One of the software testing principle says “Start Testing Early” in the SDLC. That raises some questions like:
Why should we appoint testers in early stages of SDLC?
Why do we get if we start testing early?
Is it a waste of time and resources to start testing early?
What should we exactly do apropos of testing in early phases of SDLC?
Here, let us begin with how a tester contributes to each phase of SDLC to address these questions.
The Software Development Life Cycle Model consists of 5 phases, namely, Requirement Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, and Maintenance. This is the standard process to be followed in SDLC but it may vary from project to project.
Described below are the roles attributed to the testing team in various SDLC phases:
1. Requirements Analysis
Whenever the client or product owner shares the requirements, a tester would refine these requirements based on the quality criteria to avoid extra cost, effort and time in the last phases of a project. Testing team will have the responsibility to share a clarifications log with the client or product owner stating assumptions, clarifications and suggestions to enhance the requirement and it will be preserved throughout the project life cycle. Discerning and refining the requirement in this phase could be a step towards better software quality.
In this phase, the testing team would require testing the wireframes after understanding the requirements. Basically, the user flows, the user behaviors and user interactions will be tested. It might be the important phase for discerning effective test cases for functionalities, not for the UI/UX aspect.
It involves testing of the code for missing validations, commonly known as bugs or issues, taking the access to the code and databases to learn about the fixes and its impact on other areas early. It helps to identify a bug during the development cycle and fixing it instead of waiting for the fix to be made, deployed onto the test environment and then for the bug to be detected, logged, fixed and re-tested.
While working as a tester in different early phases, you have gained enough knowledge about the system. Now is the time to test system effectively. Give time to detect the bugs in test environments by interacting with the application & its users, gather feedback from users and improve the system suitably.
5. Release and Maintenance
Give some time for the release notes. Log bug in order to create value and enhance quality at every level. While maintenance, work on low priority bugs and get them fixed.
Investing early efforts in testing can help address major problems which we face as a tester:
1. Early bugs or issues are less costly than detecting it at a later stage
2. Testing early would give more time to test the software, hence better quality can be expected
3. Testers will be more familiar and more knowledgeable about the software as they involved in all phases of the SDLC
Therefore, early testing will have more advantages compared to the cost it incurs on the client. More understanding to tester means more thoroughly the system would be tested, more testing of the system could lead to better software quality. This ultimately gives better user experience which in turn can make your application stands out.