20+ Best Practices for Software Development and Testing

20+ Best Practices for Software Development and Testing

If switching companies wasn’t already a challenge, joining one with organized work practices makes the process oh so difficult.

Gaining an idea of the best practices and adjusting to them can take a while. In the beginning, however, it takes a lot of time and patience. Given the right employee management tools, you can outsource your Quality Assurance team to countries like India.

Is there a workaround to it?

Well, there is! Learn and apply them to your current projects and processes to avoid the hassle later on.

In this listicle, we’ll be discussing thirty best practices for software development and testing. Note that while some of these best practices are for the Python programming language, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use them in other languages as well.

Another thing that we’d like to point out is that this list isn’t set in stone. It can (and should) be debated since it leads to better, more efficient best practices in the future. In this listicle, we’ll be discussing thirty best practices for software development and testing.

1. Don’t Test the Testing Software

Often, we get caught up in our code and start testing the browser or the testing software Comparium App for bugs. Unless you have to, try to avoid testing other people’s code.

2. Utilize Helper Functions

There will be times when your code won’t work. If such a scenario happens more than two times, it’s time you apply a helper test to it. It helps divide your code into separate, testing-ready sections. The next time you write the same code, you will have a general idea of the problem you’re trying to solve.

3. Keep your API’s Simple

Your API design should be simple and complicated in the right places. Focus on the simplified design first and afterward add the complex elements. A healthy mix within your API design helps you develop an API that doesn’t make future testing a considerable hurdle.

4. Complete Unit Testing

When your unit testing, try to ensure all code paths are tested. A focus on 100% coverage is essential in this regard since it allows you to test most permutations and combinations.

Unless you have a good reason to avoid testing specific program units, you should focus on the entire code path. It’s an essential part of the code testing process since, if left unchecked, it can cause serious trouble for your process.

5. Don’t Focus on The Code

Too much coding can prove counter-intuitive. Think about what you write, and delete parts that don’t matter. Too much code can hinder your processes.

6. Update Comments

Your code evolves over time. As such, the comments you once write become outdated. Make sure that if you’re writing code, you also keep your comments updated. With it, you’re helping other developers and testers by creating readable code.

7. Write with Foresight

When you’re writing a piece of code, try to think of scenarios where it can go wrong. Having such a train of thought during the process allows you to see possible errors that can arise.

8. Reduce Overheads

When writing code, try to avoid mixing logic with stateful code. You can do so by separating logic into smaller functions and split it with stateful code. In the beginning, you will also encounter stateless and side-effect code that you don’t want to mix with your logical code.

This helps reduce the overhead incurred in running the tests. Faster test times mean quicker deployment.

9. Avoid Globals

It would help if you ideally used Functions instead of Global types. It reiterates the notion of keeping things simple. Avoid complex data structures by using objects.

10. Clarity in Dependency

Being explicit about your dependencies and where they’re coming is an example of dependency injection. Instead of making new objects, focus on creating objects and methods that are receiving dependencies.

11. Convenient Python

The best part of using Python is ease-of-use. It extends even further than learning the language with its built-in types. Rather than writing your types, focus on using the pre-packaged ones and make additions/subtractions to them.

12. Fail Fast

When you’re writing code, try to input and create errors on results. Creating such exceptions allows you to make the problem clear to the caller. With such issues, you’re creating “innovative” use-cases for your code.

13. Secure Testing Environment

These days, software development companies focus on cloud-based testing in pursuit of fads and trends. While it’s a useful tool, there are some security vulnerabilities associated with the cloud.

To counter this, you should keep focused on a secure environment from where you conduct tests. With such an environment, you’re avoiding security issues associated with it.

If you’re trying to test mobile devices, you should use region-based testing to ensure secure testing manually and in automation terms.  

14. Test Throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

The software tests you conduct should be throughout the development cycle. Testing during the QA process is counter-intuitive. Try and divide the QA process into chunks and distribute them throughout the SDLC.

Such a dynamic QA process helps you identify and report bugs quicker and improves the labor hours spent in an otherwise single QA session. On top of that, it also enables developers to make innovations within the product itself.

15. Separate Your Tests

Similar to the point above, dividing tests allows you to save time and labor costs. Some tests take a longer time, and separating them into chunks can prove beneficial to your processes.  

16. Aim for the 100% Mark

The 100% mark is the maximum point you want to reach in your QA operations. Writing cases for prevalent issues and issues that might arise helps developers look at problems from all angles – helping them manage the application’s behavior efficiently.

17. Regression Test

To allow maximum quality assurance, try to test cases for regression testing. Now, it’s up to you whether you want to use regression in a manual or automated manner.

18. Programmers Should Avoid Testing

Tests should always be written by a QA, never by a programmer. In the latter scenario, you can face biased tests or a lack of creative testing.

19. Test and Report

Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, it’s best to keep a log of all the test cases you’ve written. It enables you to create tests that are accurate and don’t have any ambiguity.

20. Clean the Test Code Before Final Release of Software Product

Record keeping is an essential part of the testing process. Try to ensure that you’ve got a compiled set of the fixed code and the error-prone code when the testing process is finished. At the time of deployment of the final application, such a process allows you to keep track of activities.

21. An Isolated Development Environment

Usually, the development process runs in tandem with the work of quality assurance people. While such a collaborative approach, you run the risk of getting biased results in your tests. For best results, an isolationist approach towards testing should be adopted.  

22. Customized Testing

The best way you can get the right and unbiased results of your tests are through customizing tests. Writing universal tests can prove problematic since, at the core, every test case is unique.

23. Hire Skilled QA Experts

A skilled labor force is a plus for every business process. For testing, you should focus on hiring a proficient team in both manual and automated testing. Professional expertise should be your main priority.

Ideally, it would help if you looked for testers with a mix of talents in software like LoadRunner and JMeter. At both the open and closed source level, your QA’s should be focused on using several different platforms.

24. The Target Operating Model

Creating an entire workflow of your QA processes helps in keeping things streamlined during the process. With the right tools, methods, RACI matrix, and communication systems at the ready, your development and testing processes will become more granular and efficient.

The process mentioned above is known as the target operating model and allows team members within your QA department to communicate with each other in an organized manner.

25. Combine In-House and Out-Sourced Resources

In developed countries, wages are generally higher than in developing countries. Now, when you’re looking to gather members for your quality assurance teams, you can use either source members locally or go international since there is no shortage of talent abroad.

Given the right employee management tools, you can outsource your Quality Assurance team to countries like India. Not only is this beneficial to the bottom line due to lower labor wages, but it also ensures advanced and organized testing, provided that it’s done right.

For example, the UI/UX design preferences may vary from country to country. With an outsourced QA team, you can create a system to see and implement differences in QA practices across countries.

Conclusion:

In this article, we discussed the 20+ best practices for software development and testing. While it’s not a definitive list, it’s still enough to provide you with perspective on the best practices of many software development companies.

Applying these best practices to your processes can help make your processes more efficient. CloudLogix is an example of a software company that applies best practices and offers supply chain management software solutions that can benefit from a combination of in-house and outsourced resources for software development and testing.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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