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The need for efficiency of testing is far more now than ever before. So let us discuss some of the principles which would keep us in good stead irrespective of any economic condition.

1. Clarity and understanding in what we are doing

The primary objective behind training and skill building is to get yourself acquainted with the best and the most efficient ways of doing your work.

Often there is misconception in software industry is that software test strategy document  testing is easy and anyone can test. But the truth of the matter is there are certain skills that need to be sharpened and developed for someone to be a good enough tester. One needs to develop a mindset and have enough patience to be a good tester. Training helps one to understand what to do at what times. Constant practice and repetition of techniques learned goes a long way to make the training effective.

Training might not be always available and can also be very expensive too. But you have some effective options available.

• Self study on the net and by reading good books
• Team study and then discussing among the team the concepts learned
• Designing a roadmap for your training needs
• Webinars and teleconferences
• E-learning

2. Reusability

Reusability is one of the most effective methods to increase the efficiency of the team. For example, the test plan document and the test strategy document of a successfully completed project make a good template for similar other project. Also the idea can leveraged to design detailed test design and test automation. But reusability can be effective only if the reusable items are properly managed.

3. Test optimization

A lot of importance is given to test optimization. You should look at how much a new test case adds value to the quality of software. Remember an extra test case has to be maintained and performed so unless it adds value it should not be there in the test suite.

4. Effective and relevant automation

Identifying the areas to automate and knowing how effective it will be, goes a long way to make the automation process a success. It is always recommended to learn automation on free and inexpensive tools. Once you are comfortable with automation you can start using more robust and expensive tools. There is lot of free tools available on net to try out automation on.

5. Analyzing Defects

Defect analysis according to me is one of the most effective and fastest ways of become a very good tester and also improving your testing process so that they are more effective and efficient. Make a list of the top defects that has been detected and perform a root cause analysis on those defects. The information you will gather from the root cause analysis will help you to improve the process.

6. Checklists

One of the most effective and efficient ways to perform and manage testing is using checklists. They are easy to make and are not at all expensive. They will add consistency and uniformity to the testing process.

Summary

The need of the hour is to be highly effective and to be able to prove to the management that testing adds value to the final product. At the same time we need to be efficient and be able to minimize the testing without compromising on quality.

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