Bouncing Back from Software Test Failures

QA Insights to Surviving Software Test Failures

Key Takeaways

  • Software test failures are a natural part of development and QA - they offer invaluable insight into test optimization to reduce risk and speed up releases.

  • With the right perspective and approach, teams can foster a sense of shared responsibility and better triage test failures without risking developer experience.

  • Teams that utilize the knowledge gained from failed tests enhance collaboration between QA and development teams.

  • Launchable streamlines bug triage by translating complex error logs into actionable insights, offering comprehensive test failure intelligence and optimization.

QA teams can experience many feelings during testing cycles: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression — it’s not easy to watch the software test failures pile up. Trying to piece together the puzzle of glitches, defects, and what causes them can be a painstaking process.

It doesn’t have to feel so bleak, though. While you can never remove some of those feelings (especially bargaining with your IDE for a test pass), you can reshape how you and your team feel about the software testing process. So, instead of grasping for answers, let’s talk about how you can bring that mojo back to your teams and tackle test failures.

Embracing Software Test Failures as a Learning Opportunity

No matter how far technology advances, there will always be a chance that something goes wrong. Which is a good thing, otherwise, most QA teams would be out on the street. However, teams can’t let issues such as a bug-filled cycle ruin their moods or impact their performance — it’s simply a part of the job.

Instead, you need to focus that energy on a sense of shared responsibility within the team as an opportunity to learn and grow from these issues. Taking those failed test results and analyzing them as not just a point of failure but transforming them into insights that your team can take action to plan for in the future.

1. Log Test Failures for Future Success

Congrats! You just had a ton of software test failures. Why are we celebrating, though? Because it’s an opportunity to learn and prevent these issues again. The bigger you fail, the bigger the lesson to educate your teams on and learn how to adapt for the next time it happens. And with these nuggets of information, your teams can create an instinctual understanding of the project through experience and evidence.

When your teams have that basic understanding, you can strengthen the bond between QA and dev teams. They’ll be able to bounce ideas and feedback off each other much easier, fostering better collaboration and dynamics between teams. Plus, thanks to this new information, they can use the knowledge learned from these failed tests to optimize the entire testing process.

2. Shift the Perspective on Testing

Let’s take a step back to the days before Agile methodology. A time when testing was more often than not just an afterthought or left to the end of the cycle. This meant that when software test failures went south, it was bad. Teams who spent months (not weekly sprints) on a release could watch their work crash and burn if testing was slotted too late into the project cycle, leaving a bug-riddled mess that probably works, but nobody is happy about it.

While we don’t have to relive those moments of the past, they aren’t that far off where they can’t happen again. Quality and security are critical components within software development, and teams should reinforce that idea. Tests aren’t just a to-do list to see if it passes, they’re a vital part of ensuring that your software is safe and valued by your end-users.

3. Align Testing with Agile and Continuous Delivery

Thankfully, the days of waterfall are long over, and new methodologies have come to improve the development process as a whole. However, now teams need to keep up with the new speed of software development while still trying to reduce software test failures. This also means teams need to connect the two halves of this modern development cycle alongside the importance of testing so neither half suffers.

The best way to do this is simple: pull from successful companies and use them as examples. Whether they use custom testing tools, specific integrations, bug triage automation, or other methods, there’s going to be something you can learn. Learning from these industry titans can give you a greater appreciation for your testing cycle and show stakeholders how necessary investing resources into your testing cycle can benefit everyone.

4. Minimize Test Failure Human Error through Automation

One of the biggest ways to improve your testing process is through automation, a dev’s best friend. Humans are prone to errors, and software is too, but automation can help reduce that margin for error. Plus, it saves precious time and resources in the process.

Testing is a time-consuming and complex process, which makes automation tools that much more critical for tackling growing test suites. They reduce the manual labor of hunting down bugs during defect triage and give teams better insights into their error logs. 

5. Embrace Failure as a Stepping Stone

We said it before, but it’s a message worth repeating: failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, including software test failures. It’s not the end of the world, nor will it make your teams pack their bags and polish their resumes — it’s a chance to get a fundamental understanding of how your software works inside and out.

So, instead of the bad, focus on the actionable info you gain from testing. Learn why and how tests fail, and use that to educate yourself to prevent these issues from happening again. Let your testing process shine as bright as your dev cycle, and watch it go from a painful process to an educational, quality-boosting part of the overall software development lifecycle.

Intelligent Test Failure Triage with Launchable

Revolutionize how you handle bug triage with Launchable. Your complex, hard-to-digest error logs get translated into readable, human-appropriate insights that you can use to create actionable plans. Launchable helps identify and understand the underlying issues that cause your tests to fail, giving your teams better information and a full picture of how your project works inside and out.

It also helps track all of this information in one easily accessible location. Error log results, bug tracking, and prioritization are all handled by Launchable, so your teams can see exactly what’s going on and what’s most important.

We know testing can be a stressful process, not only when running tests, but even just doing bug triage can put entire teams on edge in a particularly bad sprint. It doesn’t have to be that way if you can reshape your frame of mind. Take your software test failures and gain better insights with intelligent triage.

Seeking Your Expert Feedback on Our AI-Driven Solution

Quality a focus? Working with nightly, integration or UI tests?
Our AI can help.