Software testing has become an essential part of the development process. It covers a wide range of disciplines thanks to the spread of software into more and more of the devices and machines we use in our everyday lives.

Software issues can affect even major, high profile projects, so it’s easy to see why testing has become so important. But how can testers and the people employing them ensure that they’re doing their jobs effectively?

Practical Software Testing

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Encourage creativity

Effective testing needs curiosity and an unwillingness to accept the status quo. It’s therefore important to encourage creativity among testers. They should be given space to get away from their desks to explore ideas or spend time discussing projects with colleagues.

Practice makes perfect

As with any skill you get better at testing the more you do it. With security applications this can be a problem as going around trying to break existing secure systems tends to be frowned upon. Fortunately there are plenty of open source tools that can be used to build up your skills before you let them loose on important projects.

Break down the boundaries

Testing, whether it is carried out in isolation or by a company like and others that provide a software testing service, shouldn’t be seen in isolation. It’s a key part of the whole development process. It’s therefore important that testers aren’t kept in isolation, they need to understand what’s happening with designers, developers and other parts of the team.

Mind mapping

A way of putting ideas together using colours text and pictures, mind mapping can help a testing team to understand the product their working on and establish their approach to it. It can be done physically, using paper or a whiteboard, or with one of the increasing number of online tools.

Choose the right tools

For many testing tasks, performance and load testing for example, there are tools available to help with the job. These come in proprietary and open source forms and as well as storing test results can help display and present them in an attractive and easy to understand format. This helps to get across the essential results of testing to other members of the development team and to management without bombarding them with technical detail.

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