Software Tester Interview Questions and Answers
Can you tell me about yourself?
Answer: In my QA career, I have been working on various system platforms and operating systems like Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and UNIX. I have tested applications developed in Java, C++, Visual Basic, and so on. I have tested Web-based applications as well as client-server applications.
As a QA Testers, I have written Test Plans, Test Cases, attended walkthrough meetings with the Business Analysts, Project Managers, Business Managers, and QA Leads. I have attended requirement review meetings and provided feedback to the Business Analysts. I have worked in different databases like Oracle and DB2, wrote SQL queries to retrieve data from the database. As far as different types of testing are concerned, I have performed Smoke Testing, Functional Testing, Backend Testing, Black Box Testing, Integration Testing, Regression Testing and UAT (User Acceptance Testing) Testing. I have participated in Load Testing and Stress Testing.
I have written defects as they are found using ClearQuest and TestDirector. Once the defects were fixed, retested them and if the passed closed them. If the defects were not fixed, then reopened them. I have also attended the defect assessment meetings as necessary. In the meantime, continuous interaction with developers was necessary.
This is pretty much what I have been doing as a QA person.
Check Also: Java Collection Framework Interview Questions
What did you do in your last project?
Answer: In my last project, the application was a web-based application developed in Java platform. As a QA Person, I wrote Test Plans from the requirement documents and Use Cases. I performed Smoke Testing, Functional Testing, Backend Testing, Black Box Testing, Integration Testing, Regression Testing, and UAT (User Acceptance Testing). I have participated in Load Testing and Stress Testing. I attended several walkthrough meetings for requirement reviews and provided feedback to the Business Analysts. Mostly, I was in the backend testing, which required writing SQL queries directly to the database.
Besides these, I wrote defects using ClearQuest. Once the defects were fixed, retested them and if the pass closed them. If the defects were not fixed, then reopened them.
Have you written Test Plan? What is a Test Plan? What does it include?
What is a Test Plan?
Answer: A Test Plan is a document that describes the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of intended testing activities. It identifies test items, the features to be tested, the testing tasks, and who will do each task (roles and responsibilities) and any risks and its solutions.
What does it include?
Answer: A Test Plan includes Heading, Revision History, Table of Contents, Introduction, Scope, Approach, Overview, different types of testing that will be carried out, what software and hardware will be required, issues, risks, assumptions and sign off section.
Have you written Test Cases?
What is a Test Case? What does it include?
Answer: A Test Case is a document that describes the step-by-step process of how to test the application. A Test Case includes Test Case ID, Steps Description, Expected Output, Actual Output, Pass/Fail, and Remarks. (Remember, this is NOT a part of the Test Plan. It is a separate document written using Excel. In some companies, they use Rational TestManager or TestDirector. But for companies, who do not have these tools, use an Excel sheet. In the example below, it is in the Excel sheet)
Did you use any tools to write Test Cases?
Answer: Yes. I have used TestDirector (now called QualityCenter) and Rational TestManager to write Test Cases. However, in most of the companies, I used an Excel sheet.
How many Test Cases did you write in your last project?
Answer: I wrote about 1100 Test Cases in my last project. (The reasonable number of Test Cases varies from 500 to thousands. The number 1100 test cases can be completed in 6-month project duration).
What document did you refer to write the Test Cases?
Answer: Requirement document. (NOTE: It can also be Use Cases or Design Document. It depends on company to company. In some companies, they use Use Cases. In some companies, they use Requirement Documents, and in companies, they use Design Document. However, in the practical scenario, most of the companies have a requirement document, at least).
Did you have a situation where you did not have any documents (no requirement document, no Use Cases, or no Design Document), and you had to write the Test Cases? How did you write the Test Cases in this situation?
Answer: Yes. I have been to that kind of scenario several times. There were companies where they had no documents at all. In that case, I had to discuss the application scenario and functionalities with the Business Analysts or developer. Based on that discussion, I prepared a document in consultation with Business Analysts and Developers and then started writing Plans and Test Cases.
What you worked with Use Cases before?
Answer: Yes. I have written Test Cases using Use Cases.
Can you tell me what a Use Case is?
Answer: A use case is a document that describes the user action and system response for a particular functionality.
What is SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)?
Answer: SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is the process of developing software through business needs, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. The software has to go through various phases before it is born, which are as follows:
- Generating a Concept – A concept comes from the users of the software. For example, Pizza Hut may need software to sell pizza. An Indian store may need software to sell its newly arrived movies or grocery. The owner of the company feels that he needs software that would help him in tracking his expenses and income as well as enhance the selling process. This is how the concept is generated. The owner will specifically tell the software company what kind of software he would need. In other words, he will specify his requirements.
- Requirements analysis – After the owner (user) knows his requirements, then it is given to a software team (company) who will analyze the requirement and prepare a requirement document that will explain every functionality that is needed by the owner. The requirement document will be the main document for developers, testers, and database administrators. In other words, this is the main document that will be referred by everyone. After the requirement documents, other detailed documents may be needed. For example, the architectural design is a blueprint for the design with the necessary specifications for the hardware, software, people, and data resources.
- Development: After the detailed requirement documents (some companies have design documents instead of requirement documents), the developers start writing their code (program) for their modules. On the other hand, the testers in the QA (Quality Assurance) Department start writing Test Plans (one module=1 test plan), test cases, and get ready for testing.
- Testing: Once the code (programs) are ready, they are compiled together and to make a build. This build is now tested by the software testers (QA Testers)
- Production: After testing, the application (software) goes into production (meaning, it will be handed over to the owner).
- End: And one day, the owner will have to say bye to the software either because the business grows, and this software does not meet the demand, or for some reason, he does not need the software. That’s the end of it.
What is the Business Requirement Document (BRD)?
Answer: It is a document that describes the details of the application functionalities, which are required by the user. Business Analysts write this document.
What is Business Design Document?
Answer: It is the document that describes the application functionalities of the user in detail. This document has further details of the Business Requirement Document. This is a very crucial step in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Sometimes the Business Requirement Document and Business Design Document can be lumped together to make only one Business Requirement Document.
What is a Module?
Answer: A ‘Module’ is a software component that has a specific task. It can be a ‘link,’ which can go inside to its component detail. (This is NOT a very common question for the interview. This is just for your knowledge, if you don’t know what a module is.)
What is a walk-through meeting?
Answer: Once the Business Analysts complete the requirement document, they call a meeting to explain how the functionalities work, what the process is in the designed application, and other details. The Business Analysts explain the high-level functionalities of the application (software) that is going to the built. The participant members in the meeting may provide feedback, and various points of view are expressed. This is a walk-through meeting.
What is a Use Case, and what does it include?
Answer: A Use Case is a document that describes the user action and system response for a particular functionality. It includes the cover page, Revision History, Table of Contents, Flow of Events (normal flow and alternative flow), Exceptions, Special Requirements, Pre-conditions, and Post-conditions.
What is Build?
Answer: When each of the different modules of software is prepared, the Configuration Management Team (CMT) puts them in a single folder, and it is called the ‘Build.’ (This is NOT a very common question for the interview. This is just for your knowledge if you don’t know what a build is.)
What does the Build Deployment mean?
Answer: When the Build so prepared by the CMT (Configuration Management Team), it is deployed (put) to different Test Environments, it is called the Build Deployment.
What is a Test Strategy?
Answer: A Test Strategy is a document that describes the test efforts, test configuration, testing tools to be employed, test environments, exit criteria and entry criteria for testing, what different types of testing will be carried out (for example, smoke test, regression, load test, functional test and so on) types of testing to be carried out and system requirement. The Test Manager or Lead writes it. (Remember, the Tester does NOT write Test Strategy. A Tester writes Test Plans and Test Cases)
Are Test Plan and Test Strategy the same type of documents?
Answer: No, they are different documents. A Test Plan is a document that collects and organizes test cases by functional areas and/or types of testing in a form that can be presented to the other teams and/or customers (see the definition on this page for Test Plan). In contrast, the Test Strategy (see the definition in the above question) is the documented approach to testing. The tester prepares test Plan, whereas the Manager or lead prepares the Test Strategy. Both are important pieces of Quality Assurance processes since they help communicate the test approach scope and ensure test coverage while improving the efficiency of the testing effort.
What does Test Strategy include?
Answer: It includes introduction, Test Objectives, Test Process, Test Methodology, Test Scope, Release Criteria for Testing (exit criteria), Test Lab configuration, resource and schedule for test activities, acceptance criteria, test environment, test tools, test priorities, test planning, executing a test pass and types of test to be performed.
What are the different types of software testing and define them?
Answer: Different types of testing are:
- Unit testing
- Shakeout testing
- Smoke testing (Ad-hoc testing)
- Functional testing
- Integration testing
- Regression testing
- System testing
- Load testing
- Stress testing
- Performance testing
- User acceptance testing
- Black box testing
- White-box testing
- Alpha testing
- Beta testing
(Note: Except the Shakeout testing and Unit testing (which are respectively done by the CMT (Configuration Management Team) and Coder/Developer), all other testing are done by the QA tester.)
What is Unit testing?
It is a test to check the code, whether it is properly working or not, as per the requirement.
What is Shakeout testing?
This test is carried out to check the networking facility, database connectivity, and the integration of modules. The Configuration Management team, who prepare builds for test environments, normally does this test. They also test whether the major components of the software are not broken. This test is done BEFORE the build is deployed in the test environment. After the shakeout testing, the next step is smoke testing (which is done by the testers after the build is deployed in the test environment)
What is smoke testing?
This test is done when the build is just prepared (fresh build) and deployed in the test environments. This is an AD hoc test to check roughly to make sure the major functionalities are not broken. It is the preliminary test carried out by the QA tester. After the smoke test, the testers perform functional testing.
What is Functional testing?
It is a test to check whether each and every function of that application is working as per the requirement (remember this work “as per requirement document”-you must say this in the interview). It is a major test where 80% of the tests are done. In this test, the Test Cases are executed (or run).
What is Integration testing?
It is a test to check whether all the modules are combined or not and working successfully, as specified in the requirement document. (Just for your information: Each developer works on different modules. When they finish their code, the configuration management team puts them together and prepares a build. We, as testers, need to make sure that these modules, which are now combined, work as per requirement document)
What is Regression testing?
When new functionality is added to the software, we need to make sure that the added new functionality does not break the other parts of the application. Or when defects (bugs) are fixed, we need to make sure that the bug fix has not broken the different parts of the application. To test this, we perform a repetitive test, which is called a regression test.
What is System testing?
When testers complete testing (The testers test the application in the test environments, meaning they test with the test data only, NOT with the real data), the application (software) has to be tested in the real environment. What it means is, since the testers test it in the test environment with the test data, we have to make sure that the application works well in the real environment with the real data. In a test environment, some of the things cannot be simulated or tested. Although the test environment is very similar to the production (real) environment, we need to make sure that we get a smooth delivery in the real system as well (As servers are different and the database is different, things may not work as expected when the application is moved from test environment to production environment)
What is Load testing?
It is a test to check the user’s response time for the number of users using any one scenario (single business process) of the same application at the same time.
What is Performance testing?
It is a test to check the user’s response time for the number of users using multiple scenarios (multiple business processes) of the same application at the same time.
(Did you notice the difference between Load Testing and Performance testing? What is it? See the highlighted bold letters)
What is Stress testing?
In this testing, the application is tested against heavy load such as complex numerical values, a large number of inputs, a large number of queries, etc. which checks for the stress/load the applications can withstand.
What is User acceptance testing (UAT)?
In this type of testing, the software is handed over to the user to find out if the software meets the user expectations and works as it is expected to. In this testing, the tester may do the testing, or the clients may have their testers (For example, banks may have their own teller employees who can test the application).
What is Black box testing?
It is a test where a tester performs testing without looking into the code. (OR it is a testing method where the application under test is viewed as a black box, and the internal behavior of the program is completely ignored. Testing occurs based upon the external specifications. Also known as behavioral testing, since only the external behavior of the program is evaluated and analyzed.)
What is White box testing?
It is a test where a tester looks into the code and performs the testing.
What is Alpha testing?
In this type of testing, the users are invited to the development center where they use the application, and the developers note every particular input or action carried out by the user. Any abnormal behavior of the system is noted and rectified by the developers.
What is Beta testing?
In this type of testing, the software is distributed as a beta version to the users, and users test the application at their sites. As the users explore the software, in case if any exception/defect occurs, that is reported to the developers.
What is the difference between Load Testing and Performance Testing?
Answer: Basically Load, Stress and Performance Testing are the same. However, Load testing is the test to check the users’ response time of the number of users of any one scenario of the application whereas Performance Testing is the test to check the user response time for multiple scenarios of the same application.
What was the process of QA testing in your company where you worked for the last time? (Or As far as the QA process is involved, what was the testing process in your company?)
Answer: The QA testing process that was followed in my last company where I worked was as follows: First of all, the Business Requirement Document was prepared as per the client’s requirement (with the muck-up). Then based on the requirement document, QA Team wrote Test Plans, Test Cases, and Test Strategies. The developers started coding their modules (started programming). Once the developers finished coding, the Configuration Management Team compiled the code together and prepared a build. This Build is now deployed to different testing environments where different types of testing were performed. Once the defects were found, the testers would log the defect using the tools available (like test director, ClearQuest, and so on. For the companies who cannot afford these expensive tools, they can use Excel sheet as well). Once the defects are logged, then those defects would be discussed in the defect status meeting and would take further actions (meaning, closing, reopening, retesting of defects, etc.).
What is the Change Control?
Answer: It is a document that describes the additional functionalities that are added after the Business Requirement Document is signed off. It can be updated in the old business requirement document, or it can be a separate document. (For example, in the Business Requirement Document, on the login page, there are User Name and Password fields. The owner of the software wants to add, “If you do not have User Name and Password, please click here.” This is a change. But this change came after the document is signed off by the Project Managers. Now, this is a change control and comes as a separate document. (It is also called Change Request, Modification Request).
Have you written Change Control?
Answer: Yes. There was a situation wherein one page of an application in my previous project, and when the user clicked the “Contact” link, it would pop up a different window (new separate window). But it was NOT the way it was described in the requirement document. In the requirement document, when the user clicks the “Contact” link, then it should navigate to another page (Not a separate new window. Then was it a problem? Functionality wise, it was NOT a problem; however, on all the other pages, when the user clicked the “Contact” link, the system would navigate to the next page (not a separate window). So, it was NOT CONSISTENT with the other functionalities on the other pages. Therefore, it was a consistency issue. I reported this as a bug. But the Project Manager asked me to write it as a Change Control (because it requires more budget to fix this issue) so that he can address this issue at a later time. So I wrote this as a Change Control. (However, it is NOT the job of a tester to write change control. It’s the business analyst’s job)
What is the Backend Testing?
Answer: It is a test to check whether the data displayed in the GUI front-end matches the particular data in the backend.
Have you done any Backend Testing and/or if you did, how did you do it in your last project?
Answer: Yes. I have done backend testing. When I was working on my last project, this was my scenario of backend testing:
I was working on Reports. It was the scenario of testing one application used in the bank, where a customer comes to a bank’s front desk, the bank teller is requested to open a Checking Account. The associate then asks for personal information about the customer, which are the primary data, such as First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Address, and Social Security Number. The associate then puts these primary data of that particular customer into the computer, which then afterward batch-processed (happens typically in the middle of the night). Now, after the batch process, the information of that customer goes into the central database in the XML format. The data now from the database goes to ETL (Extract-Transform-Load). (ETL is a tool made by two companies ‘AbInitio’ and ‘Informatica’) ETL now processes the job to create a file (output file) to produce the report. The file is now displayed in the GUI Front End report with the help of Business Object (or Crystal Reports. These are tools that show data in GUI format). In the GUI Front End report, let us say if, for January, the deposit of that person was displayed as $ 900.00. Then my job was to validate whether this $900 is correct or not. I validated this data by writing SQL queries directly to the database. The data pulled from my SQL query should match the data in the GUI front end. In other words, my SQL query should also display $900. If it matches, it is well and good. If it doesn’t, then it’s a bug. This is how I have done my Back End Testing.
How can you be sure that the query you wrote is correct? Or how do you know that the data you pulled from the database is correct?
Answer: I write the SQL query based on the requirement document. In the requirement document, various conditions are given for the query. Based on those conditions, I write an SQL query. Therefore, anything different from the requirement document is a defect.
From your resume, I see that you have been working in one place for a very short period of time. This raises my questions about why. Can you explain why?
Answer: As a consultant, I am hired for a certain period of time (for project duration only), generally for 6 months to 1 year. Once the project is over, I needed to move on to another project. That’s why you see me in the resume jumping frequently here and there.
What is done on the first day of the work?
Answer: On the first day, the Manager will come to receive it in the lobby. He/she will welcome you; tell me where you will be sitting. The next thing will show your login name and password, and they want to make sure that the login name and password works so that you can use your computer. Then the Manager will tell you where the documents are located in the network drive (or shared drive, or ClearCase, or Sharepoint—different companies use different software for this purpose). Once you find the documents, then you will ask them what you will be working on what are the related documents that you should read. You start reading the documents, which lasts normally one week or more.
What do you do on the job every day? What is the first thing you do when you go to work on a day? (What is your routine job?)
Answer: Go to work, have a cup of coffee (coffee is free in any workplace), then check emails. I will check in my calendar whether there is any meeting for the day. If there is anything urgent work that needs to take care of, then I will start with that job. Otherwise, I will start what is left from yesterday on a priority basis.
(This question was asked to one of my friends while he was attending an interview in one of the companies. When they asked him this question, his answer was, he said, “I start testing.” This was his wrong answer. The answer varies in which phase of testing the application is. If the application is in very beginning state-meaning that the coding has just begun, then the tester’s job will be to analyze and read the requirement documents, write test plans, and write test cases. Probably attend walkthrough meetings and so on. However, the daily routine job would be, as mentioned above, check emails, read documents, participate in the conference, and so on. It’s not that as soon as you enter the office, you start testing)
What do you do if you have any questions to ask? Who do you ask?
In the beginning, we all panic, what kind of questions to ask? What if they ask questions that I don’t know? Is it OK to ask questions? What do I do if I don’t know how to do the job I am assigned to? and so on.
As mentioned earlier, on the first day, your Manager will give you the system (computer) (They usually call system, not computer), will tell you what the User ID and Password are, where are the QA documents on the shared drive (or Network drive) are and so on. They will ask you to read a lot of documents at the beginning (And you must read and read those documents AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. At the beginning, allocate about 2 hours extra at home for reading these documents. This habit will put you on the top of your job). These documents are normally designed specification document (DSD). Different companies call it with different names, for example, Requirement Specification Document (RSD) and so on. After reading the documents, you will be asked to write Test Plans or Test Cases (Don’t panic. Your manager or test lead will give the Test Plans and Test Cases templates, and they will tell you what to do and how to do because different companies have different formats they follow. If they don’t have one, then you can always prepare a sample from this website (see on the right column) and give it to them. You will be a hero)
Who do you ask?
Now let’s say you did not understand something while reading documents. Who are you going to ask? Answer-Business Analysts who wrote this document. If you have any other questions that you don’t know, you will be asking that to your friend first, if he/she is not able to answer, then ask this question to the Lead (or Manager). Do not ask too many questions (some people get irritated). Therefore, it is important to read, read, and read. That’s the only way to succeed.
If you have any questions in TestDirector, or QTP or any other automation tools, then there is a HELP menu as well as a tutorial. Please go through these, read them before you ask any questions to anyone else.
What kind of questions should I ask in the meeting?
Nothing. My advice is, keep your mouth shut. Just listen. This is the best way to handle the job until you are confident enough to speak, and you know what you are talking about. If they ask you some questions, then reply gently, wisely.
How to deal with your team members?
Most probably, you will not be the only tester in the team. There will be more than you. Sometimes, dealing with your team members is frustrating, especially when you are new. They try to ignore you. They want to show themselves smart. Don’t worry. Don’t blame them. This part of human nature tries to cope with it. Invite them when you go for coffee (in the coffee room in your office, don’t go outside), try to share your feelings, and so on. It is all how you handle your friends. It is part of your daily activities, handle it gently. This is part of the situation I have gone through; my friends have gone through. I am just sharing this with you.
Have you used automation tools?
(Normally, when someone asks this question, we tend to think about automation functional testing tools, like WinRunner, LoadRunner, QTP (Quick Test Pro), Rational Robot, Experian, and so on. But the reality is, even a Manual Tester also uses automation tools like bug tracking tools like TestDirector, ClearQuest, PVC Tracker, and so on. Therefore, your answer should be Yes)
Answer: Yes. I have used TestDirector and ClearQuest as defect tracking tools. (Your answer is based on whether you have used automation tools, especially for functional and load testing. If you have NOT used, but read about these tools, then you may be better off saying, “I know about the tools. I was involved in some of the testing using these tools, but would need some brush up to work independently.” I am saying this because these tools are difficult to tackle in the interview and have to know in-depth. To pass the interview on functional automation tools, it may not be easy unless you know the stuff. But, since there is not much to learn in ClearQuest and TestDirector, you only have to know what different types of fields are there in the defect logging window when writing a defect.)
When you log a defect using TestDirector (or ClearQuest), what fields do you see?
Answer: When we log a defect, we see Defect ID (it shows later in TestDirector), Summary (where we write a short description of the defect), Description (long description of the defect), Detected by (Person who found the defect, (it’s you), Severity (meaning-is the defect critical? High? Medium? Or Low?), Date, Detected in Version, Priority, Project, Status, Assigned to, and so on.
Are you better working in a team or working alone?
Answer: I am a team player. I get along with team members very well. As far as working is concerned, I can be equally productive in a team or work alone.
(Caution: Never say, I like working alone. This could lead you to not getting a job as they are always looking for people who can get along with other people.)
Do you have any situations in the past where you have some arguments with your team members?
Answer: No. I never had that type of situation wherever I have worked.
(Even if you had one, it’s a good idea to say “No.” This could be a red flag, which might stop you from getting the job)
What do you like about a Manager? And what don’t you like?
Answer: The best thing I like about a Manager is that the Manager should be able to coordinate with the other teams so that we can get the updated documents, for example, updated requirements documents right away. A Manager who can efficiently distribute the work to the team without being biased and easily accessible and protective to his team for the right cause. As far as “what I don’t like” is concerned, I don’t like a manager who keeps coming to desk 10 times a day to check my work even if it is just regular work. Once the responsibility is given, the team member should be trusted and let his work done.
Where do you see yourself in another 5 years?
Answer: I see myself as a QA Lead in another 5 years.
(You can also say “QA Manager,” but since the QA Manager is taking your interview most of the time, they sometimes feel challenged. Therefore, it might be a good idea to limit you to QA Lead)
Why are you in QA?
Answer: I am in QA because I like this job.
Why do you like this job?
Answer: I like this job because it is process-oriented. Meaning that I get an opportunity to work from analyzing the required documents to writing test plans, test cases, testing the application, logging defects, retesting, preparing reports, and finally testing in production as well. Therefore, I am involved from the very beginning to the end of the software development life cycle (SDLC) process. I like this. Another reason is I like to find defects. I enjoy logging defects. The more defects I find, the happier I am.
How do you determine what to test in an application?
Answer: First of all, we have the test cases (or test scripts) that are written based on the requirement document. This pretty much covers what functionalities to test. Therefore, looking at the test cases tells us what to test in the application.
If you have no documentation about the product, how do you test an application? Describe the process.
Answer: Well, this is a situation where I have come across several times. Some of the companies in my previous projects did not have any documents. In this case, I went to the Business Analyst and sometimes to developers to find out how exactly the functionalities work, how to navigate from one page to another page, and so on. After getting a clear vision, I write test cases based on the conversation (which is a step by step procedure to test an application) and get ready for testing.
What do you do once you find a defect?
Answer: Once you find a defect, this is what we need to do:
- Recreate the Defect: Once you find a defect, we must try to recreate (meaning that we should be able to reproduce it) at least 3 times so that we are sure that it is a defect. Sometimes, once we find it log it without recreating, it may put us in a false situation (because sometimes the application does not behave in the same way). Therefore, it is important to recreate the same defect several times.
- Attach the Screen Shot (supporting document): Once we confirm that it is a defect, and then it is a good idea to attach supporting documents when we log (write) a defect. For example, screenshot, requirement document, etc. For instance, let us say that instead of the “Continue” button on a page, there is a typo “Continue.” Now, we will make a screenshot of this page (To make screenshot, press “Print Screen” button on the keyboard, and open a Word document, and click Edit on the Word document and “Past” it. You will see the screen now) Now, a tester needs to write defects in easy and clear language to make all the developers understand easily.
- Log the Defect: Now, the next step is, we need to log it. Depending on the company what kind of tools they are using (for example, some companies use TestDirector to log defects, some companies use Rational ClearQuest, some use PVC Tracker, and so on). If the company is small and cannot afford these expensive tools, then they may use an Excel sheet to log defects. We log the defect.
What are the basic elements you put into a defect?
Answer: Basic elements we put in a defect are: SEVERITY, PRIORITY, CREATED BY, VERSION NO, HEADER, DESCRIPTION OF THE DEFECT where we write how to recreate a defect, in what module the defect is found, Status, and so on.
What is the biggest bug you have ever found?
Answer: Well, there are many big defects I have found in various projects. For example, in the last project, on a page, there was a button called “More Information.” Once the user clicked that button, the system would open a new window (pop up).
We could close the new window in 3 ways:
- By clicking X at the top right corner of the page
- By clicking the “Close” button on the page
- By pressing combination keys (Alt+F4) on the keyboard
- Although the combination key (Alt+F4) was not mentioned in the test case, I just wanted to try how the application reacts when Alt+F4 is pressed. Then I pressed Alt+F4. The result was a disaster-the application crashed (broke). The application disappeared from the computer monitor. Since it was the last day of testing for us, it brought chaos in our Managers, Leads, and the whole teams. Finally, the developers disabled Alt+F4 as a temporary solution, and the application went into production.
How do you make sure that it is quality software?
Answer: There is a certain process of how the quality of the software is guaranteed (ensured). The ‘exit criteria define it.’ (What it means is, a QA Manager writes a document called Test Strategy. This Test Strategy defines the ‘exit criteria.’) Exit Criteria gives the measurement, for example, to confirm the quality, how many critical defects, high defects, medium defect, and low defect are acceptable? These are all defined in the exit criteria. (Normally in practice, for quality software, there should no critical defects (0 critical), no high defect (0 high), no medium defect (0 medium) and maybe 1 low defect)
As a QA Tester, can you tell me the situation when you felt the proudest of it?
Answer: When I find the defect that generally others don’t notice, then I feel very proud. For example, there were situations where I found bugs that crashed the whole system at the end of the testing phase. I tried the scenarios where the scenarios were NOT mentioned in the test cases. For example, we can close the windows by clicking X on the page, with the “Close” button and so on. But there is another way that you can close the window by pressing Alt+F4 on the keyboard. Not many testers test this scenario. I have done this in my last two projects. Both the time, the application crashed, which became a big issue. I felt proud.
What made you choose the testing career?
Answer: I am a very detailed oriented person, and I like a process-oriented job. The way the QA process works is just the kind of work I like. For example, I am analyzing requirement documents, attending walk-through meetings, writing test plans, writing test cases, executing the test cases (or running the test cases) testing the application, logging defects, retesting them, and so on. I think I like the process, and that’s why I chose this career.
When should testing start a project? Why?
Answer: We should start testing as soon as the following things are ready:
- Test Data is available
- Build (all the developers have coded their code and merged them)
- Test Environment (servers, network, etc.) is set up and ready
- When the manager asks us to go ahead and start testing.
Let us say you have a web application to test. How do you go about testing it? What is the process?
Answer: First of all, I will look at the requirement documents (or design documents in some companies). The requirement document will tell us what the functionalities in the application (software) are once I analyze the requirement documents (one module=one requirement document). After that, I will write test plans for each module (one module =one test plan). Then after the test plan is complete, I will write test cases (One module can have hundreds, even thousands of test cases). Once the test cases are ready, and the application is prepared (or once the build is ready), then I will start testing. Before I start testing, however, I will make sure the test environments, test data, and defect logging tools are in place. This is how I will go about testing an application.
What is a “bug?”
Answer: A bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer code (program) that prevents it from behaving as intended (e.g., producing an incorrect result). (You can also add this: When the expected results (accordingly to the required documents) don’t match with the actual results (while testing), then it is considered a bug)
How would you ensure that you have covered 100% testing?
Answer: The testing coverage is defined by exit criteria (There are exit criteria and entry criteria in the Test Strategy). For example, if the exit criteria say, “The software will be acceptable to the client only if there are no critical defects, no high defects, no medium defects, and only two low defects,” then all the critical, high, the medium should be zero. Only 2 low defects are acceptable. Thus, 100% coverage is measured by the exit criteria. Also, 100% of test cases must be executed to cover 100% of testing.
What problems did you face in the past? How did you solve it?
(You will be OK if you give one of the problems below, not all of them)
Answer: I had many problems while testing applications in the past. As far as I remember one of them (then describe one of them from below), this was the scenario:
- It was a web-based application. I was working on a module called “Transaction Summary.” There was the “Submit” button on that page. After entering data in all the fields, for example, First Name, Last Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and so on, I clicked the Submit button. Once I clicked the Submit button, an error page displayed, “Page cannot be found…”. Since it was a critical defect, I immediately informed the Test Lead. There was chaos in the room. All the developers, Database Administrators, and Testers gathered in my cube (room). Nobody could tell exactly what was wrong with it. Finally, one smart guy checked into the database and found out that one of the files in the database was closed. The status of all the files should be in the open status. Once the status of the closed file was put in the “open” status, the application worked fine.
- One of the problems was in the Login window (page). When the user enters and Login Name and Password, then Password should be encrypted. One of the Test Cases was that I needed to open the database and see whether the password is encrypted or not. I found out it was not encrypted. I reported it as a bug (defect), and it was fixed in the next release (build).
- Defects I have found in a project was a defect to close a window (pop up). For example, in the last project, on a page, there was a button called “More Information.” Once the user clicked that button, the system would open a new window (pop up). We could close the new window in 3 ways:-By clicking X at the top right corner of the page
-By clicking the “Close” button on the page
-By pressing combination keys (Alt+F4) on the keyboard
Although the combination key (Alt+F4) was not mentioned in the test case, I just wanted to try how the application reacts when Alt+F4 is pressed. Then I pressed Alt+F4. The result was a disaster-the application crashed (broke). The application disappeared from the computer monitor. Since it was the last day of testing for us, it brought chaos in our Managers, Leads, and the whole teams. Finally, the developers disabled Alt+F4 as a temporary solution, and the application went into production.
- Another problem was that a user would search for branch location information of a bank. The user logs in by using the User Name and Password. After the login, on the “Search Location” page, the user enters and zip code of the location he wants to find, then clicks the Find button. After that, the system (application) gives a number of branch locations. The user now clicks “Request Information” for one of the branches as soon as the user clicks the “Request Information” button, the application breaks (displays “Page cannot be found” error). I logged this defect as a critical defect. When the developers and database administrators looked into it, then they found out that in one of the tables, the data was not recorded. In all the tables (UserProfile table, ClientID table, and SessionID table), the data should be populated with the information entered by the user. For some reason, in one of the tables, it was blank (null). Once they wrote a small code to populate data (enter data) to the table, the application started working.
- In my previous project, when the customer wants to upload a document, for example, a copy of a monthly statement (in Word format), on the website, the system should automatically change the Word document into .pdf format. Once the document was uploaded, I saw that the fields in the .pdf document were interchanged (misplaced). For example, the First Name displayed in the Last Name section. Date of Birth displayed in the Social Security Number field and so on. We found out that the problem was a mapping problem (remember this word). Once the mapping was correct, I tested in the new build. It was fixed.
- “Father” pop up displayed when the Print/Print Preview button clicked. (This was coded by the developer to mark this coding portion (for his/her purpose as a mark to indicate where he/she made changes, however, forgot to remove it). Once the developer fixed it, it still displayed the same thing (because it was in the server’s memory and could not go). Now, I had to reset the memory of the server from my machine. Therefore, what I did is, I went to the website I was testing (for example, http://mysite.app.org/My_profile) and added reset.aspx at the end of the URL (Now the URL becomes http://mysite.app.org/My_profile/reset.aspx and hit enter. It took me to the server memory, and I selected the section and submitted the query, and it was cleared. Retested again, and it is now OK.
- I was testing a web application. On one page, I clicked the Save & Continue button twice (my mistake). Once this button is clicked double, the system displayed an error message, “Could not save the answers, please contact technical support.” (When clicked only once, the button works fine.).Solution: Once the user clicks the button once, the button was disabled later so that the user cannot click twice.
- I was testing a web-based application. Once all the fields are entered on one of the pages, we had a Print Preview button. If the user clicks this button, we were supposed to see the same information in a new window in PDF format. While looking at the data in PDF file, some fields were missing, for example, Date of Birth was missing in the PDF file.
Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had. (Here, you should be careful not to say any negative words about the last boss. This will give a reflection that you cannot work with different natures of people. You should be able to show them that you can cope with any boss. Therefore, take an idea below how the answer should be.)
Answer: I can hardly think of any really bad Manager. But when I compare, then I remember a Test Lead who was just made a lead from the developer’s team. She used to feel that she has been very proud of her position and used to boss around. Sometimes, she used to call home and check where I was and what I was doing. Or have I completed my job before leaving and so on. I think whatever she did, was for the benefit of the company and myself in the long run, which would give me more confidence in the future.
What do you like about QA?
Answer: The best thing I like about QA is. I like the job which is more process-oriented. For example, we have to work right from reading the requirement documents, providing feedback to the Business Analysts as necessary, writing test plans, test cases, execute the test cases, interaction with different developers, attend the walk-through meeting and so on. I am a very detailed oriented person. When I test applications, I try to get into the depth of functionality so that I don’t miss out on anything. Finally, I love logging defects.
What are all the basic elements in a defect report?
Answer: The basic elements in a defect report are: Defect ID, Header, Description, Defect Reported by Date, Status, Version, Assigned to, Approved by Module where the defect was found and so on.
What is the difference between verification and validation?
Verification: Verification is a process to ensure that the software that is made, matches the original design. In other words, it checks whether the software is made according to the criteria and specification described in the requirement document. It is to check whether you built the product right as per design. It is a low-level checking. (It is done in walk-through meetings generally). It checked whether it is made accordingly to the design.
Validation: Validation is a process to check whether the product design fits the client’s needs. It checks whether you built the right thing. It checks whether it is appropriately designed.
How do you know it is sufficient testing?
Answer: Every company has entry and exit criteria. When we test applications, we refer to exit criteria. When we are about to finish testing, then the QA Team (QA Manager) refers to the exit criteria (exit criteria tells the level of defect that you can be comfortable with before it goes to production. For example, there should be ZERO critical defect, ZERO high-level defect, ZERO medium defect, 1 Low-level defect, and all the test cases must be 100% executed, etc.). Once the exit criteria meet the requirements, then the software is considered to be sufficiently tested.
Every company has entry and exit criteria. When we test applications, we refer to exit criteria. When we are about to finish testing, then the QA Team (QA Manager) refers to the exit criteria (exit criteria tells the level of defect that you can be comfortable with before it goes to production. For example, there should be ZERO critical defect, ZERO high-level defect, ZERO medium defect, 1 Low-level defect, all the test cases must be 100% executed, etc.). Once the exit criteria meet the requirements, then the software is considered to be sufficiently tested.
How to derive test scenarios and use cases? What are the contents and format?
Answer: Test scenarios are derived from requirement documents. We follow each and every functionality (called business rules) mentioned in the requirement document. One functionality can have multiple business rules. For example, let us say there is one requirement called “Login.” This “Login” may have various scenarios. For example, one scenario is, enter the right User ID and wrong password. The system should display an error message. Another scenario would be to enter the wrong User ID and right Password. The system should display an error message. The third scenario could be to enter the right User Name and correct Password. The system should allow the user to get into the system. This is how the test cases are derived from the requirement documents or the Use Cases.
What are the types of test cases that you write?
Answer: We write test cases for smoke testing, integration testing, functional testing, regression testing, load testing, stress testing, system testing, and so on.
How to write Integration test cases?
Answer: I have never written separate Test Cases Integration Testing. Since Integration Testing is a test to check whether all the modules are integrated or not (meaning that when the developers compile all their modules and make a build, all modules should be working when they are combined and those modules when combined, should work as expected), if they are not integrated (combined) in a nice way, then the application breaks. When we do functional testing, integration testing is automatically done. This is my experience.
How to write Regression test cases? What are the criteria?
Answer: Regression test cases are also based on the required documents. They are written more into detail, and with every release (build), the testers need to do regression testing. The criteria for regression testing are; there should be no major defects while we do our smoke test and functional testing.
Is there a format for a test case? Do you follow any methodology for numbering test cases?
Answer: Yes. It depends upon the company how the company has followed the numbering of test cases. However, normally, it is just a simple numbering in most of the time. But some companies may also relate this numbering to the required number. For example, if the requirement for Login is “REQ-LOG-001”, then we can number the test cases like REQ-LOG-001-001 and so on.
What is a Test Harness?
Answer: (Definition from www.wikipedia.org) “In software testing, a test harness or automated test framework is a collection of software and test data configured to test a program unit by running it under varying conditions and monitor its behavior and outputs. It has two main parts: the test execution engine and the test script repository.”
How to write a User Acceptance Test plan & test cases?
Answer: The way of writing Test Plan and Test Cases is the same in all the test phases. However, specifically for User Acceptance Testing, the testers use data nearly real data (meaning that the data is very much similar to the production data or real data).
What are the different matrices that you follow?
Answer: There are various reports we usually prepare in QA:
- Test Summary Report – It is a report that has a list of the total test cases, list of executed test cases, remaining test case to be executed, executed date, pass/fail
- Defect Report – In this report, we usually prepare a list of the defect in a spreadsheet, e.g. to defect # CQ12345 [ if you log an error in the application called Rational ClearQuest]
- Traceability Matrix [also called RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix)] Report – the document which shows the relationship between the functionalities or the business rules and the test cases. So, with the help of the Traceability Matrix, we make sure that we include all the functionalities in our test cases according to the requirement document.
Explain the Bug Life Cycle.
Answer: I would describe this as below:
A Tester finds a defect and logs it. (But before you log in, you must try to recreate it for 3 or 4 times so that you are 100% sure that it is a bug)
The defect is now approved or disapproved by the Test Lead.
(If it is disapproved, then the test lead will come to you ask for more details, and you have explained to him why it is a bug)
After the Test Lead approves the bug, it is now assigned to a development Team Lead (or Development Manager). He/she now assigns that bug to the concerned developer. The developer now looks into the bug and fixes it. Once the fix is ready, there will be another build ready to test. The tester now tests the defect. It the defect is fixed, then the tester closes the defect; if not, then the test will reopen it, and the same cycle starts.
What will you do if the developer does not accept the bug?
Answer: If the developer does not accept the defect, then he will reject it. Once it is rejected, then it comes back to the tester. Now, the tester will ask for clarification with the developer why the defect is rejected. Since everything is based on the requirement documents, both tester and developer will have to look at the requirement document, validate it, and then reopen it if necessary or close.
What are the different tests that can be done for Client Server Application and Web-based Application? Give details.
Answer: For both client-server and web-based applications, the testing is the same except one thing: We test web-based applications in different browsers, for example, Internet Explorer (will test in different versions like IE 5.0, IE 6.0, IE 7.0), Firefox, Safari (for Mac) and so on whereas for client-server, we don’t need to test in the browsers.
What is an inspection?
Answer: An inspection is a formal meeting, more formalized than a walkthrough, and typically consists of 3-10 people, including a moderator, reader (the author of whatever is being reviewed), and a recorder (to make notes in the document). The subject of the inspection is typically a document, such as a requirements document or a test plan. The purpose of an inspection is to find problems and see what is missing, not to fix anything. The result of the meeting should be documented in a written report. Attendees should prepare for this type of meeting by reading through the document before the meeting starts; most problems are found during this preparation. Preparation for inspections is difficult but is one of the most cost-effective methods of ensuring quality, since bug prevention is more profitable than bug detection.
Give me five common problems that occur during software development.
Answer: Poorly written requirements, unrealistic schedules, inadequate testing, adding new features after development is underway, and poor communication. Requirements are poorly written when requirements are unclear, incomplete, too general, or not testable; therefore, there will be problems. The schedule is unrealistic if too much work is crammed in too little time.
Software testing is inadequate if none knows whether or not the software is any good until customers complain or the system crashes. Commonly, new features are added after development is underway.
Miscommunication either means the developers don’t know what is needed or customers have unrealistic expectations and therefore, problems are guaranteed.
What is the role of documentation in QA?
Answer: Documentation plays a critical role in QA. QA practices should be documented so that they are repeatable. Specifications, designs, business rules, inspection reports, configurations, code changes, test plans, test cases, bug reports, user manuals should all be documented. Ideally, there should be a system for quickly finding and obtaining documents and determining what document will have a particular piece of information. Use documentation change management, if possible.
What if the software is so buggy it can’t be tested at all?
Answer: In this situation, the best bet is to have test engineers go through the process of reporting whatever bugs or problems initially show up, with the focus being on critical bugs. Since this type of problem can severely affect schedules and indicates deeper problems in the software development process, such as insufficient unit testing, insufficient integration testing, poor design, improper build or release procedures, managers should be notified and provided with some documentation as evidence of the problem.
How do you know when to stop testing?
Answer: This can be difficult to determine. Many modern software applications are so complex and run in such an interdependent environment that complete testing can never be done. Common factors in deciding when to stop are…
- Deadlines, e.g., release deadlines, testing deadlines;
- Test cases completed with certain percentage passed;
- Test budget has been depleted;
- Coverage of code, functionality, or requirements reaches a specified point;
- Bug rate falls below a certain level; or
- Beta or alpha testing period ends.
What if there isn’t enough time for thorough testing?
Answer: Since it’s rarely possible to test every possible aspect of an application, every possible combination of events, every dependency, or everything that could go wrong, risk analysis is appropriate to most software development projects. Use risk analysis to determine where testing should be focused on. This requires judgment skills, common sense, and experience. The checklist should include answers to the following questions:
- Which functionality is most important to the project’s intended purpose?
- Which functionality is most visible to the user?
- Which functionality has the largest safety impact?
- Which functionality has the largest financial impact on users?
- Which aspects of the application are most important to the customer?
- Which aspects of the application can be tested early in the development cycle?
- Which parts of the code are most complex and thus most subject to errors?
- Which parts of the application were developed in rush or panic mode?
- Which aspects of similar/related previous projects caused problems?
- Which aspects of similar/related previous projects had large maintenance expenses?
- Which parts of the requirements and design are unclear or poorly thought out?
- What do the developers think are the highest-risk aspects of the application?
- What kinds of problems would cause the worst publicity?
- What kinds of problems would cause the most customer service complaints?
- What kinds of tests could easily cover multiple functionalities?
- Which tests will have the best high-risk-coverage to the time-required ratio?
What can be done if requirements are changing continuously?
Answer: Work with management early on to understand how requirements might change, so that alternate test plans and strategies can be worked out in advance. It is helpful if the application’s initial design allows for some adaptability so that later changes do not require redoing the application from scratch. Additionally, try to… · Ensure the code is well commented and well documented; this makes changes easier
for the developers.
- Use rapid prototyping whenever possible; this will help customers feel sure of their requirements and minimize changes.
- In the project’s initial schedule, allow for some extra time to commensurate with probable changes.
- Move new requirements to a ‘Phase 2′ version of an application and use the original requirements for the ‘Phase 1′ version.
- Negotiate to allow only easily-implemented new requirements into the project; move more difficult, new requirements into future versions of the application.
- Ensure customers and management understand scheduling impacts, inherent risks, and costs of significant requirements changes. Then let management or the customers decide if the changes are warranted; after all, that’s their job.
- Balance the effort put into setting up automated testing with the expected effort required to redo them to deal with changes.
- Design some flexibility into automated test scripts;
- Focus initial automated testing on application aspects that are most likely to remain unchanged;
- Devote appropriate effort to risk analysis of changes, to minimize regression- testing needs;
- Design some flexibility into test cases; this is not quickly done; the best bet is to minimize the detail in the test cases, or set up only higher-level generic-type test plans;
- Focus less on detailed test plans and test cases and more on ad-hoc testing with an understanding of the added risk this entails.
What if the application has functionality that wasn’t in the requirements?
Answer: It may take serious effort to determine if an application has significant unexpected or hidden functionality, which would indicate deeper problems in the software development process. If the functionality isn’t necessary for the application, it should be removed, as it may have unknown impacts or dependencies that were not taken into account by the designer or the customer.
If not removed, design information will be needed to determine added testing needs or regression testing needs. Management should be made aware of any significant added risks as a result of the unexpected functionality. If the functionality only affects areas, such as minor improvements in the user interface, it may not be a significant risk.
How can software QA processes be implemented without stifling productivity?
Answer: Implement QA processes slowly over time. Use consensus to reach agreement on processes and adjust and experiment as an organization grows and matures. Productivity will be improved instead of stifled. Problem prevention will lessen the need for problem detection. Panics and burnout will decrease, and there will be an improved focus and less wasted effort. At the same time, attempts should be made to keep processes simple and efficient, minimize paperwork, promote computer-based processes and automated tracking and reporting, minimize the time required in meetings and promote training as part of the QA process. However, no one, especially talented technical types, like bureaucracy, and in the short run, things may slow down a bit. A typical scenario would be that more days of planning and development will be needed, but less time will be required for late-night bug fixing and calming of irate customers.
What is parallel/audit testing?
Answer: Parallel/audit testing is testing where the user reconciles the output of the new system to the output of the current system to verify the new system performs the operations correctly. Let us say, for example, the current software is in the mainframe system, which calculates the interest rate. The company wants to change this mainframe system to the web-based application. While testing the new web-based application, we need to verify that the web-based application calculates the same interest rate. This is parallel testing.
What is system testing?
Answer: System testing is black-box testing, performed by the Test Team, and at the start of the system testing the complete system is configured in a controlled environment. The purpose of system testing is to validate an application’s accuracy and completeness in performing the functions as designed. System testing simulates real-life scenarios that occur in a “simulated real-life” test environment and test all functions of the system that are required in real life. System testing is deemed complete when actual results and expected results are either in line or differences are explainable or acceptable based on client input.
Upon completion of integration testing, system testing is started. Before system testing, all unit and integration test results are reviewed by Software QA to ensure all problems have been resolved. For a higher level of testing, it is important to understand unresolved problems that originate at unit and integration test levels. You CAN learn system testing, with little or no outside help. Get CAN get free information. Click on a link!
What is end-to-end testing?
Answer: Similar to system testing, the *macro* end of the test scale is testing a complete application in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communication, or interacting with other hardware, application, or system.
What is security/penetration testing?
Answer: Security/penetration testing is testing how well the system is protected against unauthorized internal or external access or willful damage. This type of testing usually requires sophisticated testing techniques.
What is recovery/error testing?
Answer: Recovery/error testing is testing how well a system recovers from crashes, hardware failures, or other catastrophic problems.
What is compatibility testing?
Answer: Compatibility testing is testing how well software performs in particular hardware, software, operating system, or network environment.
What is comparison testing?
Answer: Comparison testing is testing that compares software weaknesses and strengths to those of competitors’ products.
What is acceptance testing?
Answer: Acceptance testing is black-box testing that allows the client/customer/project manager to verify the system functionality and usability before the system being released to production. The acceptance test is the responsibility of the client/customer or project manager. However, it is conducted with the full support of the project team. The test team also works with the client/customer/project manager to develop the acceptance criteria.
What is a Test/QA Team Lead?
Answer: The Test/QA Team Lead coordinates the testing activity, communicates testing status to management, and manages the test team.
What is the software testing methodology?
Answer: One software testing methodology is the use of a three-step process.
- Creating a test strategy;
- Creating a test plan/design; and
- Executing tests. This methodology can be used and molded to your organization’s needs. Rob Davis believes that using this methodology is important in the development and the ongoing maintenance of his customers’ applications.
What is the general testing process?
Answer: The general testing process is the creation of a test strategy (which sometimes includes the creation of test cases), the creation of a test plan/design (which usually includes test cases and test procedures), and the execution of tests.
How do you create a test strategy?
Answer: The test strategy is a formal description of how a software product will be tested. A test strategy is developed for all levels of testing, as required. The test team analyzes the requirements, writes the test strategy, and reviews the plan with the project team. The test plan may include test cases, conditions, the test environment, a list of related tasks, pass/fail criteria, and risk assessment. Inputs for this process:
- A description of the required hardware and software components, including test tools. This information comes from the test environment, including test tool data.
- A description of the roles and responsibilities of the resources required for the test and schedule constraints. This information comes from man-hours and schedules.
- Testing methodology. This is based on known standards.
- Functional and technical requirements of the application. This information comes from requirements, change requests, technical, and functional design documents.
- Requirements that the system can not provide, e.g., system limitations. Outputs for this process:
- An approved and signed off test strategy document, test plan, including test cases.
- Testing issues requiring resolution. Usually, this requires additional negotiation at the project management level.
How do you create a test plan/design?
Answer: Test scenarios and/or cases are prepared by reviewing functional requirements of the release and preparing logical groups of functions that can be further broken into test procedures. Test procedures define test conditions, data to be used for testing, and expected results, including database updates, file outputs, report results. Generally speaking…
- Test cases and scenarios are designed to represent both typical and unusual situations that may occur in the application.
- Test engineers define unit test requirements and unit test cases. Test engineers also execute unit test cases.
It is the test team that, with the assistance of developers and clients, develops test cases and scenarios for integration and system testing.
- Test scenarios are executed through the use of test procedures or scripts.
- Test procedures or scripts define a series of steps necessary to perform one or more test scenarios.
- Test procedures or scripts include the specific data that will be used for testing the process or transaction.
- Test procedures or scripts may cover multiple test scenarios.
- Test scripts are mapped back to the requirements and traceability matrices are used to ensure each test is within scope.
- Test data is captured and baselined before testing. This data serves as the foundation for the unit and system testing and used to exercise system functionality in a controlled environment.
- Some output data is also base-lined for future comparison. Base-lined data is used to support future application maintenance via regression testing.
- A protest meeting is held to assess the readiness of the application and the environment and data to be tested.
- A test readiness document is created to indicate the status of the entrance criteria of the release.
Inputs for this process:
- Approved Test Strategy Document.
- Test tools, or automated test tools, if applicable.
- Previously developed scripts, if applicable.
- Test documentation problems uncovered as a result of testing.
- A good understanding of software complexity and module path coverage derived from general and detailed design documents, e.g., software design documents, source code, and software complexity data.
Outputs for this process:
- Approved documents of test scenarios, test cases, test conditions, and test data.
- Reports of software design issues, given to software developers for correction.
How do you execute tests?
Answer: Execution of tests is completed by following the test documents methodically. As each test procedure is performed, an entry is recorded in a test execution log to note the execution of the procedure and whether or not the test procedure uncovered any defects. Checkpoint meetings are held throughout the execution phase. Checkpoint meetings are held daily, if required, to address and discuss testing issues, status, and activities. The output from the execution of test procedures is known as test results. Test results are evaluated by test engineers to determine whether the expected results have been obtained. All discrepancies/anomalies are logged and discussed with the software team lead, hardware test lead, programmers, software engineers, and documented for further investigation and resolution. Every company has a different process for logging and reporting bugs/defects uncovered during testing. A pass/fail criteria are used to determine the severity of a problem, and results are recorded in a test summary report. The severity of a problem, found during system testing, is defined in accordance with the customer’s risk assessment and recorded in their selected tracking tool. Proposed fixes are delivered to the testing environment, based on the severity of the problem. Fixes are regression tested, and flawless fixes are migrated to a new baseline. Following the completion of the test, members of the test team prepare a summary report. The summary report is reviewed by the Project Manager, Software QA Manager, and/or Test Team Lead.
After a particular level of testing has been certified, it is the responsibility of the Configuration Manager to coordinate the migration of the released software components to the next test level, as documented in the Configuration Management Plan. The software is only migrated to the production environment after the Project Manager’s formal acceptance.
What testing approaches can you tell me about?
Answer: Each of the followings represents a different testing approach:
- Black box testing,
- White box testing,
- Unit testing,
- Incremental testing,
- Integration testing,
- Functional testing,
- System testing,
- End-to-end testing,
- Sanity testing,
- Regression testing,
- Acceptance testing,
- Load testing,
- Performance testing,
- Usability testing,
- Install/uninstall testing,
- Recovery testing,
- Security testing,
- Compatibility testing,
- Exploratory testing, ad-hoc testing,
- User acceptance testing,
- Comparison testing,
- Alpha testing,
- Beta testing, and
- Mutation testing.
How do you divide the application into different sections to create scripts?
Answer: First of all, the application is divided into different parts when a business analyst writes the requirement document (or Use Cases or Design Document), he/she writes EACH requirement document for EACH module. Let us say, if there are 12 different modules in an application that a business analyst has written the requirements for, then a tester would write the test cases for each module, which means in 12 different sections. This is the standard practice. There might be scenarios where you might have to break down scripts into sub-categories. For example, if a tester is writing a script for Login Page, he/she might write one for positive and negative testing, and another sub-set of test cases would be for the error message when the wrong information is entered. In short, the test cases are divided according to the modules.
(The following questions were asked to the Padma in one of her interviews very recently)
What is your goal?
(This question is asked to check how ambitious you are as far as your career is concerned, whether you like the job you are doing and so on. Therefore, no matter what, you should stick to your QA job at this point and say that you love this so much and your goal is something similar to the one below)
Answer: My goal is to be QA Lead (or QA Manager) in the near future.
What are you expecting from our company?
Answer: My expectation from your company would be I will have more challenges and new things to learn, and whatever the skills I have to contribute, hopefully, I will be able to contribute if they are in any way helpful to enhance the productivity of the company.
What did you learn from your previous companies?
Answer: I learned a lot from the previous companies wherever I have worked. Wherever I have worked, I found out the there is always something to learn. Different companies have different ways of working. The environment and technology still differ from one company to another company. I have never found one company’s environment matching with another company. For example, if one company is using documents called requirement documents, then the other company might be using Use Cases, and some companies might be using Design Document and so on. Therefore, in my experience, there are always new things to learn in every company, and we can still contribute this thing to the next company if they help to be more productive.
What do you want to be in the next 2 years?
Answer: I want to be QA Lead in another two years.
Why QA Lead? Why not something else?
Answer: QA is the only thing I love doing it. I love this job and want to progress in this sector. I want to know how to manage the QA process, how to handle different jobs, and so on. Since the next step is the QA Lead, that would preferably be one I will target for.
Why do you want to work for this company?
Answer: (This is a tricky question. They want to know what interests you, and you have to be careful when you answer this question. You must admire the line of that company. For example, if a pharmaceutical company is interviewing you, then tell them that you are always interested in the medical applications, and the better part of your company is that it has exciting products that I am really curious to learn. That’s why I would feel great if I am allowed to work in your company)
Did you get any compliments from your previous employers? What were those situations?
Answer: Yes. I did. There were many occasions where I had compliments. For example, I was testing an application going a little bit off my test cases. After I finished executing my test cases, I always think in a way what a real user would possibly click in various parts of the application. So I was clicking back and forth, and in one specific scenario, the application broke and displayed an error message. That scenario was not in the test cases. The manager appreciated me and thanked me for finding this kind of critical defect.
What is your weakness?
Answer: I think my weakness is that whenever I am given some responsibilities, and there is a deadline for it, I work day and night, 7 days a week. This is probably bad for my family life, but I can’t sleep unless I am done with my assignments.
(Note: You should think of your weakness were because of your weakness (like the one above), still the employer benefits. DON’T SAY anything negative thing, like “I cannot work long hours, it is hard for me to pick up things, it is difficult for me to understand requirement documents, etc.)
What is your salary requirement?
$70k (negotiable), or ($35 per hour)
Please provide information (an example) of your experience testing Linux and UNIX environments (including the type of system tested, how tested, actual commands and steps used for test) Testing applications using Linux and UNIX.
Answer: I have tested applications using UNIX. For every backend testing I have done in the past, I have used the UNIX platform while performing backend testing. For example, when the data is fed into the system in the front end, that data goes to the database after the batch processing. From the database, the data is now sent to the ETL system (in XML format) for data manipulation as per our need (ETL is a software tool of Ab Initio company which is used to manipulate data in the data warehouse). In the ETL system, we manipulate those data according to our need), for example, it could be the income statement of the company, balance sheet, monthly reports, and so on. To produce an income statement, we need to run a job in ETL. To run this job, we use UNIX. In the same way, different types of jobs are created for each need (creating balance sheet is another job, creating reports is next job, etc.), then I had to run different jobs in the ETL system. Once we run the job, the running job finally creates an output file that is now validated by our tester. This output file can be in text format or GUI format. Thus, this is the scenario where I had to use UNIX. (I have used Linux much, however, since UNIX and Linux are the same things, I should have no problem in using Linux)
Some of the commands I used while testing using UNIX are;
- Ls –l ———>to check the file list
- Pwd———-> to see which directory I am in
- Cd ———–>change the directory
- Cd .. ———>change the directory one level up
- Mkdir ———>make a directory
- Rmdir ———>Delete the directory
- setenv name v ——>Set environment
- kill% ——–>Kill the running job
- vi ———>editor Used to write scripts
- more——-> to see the contents page by page
- cat —–>list the contents of the file
- chmod ——–>change the permission
- cp ——–>copy
- rm —–>delete a file
How do you do a risk assessment? (This question was asked to Mona in her interview)
Answer: (This is what Mona answered): The risks by understanding the infrastructure of the application, hard drive, and system capabilities, etc. I also added the “Risk and Mitigation Strategy” column within the test plan. The major risk for the company was system getting crashed upon receiving several hits by the users. The company did not set any metrics in the development phase as to what it can handle. I told him that I noted a mitigation strategy to deal with each known risk within the test plan.
The following are some of the things that a tester has to know (but may not be asked in the interview)What is a cookie? (You must know how to clean cookies)
Answer: A small text file of information that certain Web sites attach to a user’s hard drive while the user is browsing the Web site. The cookie can contain information such as user ID, user preferences, archive shopping cart information, etc. Cookies can contain Personally Identifiable Information.
Does a tester have to know about a cookie?
Answer: Yes. A tester has to know HOW TO CLEAN cookies (Does not have to know the definition).
Why do we need to clean cookies?
A tester can clean cookies by opening the Internet Explorer browser and Firefox browser (whatever you are using).
We need to clean cookies BECAUSE:
When we get a new build (what is a build?), we must clean cookies. (Remember, once the developers fix the defects, the configuration team makes a build, and this process continues until the product (application) is ready to hand over to the customer). If we don’t clean cookies, then there is a possibility that we may get the same error, which was already fixed by the developer. Why? Because the error is sitting on your computer hard drive, and the computer feels easy to get the same information from the hard drive rather than going to the server and pulling new things for the same thing. For example, let us say when you were testing a page, there was a button called “OK.” The client decided that “OK” is NOT the right button here; therefore, that button name was changed from “OK” to “Continue.” Accordingly, you wrote a defect saying that the “OK” button should be changed to the “Continue” button. Now, this defect is fixed (the developer changed the “OK” button to “Continue”). Now, you started testing, and there is a possibility that you might see the “OK” button again. Why? Because you DID NOT clean your cookies.
Therefore, you must clean your cookies before you starting testing a new build.
How to clean cookies?
Cookies are cleaned in browsers like IE (Internet Explorer), Firefox, Safari (for MAC and windows both), Netscape, and so on. However, the most used (90%) browser is IE (Internet Explorer)
Here is how you clean cookies in IE (Internet Explorer):
- Open IE (Internet Explorer)
- On the menu, click Tools–>Internet Options–>Click Delete button (It is in General Tab)
(You will see different buttons now, for example, Delete Files, Delete Cookies, Delete History, Delete Forms, Delete Passwords, Delete All).
- Click Delete all button. Now the cookies are cleaned in IE.
Here is how you can clean cookies in FireFox:
- Open Firefox Brower.
- Click Tools.
- Click Error Console.
- Click Clear.
Now the cookies are cleaned in Firefox.
What are the different types of protocols?
Generally, a Tester does NOT necessarily have to know different types of protocols. This is a Network Engineers job. However, if you want to know more about your knowledge, you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_network_protocols.
What is Web Architecture?
A tester does not necessarily have to know this unless you are a very Senior Tester testing network and doing some development. However, if you want to know more about it, please visit: http://www.objs.com/survey/WebArch.htm
Does a Tester need SQL?
Answer: Yes. For a Tester, SQL is needed. I had the same question in mind before I came to the actual implication-what is SQL used for? And now, I know that when we do the backend testing (see qaquestionsqaquestionsqaquestions.com for details), we need to write SQL queries to retrieve the data from the database and compare this data to the one with reports or output. Another scenario is, if something goes wrong in the application, for example, if there is an error, then we might have to write SQL queries to retrieve the data from the database and check what went wrong. Let’s say, we need to check in the Error Log table what went wrong. To check this, we open the database, go to the Error Log table, and find out what happened. In the Error Log table, there are many records, so which one is your error then? To find out which one is yours, we need to write SQL queries. For example, you logged in to the application with User ID=devin99 and password=sn992jj. Now, to retrieve your record, you can write a query something like this: select * from Error_Log where userID=devin99; This query will retrieve your record only so that you can see what happened.
What is ‘Show Stopper’?
A showstopper is a defect or bug that stops the user from further action (testing). It has no workaround. In other words, it stops everything, and the user cannot go any further. This is called show stopper in software industry language. (This is not an interview questions, but you have to know this terminology)
Static Testing Vs. Dynamic Testing
|Static Testing||Dynamic Testing|
|Static testing is a form of software testing where the software isn’t used.||In dynamic testing, the software must be compiled and run.|
|It is generally not detailed testing but checks mainly for the sanity of the code, algorithm, or document. It is primarily syntax checking of the code or and manually reading of the code or document to find errors||Dynamic analysis refers to the examination of the physical response from the system to variables that are not constant and change with time|
|This type of testing can be used by the developer, who wrote the code in isolation. Code reviews, inspections, and walkthroughs are also used.|
|Some of the dynamic testing methodologies include unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing.|
|This is the verification portion of Verification and Validation||Dynamic testing is the validation portion of Verification and Validation.|
|These are verification activities. Code Reviews, inspection, and walkthroughs are a few of the static testing methodologies.||These are the Validation activities. Unit Tests, Integration Tests, System Tests, and Acceptance Tests are a few of the Dynamic Testing methodologies.|
CMM(Capability Maturity Model):
is an industry-standard model for defining and measuring the maturity of a software company’s development process and for providing direction on what they can do to improve their software quality.it was developed by the software development community along with the software engineering institute(SEI).
CMM software Maturity Levels:
Level1:Initial: The s/w development process at this level are ad-hoc and often chaotic. The project’s success depends on heroes and luck. There are no general practices for planning monitoring or Controlling the process. It’s impossible to predict the time and cost to develop the software. The test process is just as Adhoc as the rest of the process.
Level2:Repeatable: This maturity level is best described as project-level thinking. Basic project management processes are in place to track the cost schedule functionality and quality of the product. Lessons learned from previous similar projects are applied. There is a sense of discipline. Basic software testing practices, such as test plans and test cases, are used.
Level3:Defined: Organizational, not just project-specific thinking, comes in to play at this level. Common management and engineering activities are standardized and documented. These standards are adopted and approved for use on different projects. The rules are not thrown out when things get stressful. Test documents and plans are reviewed and approved before testing begins. The test group is an independent form of developers. The test results are used to determine when the s/w is ready.
Level4:Managed: At this maturity level, the organization’s process is under statistical control. Product quality is specified quantitatively beforehand (for example this product won’t release until it has fewer than 0.5 defects per 1 000 lines of code) and the s/w isn’t released until that goal is met.details of the development process and the s/w quality are collected over the development of the project. Adjustments are made to correct deviations and to keep the project on plan.
Level5:Optimizing: This level is called optimizing (not optimized )because it’s continually improving from level 4. new technologies and processes are attempted. The results are measured, and both incremental and revolutionary changes are instituted to achieve even better quality levels. Just when everyone thinks the best has been obtained, .the crank is turned one more time, and the next level of improvement is achieved.
QA vs. TESTING
QA process is a complex process that starts early in the project life cycle, and some companies support starting the QA process from the project initialization which I personally strongly support, QA team has a lot to contribute in all the life cycle of a product.
It is well known that most of the bugs start at the requirements of a product. A good QA person can remove a large amount of the bugs from the requirements and increase the quality of the products.
QA process needs to cover many aspects of the product, its quality, usability, security, stability, etc. most of the problems can be eliminated early in the product’s life cycle, so the total cost of the project will be significantly reduced.
Now we have got to the “Testing” part of the QA team where the code quality will be tested; in case the QA team has started early in the product life cycle, this phase will be shorter and less expensive.
So as we can see from this introduction, the rolls of the QA team in a project are much more than just testing, and if it is not the case in your project, start checking if you are using the full potential of this great resource.