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The Art Of Writing Good Test Cases QA / Software Testing

May 24, 2023 JIN

The Art Of Writing Good Test Cases

The software industry has become complicated these days, with an average of 1,177 apps published daily on the Apple Apps Store, according to 42Matters statistics. Resulting in the need for effective testing has also sparked exponentially. Whether carrying out automated or manual tests, writing compelling working test cases is the first step in guaranteeing your software testing success. Based on JetBrains report, which has more than 29.000 participants from May – July 2022, 46% of them agree that they use test case design as part of their testing process, and 61% of them prefer case testing as their best practice of test design techniques, that clearly defines the role of test cases in the testing process field.

In this blog post, we’ll show you key factors for a good test case that works and what keeps you from having a successful one.

What is a Test case in software testing?

Why are test cases so important?

As the set of procedures and instructions that allow testers to confirm if the specific product’s features or functions satisfy the requirements, the test case is mandatory in the software testing life cycle to evaluate and repair every fault, flaw, defects, malfunctions; cover as much test coverage as possible, ultimately achieving a bug-free software.

However, test cases are often written out of habit, without taking this task into detailed consideration during the software quality assurance process, making the products suffer the backlash of low-quality test cases domino effect by slipping defects unrevealed in the early stages, resulting in such painful fix and challenging phases at the end to deal with. Therefore, a well-written test case shall bypass all the misery above to enjoy the following perks:

  • Less production time and effort: Usually, a test case is designed by the lead QA tester, QA manager, or project manager and executed by a QA team member. A test case that is written mindfully is easy to understand and, thus, helps the testers save time in both reviewing and executing, as well as the excessive time of communication back and forth among testers.
  • Uncover issues during SDLC: Both good and negative scenarios must be recorded during the test case design process, which necessitates a thorough grasp of the application being tested (AUT) and aids in the early detection of design and functionality deficiencies.
  • Boost test coverage: A comprehensive test case should consider all possible scenarios for a particular feature to identify areas not previously addressed by other test cases. Reusable test cases extend the test coverage by using different configurations, such as web browsers, operating systems, etc., to maximize test coverage and eliminate the capabilities of missing any test cases.

The test case is necessary for the software testing life cycle to analyze and repair every fault, flaw, defect, and malfunction and cover as much test coverage as possible to achieve bug-free software.

Key components in creating a test case

No matter if testing a SaaS application or a regular one, a standard test case must cover all of the system’s essential functionalities and features, including but not limited to:

  • Test case name: A unique name is a must to be identified among other ones.
  • Objective/Purpose of the test case: The objective or Purpose is to set out the overall direction for designing the test case process and its precision.
  • Preconditions: are the conditions, settings, or requirements that sharpen the consistency, avoid conflicts and validate assumptions of the test case.
  • Required test data, if any: Although these details are not always required, the test cases occasionally require these inputs to proceed and record.
  • Test steps: Detailed steps should be listed logically to ensure the testers will get all of them.
  • Expected results: Also known as expected output.
  • Pass/Fail status: After the test case is executed, the status will be updated according to the outcome.
  • Comments: as necessary.

Tips for writing good Test Cases

Set out a single objective per test case

To maintain consistency and ensure clarity of the testing process, each test case must have one and only objective as it determines the ultimate Purpose and expected outcome. This keeps the final results accurate and makes it easier for the developers to measure the effectiveness and fix each found error precisely.

Once a test case has multiple objectives, the testing process doubles or triples the complexity and confusion, is time-consuming, and needs to be more efficient in prioritizing the debugging and resolving tasks. Not to mention, the performance measurement on pass/fail criteria as well as the KPI of the test case, will be highly complicated.

Being specific equals efficiency

Only include the components in the test case if you think the components are necessary. Keep the test case as simple and clean as possible. It’s much easier to comprehend, avoid misunderstanding, and can be carried out by anyone on the team. Suppose a test case aims to determine the defect’s root cause, suspected bugs, or code lines. In that case, it should be separated as a single test case scenario to fulfill the initiated objective contentedly.

To successfully complete the set objective, a test case scenario that aims to identify the underlying cause of a defect, potential defects, or code lines should be created.

No-no to assumptions whatsoever

Being vague and ambiguous while writing a test case is a big no-no. If you need help understanding the objective output, ask the developer’s team or someone involved in the development process to get the insights. Making assumptions, defined as something uncertain to occur and without proof, can complicate the testing process and occasionally cause testers to overlook potential flaws if the assumption is faulty. Overall, it compromises the software’s quality, causing delays in its market release.

Before writing test cases, developers and testers must conduct extensive research and analysis to prevent these failures. Before testing starts, all presumptions must be found and disproved. In order to steer clear of any problems brought on by test case assumptions, testers can also employ real-world scenarios and solicit comments from others.

Get the senior testers/domain experts involved

With their experience and expertise, senior software quality tester and subject-matter experts can swiftly determine which test scenarios, cases, and components are mandatory and need to have a closer look at, reduce time and save big bucks of resources rather than testing them all.

They also have a diversified perspective, helping the team look at the products/software/process more broadly, fine-tuned forecasting unexpected potential user scenarios and offering insights into how specific features might be used. This speeds up the testing process and contributes to a higher-quality end product and lower unanticipated risks.

Software testing process makes easy at SHIFT ASIA

SHIFT ASIA is a software testing company with years of experience mastering IT outsourcing services. The business has accomplished hundreds of projects – Japan’s high standards approved, for thousands of happy customers all over the globe since its founding in 2016.

SHIFT ASIA provides various professional software testing and quality assurance services. The dedicated expert teams at SHIFT ASIA follow the SHIFT METHOD, which emphasizes consistency and reliability, to create cutting-edge test cases that significantly support customers in discovering vulnerabilities at ease and getting these fixed on the spot throughout the development process. Thanks to their extensive database and top-notch skills, SHIFT ASIA guarantees to meet every partner’s expectations as their own. If you have been seeking a reliable Software Quality testing services vendor, contact SHIFT ASIA today! We have your back, always!


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