April 20, 2022
Collaborate with your team during the testing
Collaboration is a great way to improve your testing. The best practices of collaboration that we know as testers, such as bug triage, are well-explored these days. But how do you collaborate with manual testers on the team?
Part of the reason that the question is so hard to answer is because we simply don’t think about collaborating with manual testers often enough. We focus on our code coverage because we want it to be automated and reliable when running tests in production. That only leaves room for questions about what else can be automated, and not many people stop at this moment to ask themselves if this is a good time to collaborate with manual testers instead of automating more tests. In fact, most teams treat "automation" as an all-or-nothing proposition: either you write automated tests or you have no test coverage at all.
I think the main reason for this kind of thinking comes from our training as developers where writing code requires automation and there are almost no scenarios where one developer would look over another developer’s shoulder while they write code and give feedback on their work in real-time (we use pull requests for that).
Choose to write tests that will be readable and understandable by many people
In addition to the two main criteria of clarity and conciseness, you should also choose to write tests that will be readable by many people. This means that you should avoid using complex language and language specific to your team or company. Instead, use a common language that everyone can understand, regardless of their technical background. For example, if you're creating an application for non-technical customers and stakeholders who don't have any programming experience, it's best not to use terms like "assert" or "expect" in your test descriptions because those words could confuse them when they read the source code later on (as well as making it harder for other members of your team).
Another benefit of writing readable tests is that it makes them easier for future developers on the project (like yourself) who may need access later down the line after having been away from work for a while; this means less time spent reading through the documentation before getting started again!
Identify the best places where you can add the most value
As you're testing, keep in mind that you know the product best. You've built it, so you have a strong understanding of how it works and what makes it tick. This knowledge can help your team create a better product—and get there faster.
When looking at metrics like engagement or retention, don't be afraid to ask questions about where your metrics are coming from. For example: "What's the source of this number?" or "How many users did we have at this time last week?" If numbers are presented without context or an explanation of how they were calculated (e.g., cohort analysis), ask for more information. It's important that all members of the team understand what those numbers mean so they can make informed decisions about how to improve them if necessary.
Invite uninvolved engineers to look at your covers, and watch your execution
Another way to collaborate with your team is to invite uninvolved engineers to some of your testing sessions. This can help share knowledge across teams and give everyone more context into the work you are doing.
You could also ask them to review the test coverage report once you're done testing, especially if they wrote any of the code being tested. Their feedback will help make sure that you're not missing anything in your tests and make them feel like they are still involved in helping improve their codebase
Invite the team for a quick walk-through of a test, show them what you’re testing, and explain why you’re testing it.
One of the first things you should do when testing a new feature is to invite your team for a quick walk-through of the test, show them what you’re testing, and explain why you are testing it.
There are several reasons why this is important:
It helps build trust with your team and they will be more receptive to feedback during testing.
It helps them understand why they need to make some changes in their codebase if needed (e.g., add some tests).
This way they can help with automating the process later on if needed (if there are any manual steps involved).
Be open and curious, your responsibility is to find bugs, not find fault with the engineer who is responsible for the code you are testing
There is a difference between finding fault and finding bugs. When you go into a test with the intention of blaming someone for a problem, it can inhibit your ability to find real issues in the product. You need to be open-minded and curious about how things work, even if they don’t make sense at first glance. Your responsibility is to help the team fix problems with their code and get it working correctly, not to point fingers at who may have been responsible for them in the first place.
In this way, you are doing your job as well as helping others do theirs better by pointing out areas of improvement so they can write more robust code that will prevent bugs from popping up later down the line when other testers come across them again while testing other features during final stages of development before release date rolls around (or worse yet - when customers start complaining about them!).
Collaboration during manual testing will improve your product
As a manual tester, you should not be working on your own. You need to work with the rest of the team to ensure that everyone's activities are integrated and can be easily tracked.
Collaboration is an important aspect of testing because it helps with integration and communication. The goal of the collaboration is to streamline your efforts by ensuring that everyone involved has all the information they need at any given time. This allows for clear communication between testers, developers and other members of the team so that problems can be addressed quickly before they escalate into major issues.
The techniques that I have shared with you in this article are very easy to apply and can easily be used by the entire team. They are not difficult, they do not require a lot of preparation, and they take just a few minutes, but they will make your manual testing better.