How To Report On Software Testing

Erika Rykun Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

Being able to write concise, easily comprehensible software testing reports is an important skill for software development team members to possess, particularly those in quality assurance, development, and support. Poorly written software testing reports can make the development process more difficult and less productive.

Imagine a client asks if their app is ready for launch and based on your assessment, everything is working correctly. A couple months later, the client complains of critical bugs, which weren’t apparent until the app was in production. Now the client is demanding your development team to fix the issues, while you’ve already started devoting resources to a new project.

This type of situation could be avoided with a thorough testing management phase, which includes comprehensive testing reports. Let’s examine the how’s and why’s of software testing reports.


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Agile testing or waterfall?

One of the reasons why development teams receive complaints after a release is a lack of software testing. A proper testing report is a record which contains all test activities and test results. It helps in determining the current status of a project and analyzing what corrective actions need to be made. 

Agile testing is a testing practice that adheres to the standards and rules of agile software development. Agile testing strategy isn’t linear, but continuous and adapts to software updates and changes in scope.

For example, cyber security software is always evolving so an agile testing method would be better recommended for software reporting in cyber security applications. Learn more cybersecurity courses offered by Udemy.

Testing is not a separate activity, it’s part of the developmental effort. 

As the Agile manifesto puts it, “individuals and interactions” are more valuable than “comprehensive documentation.” This isn’t to imply that reports don’t have their place, however it’s essential to pick cautiously when and what to archive. It’s a key parity to strike and one you need to check to ensure you’re addressing what’s necessary.

In contrast, the waterfall testing strategy is able to adhere to a more strictly linear development process, and is useful for apps that are built with “Point A to Point B” in mind.

What Makes A Good Test Report?

  • Detail: You need to give a detailed depiction of the testing action, indicating which testing you have performed. Make an effort to not put the theoretical and technical information into the report.
  • Clear: All information in the test report should be short and clear to interpret.
  • Standard: The Standard Template needs to be followed. It is simple for stakeholders to survey and guarantee the consistency between test reports in numerous projects.
  • Specific: Incorporate specific points to depict and sum up the test result and spotlight on the primary concern.

Content:

To make the report detailed and specific we need to look into its content.

It should include

  1. Project information: All the relevant information should be mentioned, such as name, version, and a brief description,
  2. Test Objectives: Mention objectives to help the reader to give context
  3. Test Summary: It includes a general summary of the testing activity, i.e, how many tests are executed, passed and failed.
  4. Defect: This section includes information about the total number of bugs and their statuses (open, closed, responding), number of bugs open, resolved, closed, and breakdown by priority and complexity.

All these points collectively make a report that properly communicates relevant information between all parties.

Who Are Test Reports Written For?

While making a report, you should think about who it is for and who will need to understand it. 

Stakeholders include:

  • Software Testers: the test report can provide explicit data about conditions, item forms, or source information to utilize. The analyzers can help you to improve the arrangement, including missing data, and test approaches you hadn’t considered.
  • Project managers: they need to understand what you’re testing and how.
  • Customer support: They can provide information concerning the client behaviour, how customers utilize the framework, and the sort of issues they experience. This data can educate what testing exercises you may plan to cover their interests. 
  • Product owners: they can disclose how the software is intended to be utilized.  This data could help make client profiles which can help in testing

How To Write A Good Test Plan 

Test Plans can take any number of forms. Some examples are:

  • Word documents are frequently the default structure. Test plans can go from a single page record that sums up the testing to extensive, IEEE829/IEEE29119
  • Mind maps are a fantastic method to pass on testing data in an organized graphical arrangement. Clients can follow the structure and drill down to the level of detail they require.
  • SharePoint/Wikis are both alternatives to Word documents with change management and editing functionality. They offer flexibility in how data is organized with speedy updates and multi-client editing. 
  • Web-based planning devices, like Jira, can be utilized in combination with test management tools, like TestRail, to provide an image of all arranged and real testing. 
  • Whiteboards/Kanban sheets are another method of demonstrating graphically the extent of testing. Physical sheets are another method of conveying what testing needs to be done. 

Going past functional testing

To achieve proactive continuous application improvement, it is important to go past functional testing.  Application performance management tools, such as Stackify Retrace, allow for a continuous feedback loop at each step of the SDLC.  Using a code profiler, like Stackify Prefix, in your development environment and Retrace APM in your nonprod, qa, and prod environment helps catch bugs at the source.