching screen shots and providing detailed bug reports will give the developer the information he or she needs to understand the bug and fix it. Where did it occur, when, how many times, on what devices, running what operating system and under what circumstances? Without the right details a bug is useless to a development team.
  10. Be Passionate! To excel in any field, you need to be passionate for what you do. Read, seek new training opportunities, engage with your fellow testers, attend testing conference, classes – immerse yourself in all things QA.
What do you think it takes to become a better tester? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section

Monday, January 6, 2014

Top 10 Negative Test Cases

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Negative test cases are designed to test the software in ways it was not intended to be used, and should be a part of your testing effort. Below are the top 10 negative test cases you should consider when designing your test effort: 
Embedded Single Quote - Most SQL based database systems have issues when users store information that contain a single quote (e.g. John's car). For each screen that accepts alphanumeric data entry, try entering text that contains one or more single quotes. 

Required Data Entry - Your functional specification should clearly indicate fields that require data entry on screens. Test each field on the screen that has been indicated as being required to ensure it forces you to enter data in the field. 

Field Type Test - Your functional specification should clearly indicate fields that require specific data entry requirements (date fields, numeric fields, phone numbers, zip codes, etc). Test each field on the screen that has been indicated as having special types to ensure it forces you to enter data in the correct format based on the field type (numeric fields should not allow alphabetic or special characters, date fields should require a valid date, etc). 

Field Size Test - Your functional specification should clearly indicate the number of characters you can enter into a field (for example, the first name must be 50 or less characters). Write test cases to ensure that you can only enter the specified number of characters. Preventing the user from entering more characters than is allowed is more elegant than giving an error message after they have already entered too many characters. 

Numeric Bounds Test - For numeric fields, it is important to test for lower and upper bounds. For example, if you are calculating interest charged to an account, you would never have a negative interest amount applied to an account that earns interest, therefore, you should try testing it with a negative number. Likewise, if your functional specification requires that a field be in a specific range ( e.g. from 10 to 50), you should try entering 9 or 51, it should fail with a graceful message. 

Numeric Limits Test - Most database systems and programming languages allow numeric items to be identified as integers or long integers. Normally, an integer has a range of -32,767 to 32,767 and long integers can range from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. For numeric data entry that do not have specified bounds limits, work with these limits to ensure that it does not get an numeric overflow error. 

Date Bounds Test - For date fields, it is important to test for lower and upper bounds. For example, if you are checking a birth date field, it is probably a good bet that the person's birth date is no older than 150 years ago. Likewise, their birth date should not be a date in the future. 

Date Validity - For date fields, it is important to ensure that invalid dates are not allowed (04/31/2007 is an invalid date). Your test cases should also check for leap years (every 4th and 400th year is a leap year). 

Web Session Testing - Many web applications rely on the browser session to keep track of the person logged in, settings for the application, etc. Most screens in a web application are not designed to be launched without first logging in. Create test cases to launch web pages within the application without first logging in. The web application should ensure it has a valid logged in session before rendering pages within the application.

Performance Changes - As you release new versions of your product, you should have a set of performance tests that you run that identify the speed of your screens (screens that list information, screens that add/update/delete data, etc). Your test suite should include test cases that compare the prior release performance statistics to the current release. This can aid in identifying potential performance problems that will be manifested with code changes to the current release.

Some Major Test cases for web application cookie testing:

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What is a Cookie? 

Cookie is to be known as text a file that gets saved in the hard disk of the user’s system. Browsers are required to use the cookies which have been saved in the desired location. Informative data is recorded in the cookie and that can be retrieved for the web pages.

The first test case is to test if your application is writing cookies properly on disk. You can use the Cookie Tester application also if you don’t have any web application to test but you want to understand the cookie concept for testing.

Test cases: 

1) As per the Cookie privacy policy make sure from your design documents that no personal or sensitive data is stored in the cookie.

2) If you have no option than saving sensitive data in cookie, you must make sure that the data stored in a cookie is stored in an encrypted format.

3) Make sure that there is no overuse of cookies on your site under test. Overuse of cookies will annoy users if browser is prompting for cookies more often and this could result in loss of site traffic and eventually loss of business.

4) Verify that If you are using cookies on your site, your sites major functionality will not work by disabling the cookies.  There should not be any page crash due to disabling the cookies. (Please make sure that you close all browsers, delete all previously written cookies before performing this test)

5) Verify that on Disabling the cookies appropriate messages Should be displayed to user like “For smooth functioning of this site make sure that cookies are enabled on your browser” while navigate through Site.

6) Verify that there should not be any page crash due to disabling the cookies.
Note:Please make sure that you close all browsers, delete all previously written cookies before performing this test)

7) Verify that your web application page is writing the cookies properly on different browsers as intended and site works properly using these cookies. You can test your web application on Major used browsers like Internet explorer (Various versions), Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Opera etc.

8) Verify that cookies written by one domain can not accessed by another browser.

9) Verify that Corrupted cookies can not be accessible by other domain.
Note: Corrupting cookie is easy. You know where cookies are stored. Manually edit the cookie in notepad and change the parameters to some vague values. Like alter the cookie content, Name of the cookie or expiry date of the cookie and see the site functionality. In some cases corrupted cookies allow to read the data inside it for any other domain. This should not happen in case of your web site cookies.

10)  Accepts/Reject some cookies: The best way to check web site functionality is, not to accept all cookies. If you are writing 10 cookies in your web application then randomly accept some cookies say accept 5 and reject 5 cookies. For executing this test case you can set browser options to prompt whenever cookie is being written to disk. On this prompt window you can either accept or reject cookie. Try to access major functionality of web site. See if pages are getting crashed or data is getting corrupted.

11) Delete cookie: Allow site to write the cookies and then close all browsers and manually delete all cookies for web site under test. Access the web pages and check the behavior of the pages.

12) Checking the deletion of cookies from your web application page: Some times cookie written by domain say may be deleted by same domain but by different page under that domain. This is the general case if you are testing some ‘action tracking’ web portal. Action tracking or purchase tracking pixel is placed on the action web page and when any action or purchase occurs by user the cookie written on disk get deleted to avoid multiple action logging from same cookie. Check if reaching to your action or purchase page deletes the cookie properly and no more invalid actions or purchase get logged from same user.

13) If your web application is using cookies to maintain the logging state of any user then log in to your web application using some username and password. In many cases you can see the logged in user ID parameter directly in browser address bar. Change this parameter to different value says if previous user ID is 456 then make it 452 and press enter. The proper access message should be displayed to user and user should not be able to see other users account.

14) In case of online shopping portal testing ,Verified that when user reach to final order summary page,cookie of previous page  i.e. shopping cart page should be deleted properly.

15) Verified that credit card number should not be stored in cookies not even in encrypted form.

These are some Major test cases to be considered while testing website cookies. You can write multiple test cases from these test cases by performing various combinations. If you have some different application scenario, you can mention your test cases in comments below.