How to Prioritize Bug Fixes

Bug Prioritization
How to Prioritize Bug Fixes

Reporting bugs is an essential part of QA testing. But developers can only address so many bugs at once, so how do you prioritize bug fixes? Every team does things a little differently. Some teams have product or project managers do it. Other teams have QA estimate priorities when reporting bugs. Either way, a good QA tester should be savvy when it comes to estimating the severity and priority of bug tickets.

Not Sure How to Prioritize Bug Fixes? Consider These Factors:

How serious is the bug?

There’s a big difference between a mobile app crashing every time a user logs in vs. being a little slow to load the profile section. Is the bug something that will leave users angry? Will they be unable to use a certain page/screen or section? Or does it have a minor impact with easy workarounds? The bug’s affect on user experience will play into prioritization.

How often does the bug occur?

Is a user unable to save changes within the site 100% of the time? Or is it only happening to 1 out of 1,000 users? QA cares about all users, but the frequency of a bug changes the severity.Prioritizing Bug Fixes (picture shows the bottom half of a person wearing a blue work shirt, sitting at a desk writing in a notebook)

What devices or browsers is the bug happening on?

Is it affecting all iPhones on the most recent version of iOS? Or only iPhone 5s on iOS 9? Is it on all browsers, or just Internet Explorer 10? This ties into frequency. Much like the above issue, it will impact priority. Learn more in our guide to cross browser testing. Continue reading →

Agile QA Process

Agile QA Process (White board with Agile post-its in columns)
Agile QA Process

Agile has revolutionized the software development life cycle, making it faster and more efficient. Awesome, right? We’re big fans of the Agile QA process. But if used incorrectly, it can actually slow things down. So how do you make sure your development process is optimized for QA?

What is Agile?

Agile is a process that (unlike Waterfall) delivers functionality updates regularly. It’s common for releases to happen every few weeks with an Agile process.

For example, you may have noticed that apps like Spotify and Starbucks often have new updates in the App Store or Play Store. If you look at the release notes, you’ll see new features or bug fixes that are in the update.

The Agile QA process can be challenging, as it means having lots to test in a short amount of time. QA has to test existing functionality, new features, bug fixes, data, and even more depending on the type of website or mobile app.

Manual vs. Automated Agile QA

If manual testing is the only defense against bugs, Agile can be an even bigger undertaking. That’s why it’s a best practice to have both manual and automated testing in an Agile QA process. Even if you only have automation for a handful of test cases, it can still make a big difference. Additionally, if the QA team is not included in planning activities, or if the QA-to-developer ratio isn’t optimal, there can be pretty significant consequences. But if the team incorporates some common sense strategies, these issues can be minimized — and in many cases, eliminated completely.

(If you want to know more about what type of QA is right for your situation, see our guide, What Type of QA Testing Do You Need?)

What are the Principles of the Agile Manifesto?

Satisfy the Customer Through Early & Continuous Delivery of Useful Software

There’s a lot to unpack here — above all, satisfying the customer. A client or user is not going to be satisfied if a release is riddled with bugs, which further reinforces the importance of QA. (If you’re a B2B company like a digital agency, you might even have multiple levels of “customers” to satisfy!)

Agile QA Process (picture shows a board with Week 3/4/5/6/7 notes with post-its in different columns)The second point emphasizes early and continuous delivery. For this to be an ongoing success, the process itself needs to be on point. Ideally, this means QA would weigh in from the planning phase through delivery. By following this process, even if issues come up during development, release risks can be addressed.

Product managers can then make adjustments to scope in order to meet the release date. They can also put out any other fires when they come up — instead of waiting until the last two days of the sprint. (This can also be helped by including QA in Sprint Planning.) Continue reading →

10 Advantages of Hiring Remote Workers

Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers (icon of a cartoon woman with long dark hair, a green shirt, jeans, and Converse-style sneakers. She's sitting cross-legged with a laptop in her lap, and a golden ship wheel with leaves coming out of it behind her)
10 Advantages of Hiring Remote Workers

For workers, there are lots of benefits to working from home. A commute that’s ten feet instead of ten (or fifty) miles? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone to complain about that! But the perks of hiring remote workers aren’t just for the staff. There are many advantages for the company as well, including some that can be pretty surprising.

Telecommuting Worker Desk (computer with plants and books on a desk)Increased Productivity from Hiring Remote Workers

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine someone working from home? For many people, there’s an assumption that a remote worker couldn’t possibly be as productive as they would be at an office.

While this is true for some, anyone who has the right personality for remote work can end up being far more productive than even the most organized office. Working from home – or anywhere other than an office – does require responsibility and commitment, of course. (Learn more in our guide to Tips and Tools for Working Remotely.) But for those that are cut out for it, there are many reasons why working away from the office can actually be less distracting and more productive: Continue reading →

What Makes a Good QA Engineer?

What Makes a Good QA Tester (image of a tablet with a magnifying glass over it)
What Makes a Good QA Engineer?

People often ask what makes a good QA engineer. What skills do you need to succeed in QA testing, and how do you get started? If you’re already in QA, how do you measure your success? Read on for a list of some of the essential skills you need to be a good software tester, as well as advice on measuring your success as a QA Engineer or Analyst.

What Makes a Good QA Tester (image of a tablet with a magnifying glass over it)Detail-Oriented

There’s no way around it — being detail-oriented is the number one skill you need to excel in the world of QA. Of course, being detail-oriented can be an asset in any type of career. But it’s absolutely essential for anyone in QA. When testing an app or website, a QA tester needs to be able to spot not only glaring errors, but anything and everything that isn’t perfect.
Continue reading →