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5 Manual Test Case Writing Hacks

To be considered a “great software tester”, you have to have an eye for detail. But you can’t be truly great unless you can effectively write test cases.

· Agile Zone

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To be considered a “great software tester”, you have to have an eye for detail. But you can’t be truly great unless you can effectively write test cases. Writing test cases is a task that requires both talent and experience.

The purpose of writing test cases is to define the “how” and “what”.  For some testers this is considered as the boring work, but if done well, test cases will become highly valuable, improve the productivity of the entire team and help your company create higher quality software.In this blog, we’ll will share some hacks on how to write effective test cases.  First, lets review some basic test case definitions and the fields to use when creating test cases.

What Is a Test Case?

Wikipedia gives the following definition of a “test case”: A test case, in software engineering, is a set of conditions under which a tester will determine whether an application, software system or one of its features is working as it was originally established for it to do.

What Fields Need to be Included in a Test Case?

  • Test Case ID: Unique Test Case Identification Number.
  • Purpose: A short sentence about what is being tested.
  • Prerequisite: Conditions that must be met before the test case can be run. For example, the user must be logged in.
  • Test Data: List of variables and possible values used in the test case. Examples: loginID = {Valid loginID, invalid loginID, valid email, invalid email, empty} password = {valid, invalid, empty}
  • Test Steps: Detailed steps for test case execution.
  • Expected Results: How the application should perform after executing the above testing steps.
  • Actual Results: How application actually behaved after executing the above testing steps.
  • Result: Does the test “Pass” or “Fail”.
  • Comments: This is where the tester can add additional helpful information like screenshots and descriptions to provide the developers with the information they will need to correct any defects found.

Note: This is a standard test case format. Specific fields may vary from company-to-company.

5 Helpful Hacks to Write Better Test Cases

As testing professionals, we work hard to thoroughly test applications and identify defects.   And it can be very frustrating when the reviewer rejects our test cases. So, here are some helpful hacks that can help you write better test cases that will lead to higher quality software for your company.

  • Keep it simple: No one is going to accept a test case that is overly complex and can’t easily be understood. Test cases have to be written in simple language using the company’s template.
  • Make it reusable:  When creating new test cases, you need to remember that the test cases will be reused so you need to get it right. The same test case might be reused in another scenario or a test step could be reused in another test case.
  • Be your own critic: After documenting all the test cases for a scenario, review them from a a tester point-of-view, not as a test case writer. Think about if these test cases are good enough to thoroughly cover the scenario. Are they easy to understand? Will they be easy to execute and reuse?

  • Think about the end user: When writing test scenarios you should always keep the end user top of mind. If the software provides a bad user experience, that’s bad for business. In many companies, the most valued testers are the ones who best understand the end user and provide the developers with feedback to improve the user experience.
  • Stay organized: Many companies manage test cases using spreadsheets. As the number of test cases grows, this can become extremely difficult and inefficient for the team.  Today, there are many software solutions that can help the testing team better organize and manage all the test cases in one place.  You can find a list of the top test case management tools here.
  • Discover the warning signs of DevOps Dysfunction and learn how to get back on the right track, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

    testing,agile testing,software testing

    Published at DZone with permission of Kyle McMeekin, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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