We are a small start up team and we really need to figure out a more effective method for testing.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help me get started with :

a) developing a process

b) finding resources to help us in this endeavor?

I have some front end general usability type of testing to do.

  • Jenn, welcome to SQA. You wrote, "...we really need to figure out a more effective method...". Can you elaborate on what you do now? Are you only doing usability testing now?
    – user246
    Jun 4, 2013 at 15:48
  • What are the values that are important to you to get out of testing? Obviously, there an many benefits to testing, but which are most important to you may influence what are the best things to start with.Also, what do you mean by small and are you looking to have developers wear a tester hat or have dedicated testers?
    – Daniel
    Jun 4, 2013 at 15:54
  • @user246 - Yes.. We really only do usability testing, ie testing the latest edit, but it's become apparent there are some bugs in our system that we arn't aware of... Things like sessions which causes users to time out and data isn't saved or cross browser issues that we haven't caught. (I think are are "too close" to both the project and finished product & lack experience, tbh)
    – Jenn
    Jun 4, 2013 at 16:04
  • @Daniel - I'd actually like to figure out how to create a testing plan when we launch a new section of our site and have dedicated testers (outside of our development team) who test for us... OR some automated way, but I don't even know where to begin to develop a plan.
    – Jenn
    Jun 4, 2013 at 16:06
  • @Jenn Take a look at the answer to sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/6129/… and maybe also sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/6104/….
    – user246
    Jun 4, 2013 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


We've gone through a very similar process over the last few years and I can share some things that have worked for us.

What to Test

There are a lot of facets to web apps and there's a lot of benefit in testing behind-the-scenes code, but the best place to start is usually the web interface (so browser automation tests). This will help you identify where problems exist, but may not offer much insight in why those problems are occurring.

Important Types of Tests

The positive test (it does what it says it should) is the obvious one. Negative tests (bad inputs and invalid selections, wrong logins, attempting to access resources the user doesn't have access to) are the next set of tests you'll want to add into your test plan for testing the interface. Your QA person and developers should definitely collaborate on brainstorming these. The QA engineer will think of things that the developer is too close to the project to come up with, but the developer will have insight into how the code works to know where snags might occur.

The natural inclination is to test functions, which can be good, but it's also important to test full processes. A number of features that work fine by themselves but don't integrate to each other properly can be disasterous.

Test Automation and Regression

The more sections you add to your application, the more time and effort it will take to test the full site. It sounds like you're just testing what you think changed, which is pretty common in those scenarios. The nice thing about automated tests is that you can simply add your new tests for a new section to the existing suite of automated tests. That way the role of the QA Engineer is to build those tests and the automation can go back through the entire suite of tests to ensure that other functions were not broken by your new changes.

For automation tools, the two I'm partial to are Ranorex and Selenium. I think Ranorex helps you through building the test more, but is still incredibly flexible because it's all backed with C# and you can directly edit the code. The downside is licensing. Selenium is free and very poserful, but requires a little more effort to implement. Also, Selenium has a few gotchas, like if an element is hidden, Selenium can still click it, even though a real user couldn't.

I know Ranorex does multiple browsers and I think Selenium does too.

I hope this is helpful to get you started.

  • THank you so much for ALL your information everyone! I realllly appreciate the help and I will return to this thread as I have more questions. I REALLY appreciate your help. :)
    – Jenn
    Jun 7, 2013 at 16:13
  • 1
    Welcome Jenn, one comment. If you find an answer that you believe fully answers your question, please mark it as accepted. If you have additional questions, rather than treating it like a forum thread where you continue to add on, please open a new question. Thanks!
    – Sam Woods
    Jun 7, 2013 at 16:27

For web app testing, I am giving some points/suggestions according to my experience :

  • UI Testing : It should be done on various configurations like Windows XP/7 + FF, Mac OS + Safari and so on.

  • Functionality Testing : It should be done for testing the functionality of the web app. For Ex. What should be the nest step if I click on a particular link ? etc

  • Regression testing : Testing the working of overall system to ensure the correct functionality after a new feature is added to the existing system

  • System Testing : It should be done as a whole to ensure that the system is working properly as a whole unit.

Once the system is completely tested and functional, you can go for automated tests using Selenium

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