When building a digital product, collaboration and mutual understanding across teams is a key to success. The product starts with the perfect vision of the design and is brought to life by the unrelenting genius of the development team. Wedged in-between is the QA team, adapting and absorbing skills and knowledge from all sides. Skills and knowledge that, if applied with the right tools, can be implemented into the QA test strategy to maximize the quality of the product and to increase efficiency between teams.
A few examples of these tools include: Charles, an app/website traffic monitoring and debugging tool, Postman, an API tool I used to create users, and the coupling of Figma and DevTools for visual QA validation. Including information from these tools in tickets not only met the goals of quality and productivity, but also gave me a greater perspective of the implications of the bugs I was analyzing. Many times, a bug’s impact can be dependent on the level of detailed information provided to the developers.
When I was testing a mobile exercise app, I used Charles everyday to analyze and correctly categorize and prioritize the bugs I found. I was able to differentiate between frontend, API, and CMS issues, and correctly assign the tickets that I opened. If the Charles logs returned an Internal Server Error, I knew that triaging should start with the microservices and GraphQL layer team. If the logs indicated missing data, I was able to direct the triaging efforts to the CMS team. Thus, overhead of bugs being reassigned or moved to a different JIRA board by the dev team/PMs was reduced.
Postman was equally as valuable in that it allowed me to independently create the users we needed for testing. Through collaboration with one of the devs on my team, I learned how to utilize their collections and modify requests pointed to our dev, staging, and production environments. This allowed me to handle exceptions in our testing that required specific types of users. For example, the gym members were required to have entitlement added to their account that would allow them to access all the exercise content on the app. With Postman, I could create users with and without entitlement using an authorization token provided by the development team.
Similarly, acquiring a base knowledge of how to read a product’s DOM and CSS improved the reliability of my visual QA tests. Applying these learnings when inspecting elements in Figma and in DevTools helped me use proper naming conventions when opening issues and better isolate bugs.
Many times, once the detailed design process is complete, the QA team becomes the go-to resource of expected design or functionality on the project. Having a breadth of knowledge into the development and design disciplines and applying this knowledge is just as important as having a keen eye or being comfortable utilizing testing tools.