Test Maintenance: How To Ensure Quality Within Every Test

Nov 2, 2022 | Test Automation Insights

Test Maintenance: How To Ensure Quality Within Every Test

Your programming team works hard to ensure that your software is strong and that you can find all the tiny mistakes that slip into the code during the creative process. Automated testing tools allow you to check your work quickly. But they might not be enough. That is where test maintenance comes into play. It can help ensure that your test quality remains high. 

What Is Test Maintenance?

Test maintenance is the procedure teams use to repair tests. This is necessary because the code is continuously changing. Your test needs to stay up to date with the changes that you make. In many companies, code can keep changing every single day and often more than once a day. 

Not only do changes in your code affect your tests, but changes in the tools you use or in the libraries that you need can also affect changes in the test that you need to ensure that your software keeps working correctly. 

That is why it is important to ensure that you keep your automation framework infrastructure up to date too. This is all part of the test maintenance process. Doing test maintenance is directly linked to cost management and making sure that the quality of your tests remains high. 

How To Maintain Consistent Quality of Your Tests

Following testing maintenance practices will allow you to know the actual limits of your test and to compensate for these challenges.

Each test costs money, and even if you use automation, these tests also cost your company and team time. You want to avoid false positives at all costs, and that is why you need to ensure quality within every test. 

The question is how to maintain this quality and make sure that the tests you perform give you the correct outcome. 

There are a few easy steps you can take to make sure that testing maintenance is maintaining the quality of the tests. 

Follow Test Design Best Practices

Building an intelligent test design in your testing chain can make a critical difference in the success or failure of testing. The software design team always focuses on creating a testing chain that will move the process further. The same goes for test maintenance with AI. Using strong test practices will allow you to accomplish this. 

Some of these strong practices include: 

  • Clear communication to keep the process flowing smoothly
  • Proper resource utilization to ensure cost efficiency 
  • Strong object models that work with the type of test you want to run and the software you intend to produce

Some things you can do to follow the best test design practices include: 

  • Ensure the experimental conditions are secure and you trust your team fully
  • Plan test cycles that are achievable and will keep working for your software
  • Be adaptable and able to change the plan if needs change
  • Make sure your development practices allow for tests to be run during the development life cycle
  • Make sure your tests are in a pipeline and can go beyond trending results 
  • Use tests with maximum coverage
  • Run technical reviews to allow for technical question and answer sessions that will benefit the testing cycle
  • Understand your objectives so you can meet them with these tests

Re-evaluate Your Testing Protocols

Tests that could have worked perfectly at the start of the project might not be sufficient to get the full picture at later stages of the testing process. If you keep using the same testing protocols, it is almost certain that some things will start to fall through the cracks. 

Continually evaluating your testing protocols will ensure that the testing pipeline you use keeps working for the product you want to create as well as for your team and where you are in the development process. This might not always mean that any changes to your protocols are needed, but when you keep re-evaluating, you will be quick to pick up on anything that is not working anymore. 

You can change the types of tests that you perform or even the order that you perform them in to ensure the most accurate results. 

Update Changes in Your Tests as You Go

You also need to look at each individual test that you perform. Small changes can make all the difference. Your code and project often change, and sometimes those changes aren’t quite what you expect them to be. 

By looking at the tests that you run, you can make changes to ensure that they still give you the results that you need. Maintaining your tests along the way will mean that you won’t get to the end of the project and realize that many of the tests you performed weren’t sufficient. 

Going back to make up for these mistakes will be a lot more costly at those later stages. 

Keep Future Projects at the Top of Mind When Completing Maintenance Actions

Creating testing protocols and testing pipelines is normally one of the first steps in the testing life cycle. This can take some time and effort. Automating the testing cuts down some of this time, but if you can keep future projects in mind, this can be even more beneficial. 

During the maintenance process, the team will change some things around. But if you do know that you will need the exact same test in the future, it can save time to keep a copy of the unchanged test design. Then you can use that older version of the plan and test new projects too. 

This will not only save time but also ensure that you deliver quality test results each time. 

Why Is Test Maintenance Crucial to Software Development?

We know that test maintenance is crucial to ensuring that your tests remain consistent and high-quality. But why is this important in software development? How will it benefit your team? 

Maintenance Time Can Impact Your Time to Market

The software market is ever-changing, and if you don’t act on an idea, another team could beat you to it. By maintaining your testing process, you will ensure that you find and fix mistakes much quicker. 

You won’t get to the end of the road and have a long list of faults that you need to find and fix. This will help ensure that your software makes it onto the market faster than that of many other competitors. 

Automation testing tools and techniques have already greatly improved the speed of the testing process. But by adding this layer of maintenance, your team can ensure that they stay ahead of the competition. 

Flaky Tests Create False Positives

Finding mistakes before they reach the hands of consumers is important. If one of your software users is the one to point out the issues, it might lead to lost revenue. Most users do not want to wait for you to fix the problem — they might move on to another software solution. 

This is why you want to ensure that the tests you run give the correct results and not false positives that will make it seem like everything is going well. Knowing your issues means you can fix them before investors or users become disappointed with your product. 

Time and Resources Are Wasted if Manual Validation Is Needed

The automated testing techniques that have become popular mean that programmers do not need to check every aspect of their software on their own. They can create tests that will find the faults for them and can focus on more important work. 

This saves labor costs and time. It means that many different tests can all be run at one time and that the results are much more accurate since human error is less likely. There are a few tests that still need to be done manually, but since so much time is saved, programmers have the time to do these. 

But that all goes away if a need arises to check all the results that you received from your automated testing process. If you realize that you did not maintain the testing process, then you might also realize that some of the results could be mistaken. 

Manual validation takes up a lot of time and resources, and it will set your project back greatly. All the while, this could have been avoided by simply doing routine test maintenance. 

Keep Your Automation Framework Infrastructure up to Date

Keeping your automation framework infrastructure up to date could feel like a daunting task. Between creating a quality product and testing it, it can feel like you need more resources than you have available. 

But all you really need is to team up with a company that is highly skilled in automation testing techniques and design and can also assist you with test maintenance. Contact Ranorex today to get a free trial and to find out more about our intelligent solutions. 

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