As Google has progressed, it has had to develop a quality assurance (QA) approach that allows its team to keep developing despite a plethora of new factors to consider, including global collaboration among employees and an ever-changing landscape of features and products.
Considering the size of their organization, they have accomplished this with a small team of dedicated testers. Gaining insight into how Google meets its testing needs can help many up-and-coming organizations improve their test strategies.
Google’s Initial Testing Strategy
Initially, Google put more emphasis on the standard procedure of testing. They preferred to test each module and feature manually. Manual testing led to putting off fixing bugs. This neglect had a domino effect on the entire development process. Manual testing also made quality assurance difficult. Additionally, testers found it challenging to test enterprise-scale, complex apps.
However, over time, they’ve zeroed in on these problems and shifted their attention to automated testing, which has sped up their development while ensuring the continued high quality of their product.
Think Fast, Think Small
Even if Google is a large company, that doesn’t imply they do everything on a grand scale. The company prefers to roll out updates frequently and in tiny chunks when it concerns testing. This gradual improvement method helps them keep track of and fix any problems with the user experience. To compensate, they put many resources into testing at the unit and integration levels but only a little into testing the whole product. Google pushes its employees to find new techniques to shorten testing cycles and reduce the number of test failures, to maximize the effectiveness of the QA process.
The Focus: Software Testing
Software experts who built and tested their software couldn’t keep up with Google’s expanding staff. Rather than implementing a more conventional testing team, Google has begun to establish specialized engineering jobs to help increase its QA bandwidth on a systemic level.
- Software Engineers who can write test code.
- Engineers who focus on making code more testable through code refactoring.
- Engineers who can write test automation scripts and create systematic test strategies.
However, there is no “over the wall” quality process despite the existence of these specialist roles. “At Google, product teams, not testers, are responsible for ensuring quality. Each programmer should conduct tests. The tester’s role here is to guarantee the presence of adequate automation and enabling processes to facilitate this independence.
The success of this approach to testing, which the developers own, depends partly on the importance placed on channels of communication. Test-focused engineers at Google are not isolated from other engineering team members but work alongside them.
Google also places a premium on internal product quality communication to foster a culture of accountability and encourage constant improvement.
Establish a Tradition of Quality Responsibility
Google has a long-standing habit of hanging leaflets within the restroom stalls at HQ with a quiz. This quiz asks questions about programming code defects and how to identify them. These questions change weekly, and Google calls this practice “Testing on the Toilet.”
The idea behind this practice is to remind team members of the best practices for software testing as they go about their daily routines. Although this oddity isn’t exactly a cornerstone of Google’s testing strategy, it reveals a lot about the company’s perspective on quality responsibility and best practices.
Identifying a Software Testing Strategy That Will Allow You to Grow
Organizations of all sizes, from multinational conglomerates to scrappy start-ups, must develop a quality assurance strategy that integrates with their culture and daily operations. You may rethink your QA strategy and begin noticing results by looking at how other, more successful teams handle issues like communicating about quality and by using specific tools and platforms.
Google’s Test Engineers (TE) perform user-centric testing. These experts have the extensive product knowledge and can assess potential dangers. Unfortunately, not every product at Google gets the full focus of a TE. Developers working on the code should test the products that are still in their early stages or are experimental, as they receive no TE attention.
This testing approach ensures that everyone in Google can run tests at early stages. This efficiency is what makes Google stand out from the crowd. Organizations, big or small, can follow the same principle. Ensuring your developers can test their apps is a shrewd investment that will pay dividends as time progresses.
To help you improve your testing, you can leverage HeadSpin’s automated software testing platform. Organizations using HeadSpin noticed a 30% increase in their development cycles. The HeadSpin software testing tool supports more than 30 automation frameworks and gives its users access to real devices.
Testing on these SIM-enabled devices can help improve your end-to-end testing strategies. Moreover, you can take advantage of actionable insights through the HeadSpin AI to help build comprehensive apps.