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5 Ways to Improve Collaboration Between Software Testers and Developers

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5 Ways to Improve Collaboration Between Software Testers and Developers

Teamwork makes the dreamwork, as the saying goes. Get some tips on creating a more collaborative environment between QA and dev teams.

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Good communication or the lack of it, can make or break a software project. Collaboration between QA and development teams is essential for ensuring the success of an Agile software project. Any software is bound to have bugs. A healthy relationship between QA and developers can help in finding and fixing these bugs quickly. With good collaboration and smart automation strategies, teams can successfully achieve greater speed and better quality in their software projects.

Ways to Improve Collaboration Between QA and Developers:

Teamwork between testers and developers is crucial for successfully deploying and maintaining a high-quality software product. Here are a few ways to reduce friction and increase collaboration between the testing team and developers:

Encourage Collaboration and Communication

Promote a collaborative work culture where quality is everyone’s responsibility. Get testers and developers to work together while researching about customers, building user stories and creating unit tests. Inculcate a team culture of collaboration, where testers are more than mere gatekeepers who approve or disapprove features before delivery.

Encourage both QA and developers to share their thoughts and ideas freely. Make everyone feel like a part of a single integrated team that is focused on the product’s quality. Apart from arranging meetings, encourage both testers and developers to take the initiative to interact more often using informal channels of communication. Relying solely on formal channels like e-mails to communicate discourages open communication and delays the resolution of conflicts. Better communication invites more collaboration between multiple teams.

Cross Train Developers and Testers

While developers can help testers in understanding the code, testers can help developers in learning more about the test suite and strategies used for testing the final product. Knowledge sharing sessions can also help both teams learn more about any specific tools used for the project. This mutual understanding of each other’s process will help the team as a whole to find and fix bugs.

The code level knowledge prepares the testers with the information on potential problem areas of an app. Additionally, having an idea about coding languages like Java, Ruby, etc. will help testers to communicate their findings easily. This helps in identifying the root cause of issues that are found in the software. Knowledge of the test suite and the testing methods will empower developers with the information they need to write better codes for the product.

Focus On Finding and Fixing Critical Bugs

By assessing and prioritizing bugs, based on the business goals, product managers can focus on finding and fixing the most critical bugs. Ensure that, both the QA team and developers understand what is most important for the customers or end users of the app. With a big picture of the project, it is easier for teams to prioritize tasks in line with the business goals. With prioritization, developers and testers can focus their attention on finding solutions for the most critical issues in a product. There is less of a tendency to pass the buck as people feel more focused on solving the software problems together, as a single team that is responsible for the final product.

Introduce Pair Test Programming

With pair test programming, testers and developers can sit together to discuss requirements, develop code, run tests and assess the nonfunctional aspects of the product. Further, when testers test the features on a developer’s machine, they can give prompt feedback for improving the app.

Embrace TDD and BDD

Business-Driven Development (BDD) is a software development process that is based on Test Driven Development (TDD). In TDD, the testers  first create tests for specific business requirements. These tests are then run by developers who create the code. Once the code is implemented, developers can run the tests again to ensure that their code runs correctly. BDD, when used together with TDD and unit testing methods, shortens the feedback loop, allowing developers to deliver user stories that exactly matches the business requirement.

Conclusion

Irrespective of the different approaches that they use, both testers and developers have a common goal of delivering a high-quality software product. When they work together as a team, the true potential of a product is unlocked. Thus, having good synergy between the QA team and developmers helps software projects attain both speed and quality, that is required for success.

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Topics:
software testing

Published at DZone with permission of Tharika Tellicherry. See the original article here.

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