Automation testing is not a recent term and needs no introduction today. It is so popular that it is assumed most of the time that a tester is familiar with the few concepts from automation. Generally, to compete in the market, automation testing is something that should be at the fingertips of every tester.
Before starting let us first get familiar with the concept of “Code Review”. At the primary level of learning to code, we all get friendly with the programming language but never come across this term. Practically, even though it seems that it is a developer-centric term, it is actually used quite a lot in the testing world specifically in test automation.
To perform code reviews perfectly knowing the process is not enough. Efficiency comes from learning how to do that process efficiently. Therefore, for the same goals, we are going to discuss the best practices for code review in this article. Later, I am also going to share with you a magical tool that will help you to make all your work at ease.
What do you mean by “Code Review”?
In the Software Development Life Cycle Model, code review is defined as the planned and organized activity conducted formally on a regular basis. Active participants of this activity are fellow programmers and testers(with no minimum number defined) required to test the code for mistakes or any bugs. Code review is a software quality assurance task also known as Peer Code Review in the industry. Over the past few years, code review is considered one of the cleverest approaches to find out and remove the vulnerabilities in the code.
Here are a few points that should be kept in mind for code review:-
- The technical documents are well-formatted and structured.
- The person performing the review is called the reviewer and it should be someone who is not the author of the code.
- Be extra careful with typos and poor formatting as well.
- The management does not participate in the review, only peers or colleagues perform this type of review.
- Do not leave any unclear comments in the code.
- Test coverage scripts should be designed in a manner that should cover all the test areas including the boundary values as well.
- Duplication of the code is a very common and massive problem. It should be completely avoided and nullified.
- A few common approaches of code review are :
- Email threads.
- Over the shoulder.
- With the help of an automation tool.
- Pair programming.
Perks of Code Review Testing
Here are some of the benefits of code review in an organization:
- It improves and increases the quality, readability, and usability of the code.
- It is a great way of transferring the knowledge among the authors and the reviewers about the foundation of the code, approach to its solution, security breaches, and maintenance.
- Code review creates a healthy and friendly environment for the workers by increasing the sense of mutual responsibility.
- As discussed earlier in this article, code review helps in finding any bug or mistake in the code, hence improving the accuracy, performance, and efficiency of the complete code.
- Performing code review testing at the early stage of the cycle reduces the chances of failure and saves time as well as cost.
Best practices to focus on
1. The primary concern is the documentation
I remember my days of learning to code. My instructor would strictly focus on the naming conventions, comments, proper alignment of the code. Later, a book by Rober Martin called Clean Code made me realize that software is not just about “making it happen” or an algorithm. It is about how readable a code is that any new person can understand it quickly.
Several developers and testers are involved in a given project. In such an environment, there must be no confusion in reading the code by anyone. The code can be made more readable by adding proper comments, specifying the correct names to all the variables and functions, etc. It is more helpful in cases where one member of the project leaves and some new member is added. With the correctly formatted document, understanding the code would require minimum effort from them to speed up the learning cycle.
2. Code as per the specific requirements only
This is a point that needs to catch everyone’s eye. Sometimes we tend to overdo some features in the project that are unnecessary. The only reason that I can find is that engineers sometimes become farsighted and for future reference overdo certain things.
Over-engineering is useless and adds things to the code that are not needed today, resulting in complex code and unnecessarily overloading the code with various functions and classes.
Imagine the scenario where you add some unrequired feature in the project and right after that new members are added to your team. Will they be able to understand those unnecessary features that are not even mentioned in the SRS? The answer might be a straight no! This picture will lead them to a great ambiguous state as well.
This is why it is always recommended to focus on the immediate requirements only. If a customer wants to perform “addition” then just focus on the cases designed for addition only. Do not start designing cases for a complete calculator.
3. Find the right automation tool
Remember at the beginning I mentioned a magical tool. The name of this magical tool is – “LambdaTest Test Automation Tool”
We know that automation testing is somewhere similar to manual testing. It is just that instead of repeating the same actions again and again, we use a specific automation tool to write scripts.
Automation tools are used to cover all the possible browsers that can be used by the customers to access the application. Here comes the most crucial part i.e selecting the best automation tool that can be helpful in cross-browser testing and meets all the basic requirements of the testing.
Of course, there are plenty of tools in the market but here we are going to discuss Selenium Grid-based test automation tool by LambdaTest. It should not come to you as a surprise when I say that Selenium has always been proved to be the most efficient and effective tool over the past few years and remember that Selenium is not a single tool it is a suite of four major tools – Selenium IDE, WebDriver, RC and Selenium Grid.
The LambdaTest Selenium Automation platform helps you test your automation scripts on a reliable, secure, and scalable selenium infrastructure. You can increase your browser coverage by running your scripts on over 3000 desktop and mobile browsers using LambdaTest automation selenium grid. Given below is an image of the tool. The HyperTest, which they claim to be the fastest test execution platform, is the test automation platform for the agile QA Team. Also, you can debug your code very easily, with the end-to-end test execution logs. They also have a wide variety of frameworks and languages.
To know how to get started with the selenium automation testing using LambdaTest, just click here.
4. Avoid any duplication of the code
This is the most important aspect to remember as code duplication can go from “code alter” to “personality alter”. Even the agile developer Robert C. Martin has said the ‘Duplication is the primary enemy of a well-designed system’. It is not ideal to use the existing code in a project by simply copying and pasting the original one.
The reviewer should be able to point out the mistakes in the code, and also should provide the most feasible and practical solutions to the problems.
5. Simplicity is the key
I am sure that from the points above you too would realize that the simpler the better. It is always advised to keep the Single Responsibility principle in your mind. The principle was coined by Robert C. Martin and it states that “A class should have only one reason to change”.
Large and complex code is broken into smaller and understandable code to get its maximum profit. The smaller modules of the code are easy to work on for bug detection and correction.
Here we are towards the end of our story focused on code review and how it is done using an automation tool. Also, I hope that now you are familiar with all the terms that have been discussed in this article. Please do visit the LambdaTest automation site and explore some amazing features. I am sure you’ll find something that’ll be of your domain and will excite you.