Get a Free Trial

Creating, executing, and maintaining reliable tests has never been easier.

Get Started

Respected IT industry trade publication the SDTimes published an article on the biggest challenges currently facing development managers, interviewing real-world engineering leaders to discern what’s genuinely keeping them up at night. What they found: worries over the developer experience, communicating across remote teams, and measuring team success. 

Understandably, many of the managers interviewed by the SDTimes focused on improving collaboration and reducing stress for their teams. But many of their challenges are also directly connected to software testing, which is often cited as a major headache for developers. When looking for ways to better support their development teams and improve their delivery pipelines, engineering managers should look to the processes supporting - or undermining - developer happiness and productivity. 

Poor Software Testing Processes Frustrate Developers 

At the most recent mabl Experience, Kintent Director of Quality Assurance Jessica Mosley explored how processes can be an overlooked contributor to declining productivity and increased burnout for software development teams. Though most engineering managers can identify when team stress is growing, they often don’t think to question the processes that are the foundation of the software development lifecycle. Considering that 43% of developers say that testing is their biggest pain point, software testing is a high-impact way to address engineering leader concerns. 

Reducing Deployment Stress  While Increasing Frequency

The 2022 Testing in DevOps Report found that 75% of software development teams successfully accelerated deployment frequency in the past year. Faster deployments allow companies to rapidly respond to user needs and introduce new innovations to market, but if deployments are stressful and likely to result in hotfixes or customer complaints, they can also drastically increase team stress.  

Bar chart comparing release stress between teams with high test coverage and teams with low test coverage

Managing release stress - and potential disruptions to users - begins with building confidence in the product from the earliest stages of development. When test coverage is high, engineering leaders significantly reduce the likelihood of bumpy releases that take a toll on their teams. 

Improving Team Communication When It Matters Most 

Bar chart showing when most bugs are caught in the development cycle

Better communication starts with one of the most stressful parts of the SDLC: addressing bugs. According to mabl’s 2022 Testing in DevOps Report 46% of developers say that how bugs are shared across teams needs improvement, and just 7% are happy with their team’s current process. What differentiates the happy teams from the struggling ones: high test coverage. Teams who reported smooth handoffs between QA and developers were 3.6 times more likely to say they had high test coverage compared to teams with poor collaboration practices. 

Measuring the Effectiveness of Test Coverage 

Given the impact of test coverage and quality engineering on the software development organization, having the right performance metrics is crucial. Test coverage is the gold standard in quality assurance for a reason; understanding how much of the product is covered by the team’s existing software testing strategy is fundamental to understanding QA performance. But test coverage must evolve as delivery cycles accelerate and product usage shifts rapidly. 

The right test automation platform will help development and QA teams evolve their test coverage over time in two critical ways: adapting to customer preferences and reflecting developer best practices. Leveraging integrations between customer data platforms like Segment and test automation solutions make it easy to adjust test coverage to changing user needs. Developers and QA teams can use their time more effectively by prioritizing testing across high-traffic customer journeys while ensuring that deployments are less stressful. 

Similarly, quality teams and developers need testing solutions that allow test coverage to reflect developer best practices. Consider API testing, which enables QA and developers to better understand how APIs are impacting product quality more accurately than solely relying on end-to-end testing. Incorporating standalone API tests into the initial stages of development cycles catches defects earlier, reducing team stress and the time to resolve bugs. As new features are almost ready to ship, end-to-end testing with API test steps reduce the risk (and stress) of bugs being caught in production. 

Building More Productive Software Development Pipelines

Software testing and quality engineering provide the entire development organization with a safety net that ensures delivery pipelines function smoothly and deployments are low stress. As software development leaders consider how to reduce developer burnout and improve performance, they should consider evolving how their team discovers and manages defects. No code is flawless, and bugs are an inevitable part of software innovation. But resolving those defects doesn’t need to multiply stress or burnout if better testing processes are in place. The 2022 Testing in DevOps Report is clear: improving test coverage ensures better software development processes and happier software development teams. 

Start improving your test coverage in minutes with mabl’s free 14-day trial