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Buddy Testing in Software Testing

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Buddy Testing as the name suggests involves two team members, one from the development team and one from the testing team. The article focuses on discussing Buddy Testing. The following topics will be discussed here:

Let’s discuss these topics in detail.

What is Buddy Testing?

Buddy system practice is used in this type of testing, wherein two team members AT are identified as buddies. The buddies mutually help each other, with a common goal of identifying defects early and correcting them. A developer and a tester usually become buddies. It may be advantageous to team up with people with good working relationships as buddies to overcome any apprehensions. On the other hand, if this is mapped to a complete agreement of views and approaches between the buddies, the diversity required between the two may not be achieved. This may make buddy testing less effective, Buddying people with good working relationships yet diverse backgrounds is a kind of safety measure that improves the chances of detecting errors in the program very early.

  • In this technique, two team members work on the same machine where one of the team members will work with the system and the other one is responsible for making notes and scenarios.
  • One person known as the primary tester performs the testing while the other person, known as the buddy tester, observes and provides assistance as needed.

Importance of Buddy Testing:

  • Avoid errors or early detection of errors: A buddy test may help to avoid errors of omission, misunderstanding, and communication by providing varied perspectives or interactive exchanges between the buddies.
  • Provides clarity on specifications: Buddy testing not only helps in finding errors in the code but also helps the tester to understand how the code is written and provides clarity on specifications.
  • Helps to design better testing strategy: Buddy testing is normally done at the unit test phase, which helps testers to come out with a better testing strategy for subsequent planned and testing activities. 
  • Helpful for testing new modules: It is done for new or critical modules in the product where the specification is not clear to buddies who perform Buddy testing.
  • Helps provide additional perspective on the testing process: The importance of buddy testing lies in its ability to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the testing process. By working together, the primary tester and the buddy tester can share knowledge and expertise, catch errors and defects more quickly, and provide additional perspectives on the testing process.

Types of Buddy Testing:

1. Pair Testing

In pair testing, two people work closely together at a single workstation. As the other person watches and evaluates the process, one person assumes the role of the tester, carrying out test cases or utilising the application. A dynamic interchange of ideas and viewpoints is ensured by this cooperative method, which promotes more thorough testing and early defect discovery.

2. Developer-Tester Buddy Testing

Buddy testing for developers and testers is working together to find and fix bugs early in the development cycle. This cooperation could be demonstrated by code reviews, pair programming or cooperative testing. Facilitating communication between these two crucial responsibilities will help the team improve the software as a whole.

3. Exploratory Testing Pairing

In this type of testing, two testers collaborate to examine the programme without using pre-written test cases. This method fosters flexibility and inventiveness, enabling testers to find unexpected problems and situations. The cooperation of testers guarantees a deeper investigation of the functionality of the programme.

4. Peer Review Testing

Through cooperative efforts, peer review testing focuses on the examination and enhancement of testing artefacts. In order to find any problems, contradictions, or places for improvement, testers go over each other’s test cases, scripts or plans. This kind of buddy testing keeps a consistent and efficient testing procedure going and improves the overall quality of testing documents.

5. Cross-functional Team Buddy Testing

This type of testing involves working together with individuals from several functional domains, including development, testing and design. This method encourages a variety of viewpoints and skill sets while advancing an overall comprehension of the system. The cross-functional team’s ability to communicate effectively helps them grasp the programme more thoroughly.

When to use Buddy Testing?

Buddy testing is typically used in the later stages of the software development process when the software is almost complete and ready for final testing. It is particularly useful for testing complex or critical systems, or for testing systems that require specialized knowledge or expertise.

There are several factors that can influence the decision to use buddy testing, including:

  1. When testing complex systems: Buddy testing can be particularly useful for testing complex or critical systems, as it allows two individuals to work together to identify defects and issues more quickly.
  2. When there are individuals with different levels of expertise: Buddy testing can be beneficial if the testing team includes individuals with different levels of expertise or knowledge. For example, if the primary tester is an experienced tester with a strong understanding of the software or system, but the buddy tester is a subject matter expert with knowledge of the domain being tested, the combination of these two perspectives can enhance the effectiveness of the testing process.
  3. When there are limited resources: Buddy testing may be more efficient and cost-effective than other testing methods, particularly if the testing team has limited resources or time available for testing.
  4. If the goal is to identify all possible defects: If the goal of the testing is to identify as many defects and issues as possible, buddy testing can be a useful technique, as it allows two individuals to work together to catch defects more quickly.
  5. When the specification is not clear: Lack of proper specification confuses the tester so the presence of another developer or experienced tester may help to resolve the issues and achieve the goal.
  6. Deadline is near: Buddy testing is helpful in scenarios where the development took a lot of time and the testing team has only a few days for testing the product.
  7. When the team is new: When there is a new team member in the team and quick knowledge of the product is required. Using buddy testing, a new tester can get a hold of the functional flow of the product. 

Process of Buddy Testing:

The process of buddy testing involves the following steps:

  1. Identify the primary tester and the buddy tester: The primary tester is typically an experienced tester with a strong understanding of the software or system being tested, while the buddy tester may be a less experienced tester or a subject matter expert with knowledge of the domain being tested.
  2. Define the scope and objectives of the testing: The primary tester and the buddy tester should agree on the scope and objectives of the testing, including the specific features or functionality that will be tested and the expected results.
  3. Plan the testing: The primary tester and the buddy tester should develop a testing plan that outlines the specific test cases and test scenarios that will be executed, as well as the resources and tools needed to complete the testing.
  4. Execute the testing: The primary tester performs the testing while the buddy tester observes and provides assistance as needed. The buddy tester may also be responsible for documenting defects and issues that are identified during the testing.
  5. Review and debrief: After the testing is complete, the primary tester and the buddy tester should review the results of the testing and debrief to discuss any issues or challenges that were encountered.

Benefits of Buddy Testing:

  • Enhanced effectiveness: By working together, the primary tester and the buddy tester can share knowledge and expertise, and catch defects more quickly.
  • Increased efficiency: Buddy testing can help reduce the time and resources needed to complete the testing process.
  • Improved quality: Buddy testing can help ensure that the software or system being tested is of high quality, as defects and issues are more likely to be identified and addressed.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Buddy testing promotes collaboration between team members and can help build trust and teamwork within the team.
  • Less workload: There will be less workload in presence of another team member and the tester can think clearly and use more scenarios for testing. 

Limitations of Buddy Testing:

  • Training required: They are trained (if required) on the philosophy and objective of buddy training. They should also be made to appreciate that they have a responsibility to one another. 
  • Both have to agree on working terms: They also have to agree on the modalities and the terms of working before actually starting the testing work. They stay close together to be able to follow the agreed plan. The code is unit tested to ensure what it is supposed to do before buddy testing starts.
  • Lengthy review session: After the code is successfully tested through unit testing the developer approaches the testing buddy. Starting buddy testing before completing unit testing may result in a lengthy review session for the buddy on a code that may not meet specified requirements. This in turn may cause unnecessary rework and erode the confidence of the buddy.
  • Dependence on the buddy tester: If the buddy tester is not available or is not able to provide assistance, the testing process may be slowed down or disrupted.
  • Limited scalability: Buddy testing may not be practical for large-scale testing projects, as it requires close collaboration between two individuals.
  • Limited flexibility: Buddy testing may not be suitable for testing scenarios that require a high degree of flexibility or adaptability.

Conclusion:

Buddy testing is a collection of cooperative techniques that greatly improve software testing. By identifying problems early in the software development lifecycle, this cooperative testing method helps to save time and money while producing software that is more successful and dependable.



Last Updated : 09 Jan, 2024
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