Even though agile and DevOps methodologies profess increased collaboration between different departments during software development, a clear divide exists between the developers and testers. This lack of communication is the root cause of new code remaining untested or inadequately tested. Unfortunately, untested new code is also the biggest source of bugs and defects, increasing the organization’s technical debt. This is where gap analysis in software testing comes into the picture.
What is gap analysis in software testing?
During the initial deployments, testing is integrated tightly into the pipeline. Each moving part of the code base is thoroughly tested and vetted before release. But this confidence begins to dip as new updates are released. The disconnect between developers and testers leads to the addition of new lines of untested code to the base. Since testers can’t keep up with the constantly evolving codebase, defects and bugs creep in, lowering the overall quality of the software. Test gap analysis identifies these gaps, i.e., untested lines of code, before they are officially released.
This is usually done by overlaying two tree diagrams – one which shows the code changes and the other which shows the state of testing. Gaps can be identified and rectified in time.
What are the advantages of gap analysis in software testing?
● Identify untested critical code
This is the most significant selling point for test gap analysis. Research has shown that nearly 80% of bugs can be traced back to untested code. Gap analysis helps clarify sections of the code that testers have not covered under any test suite. This knowledge can help testers and developers align workflows to set up test cases for untested pieces of code.
Overall, this leads to better quality software. Additionally, by identifying bugs before release, correcting them becomes easier and cheaper.
● Allocation of resources and workforce
Test gap analysis reveals information to help managers optimize their available resources and usage. By identifying gaps, managers can keep track of blocks where testing is essential. Instead of spending resources on code that has already been tested or has no impact, managers can concentrate resources on untested critical code.
● Identifying outdated code
As software gets updated over time, certain pieces of code become outdated, i.e., they do not get called up by any function. Reusable test suites continue to cover these blocks of code during every new release despite being non-critical. Test gap analysis identifies such pieces of code, helping you remove them from the test suites, which frees up resources for business-critical objectives.
Other benefits stem from test gap analysis, apart from these three primary advantages. Managers can optimize their testing plans and strategies, refocus usage of test automation, and improve test coverage without adding new resources.
What are the best practices for gap analysis?
Test gaps are more error-prone than their tested counterparts, which alone makes introducing test gap analysis into your testing strategy a crucial practice. Here are some things to consider before starting with test gap analysis.
● Integration of necessary data collection software
Test gap analysis uses a combined strategy of static and dynamic analysis to identify parts of the software that have been tested or not. This requires the collection of data that compares new changes with the version control system. Since gap analysis works with automated and manual tests, a profiler is also needed. A profiler is a tool used for performance engineering by gathering data on various parameters, including instruction set simulation. Usually, the manual tests are deployed in a test environment tracked by an associated profiler. This profiler generates coverage reports that it can feed into the tracking software.
● Starting small and then scaling up to complex scenarios
When introducing test gap analysis, it’s advisable to stick to easy setups for the initial integrations before approaching complex scenarios. This builds confidence in the system and helps users get acquainted with the process.
During manual tests, it’s essential to understand where the coverage information has to be collected. For instance, data only needs to be collected on the server for server applications. On the other hand, data needs to be collected on all the clients for fat-client applications.
● Simplifying the testing process
Since the end goal of gap analysis in software testing is to get an accurate overview of the test state of the system, splitting it into clearly defined phases simplifies the process. It makes for easier test planning, execution, and monitoring.
As mentioned before, the first few integrations should focus on only one controlled testing environment. Once this approach has succeeded, you can integrate multiple testing environments.
Failure is less likely as long as you conduct test gap analysis incrementally, moving from simple setups to complicated ones.
A key part of the overall testing strategy is Gap analysis in software testing. A robust test automation tool can help conduct a thorough gap analysis, providing 100% test coverage.
Avo Assure is a heterogeneous no-code automated testing solution that integrates well with third-party systems. Comprehensive visual reporting, parallel testing, and cross-platform compatibility enable testing teams to be more productive. The in-built 1400 keyword library allows even non-technical personnel to set up tests easily. Avo Assure helped a leading American Fortune 500 Bank achieve 100% test coverage with end-to-end automation while eliminating defect slippages.
If you’re looking for a testing solution that can help you automate your testing process, reduce defects, and save costs, then sign up for a demo today.