Testing allows teams to identify and resolve potential issues before they impact users. It can be a small app or an app that millions of people access every day. In either case, QA professionals should test the software to ensure performance efficiency and reliability.

To perform this QA, testers can follow six key phases of the software testing lifecycle.

6 Key Phases of the Software Testing Lifecycle

Many QA professionals follow well-established phases of the software testing lifecycle to ensure that an application performs as intended.

1. Needs analysis

During this phase, testers map the environments in which the software will run and determine who will use the application. They must consider any possible outcome that may occur, both now and in the future. Once this phase is complete, the actual planning begins.

2. Test planning

This is when QA professionals consider what is needed to complete the test and achieve the goals. For example, they should consider the following:

  • what is needed to test an application running in Kubernetes;
  • if it is necessary to test the evolution of the application;
  • how many users can access the app before it scales; and
  • the number of resources, such as CPU and memory, that the application has before scaling.

If these are all requirements, testing for Kubernetes will not be complete until all of these requirements are met. Testers should plan as many test scenarios as they can imagine.

3. Test case development

Once QA professionals have planned their tests – and what they will test – they need to determine the technical details of each test case. For example, if it is necessary to deploy an application to Kubernetes for testing, testers will need a Kubernetes manifest and some automation scripts to get the application up and running.

Details that QA professionals should collect during the test case development phase include the following:

  • any necessary automation code;
  • where to store the automation code and who will need access to it;
  • who performs the tests; and
  • written test cases.

4. Setting up the test environment

At this stage of the software testing lifecycle, QA professionals need to identify where testing will be performed. For example, if a Kubernetes cluster is needed for testing, QA should implement one of many options to deploy one. These include a local computer via Minikube, the cloud, or an on-premises cluster.

Of these three options, a Kubernetes cloud service is probably the easiest and fastest way to deploy a test environment. The reason for this is that teams won’t need to spend as much time setting up and managing the underlying infrastructure. The goal is to create a test environment that is as efficient as possible, while ensuring that the environment accurately reflects how users will interact with the application.

5. Execution of the tests

All QA engineers should have shared access to the test environment and associated code. However, it is not a good practice for team members to store all code on their local computers. Instead, testers should store code in GitHub and run automation code through a CI/CD pipeline. This way, the whole team has access to the code, understands how it works, and sees the results.

6. Test report

Without reports, the tests are not entirely useful. Stakeholders, including VPs and managers, may want to see initial test reports to understand if an app is working as expected.

In this business-centric phase, management will review the performance of the software and, from there, decide how to move forward. Management will seek answers to questions such as the following:

  • Will the application be deployed in production?
  • Does the code need changes?
  • Are there any bugs?

Therefore, the report should include as much detail as possible about the test results.

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