Peer Testing - A Comprehensive Overview

Peer Testing – A Comprehensive Overview

Peer testing is an efficient way of identifying bugs in your programming. Another person verifying your code with a new perspective is sure to pull out issues that might go unnoticed otherwise. It further helps you to gain some insight into the subject, which guides you to enhance the code structure. And even testers do peer testing to validate the test scripts and cases of their fellow QA engineers.

Let us dive deeper into this topic and better understand the nuances of peer testing in terms of development and testing.

What is Peer Testing?

Peer testing is a software development practice that developers follow to review or evaluate each other’s code. The process involves a coder checking the program of their fellow colleagues to provide feedback, identify issues, and ensure complete code quality.

The purpose of peer testing is to nurture a collaborative environment that leads to building bug-free applications with shared responsibility. By involving multiple developers in the review process, you can catch potential issues and promote collaboration and knowledge sharing within the development team.

Another approach to peer testing is testers checking the test scripts of their fellow QA engineers to see if there are any problems with the tests. It includes testers verifying the manual or automation tests of their colleagues to provide feedback and suggestions.

What are the Benefits of Peer Testing?

Peer testing offers multiple benefits to the developers as well as testers involved in the project. It ensures that coders improve on their existing program and that the stakeholders receive a better-quality product to take to market. Here are some of the reasons why you should do peer testing:

  • Defect Identification: Peer testing helps identify defects and issues early in the development lifecycle. When team members review the code, documentation, or test scripts they can spot errors, bugs, and potential problems that may have been overlooked by the author. Finding and fixing issues early saves time and effort that would otherwise be spent on detecting and resolving defects at later stages.
  • Quality Improvement: Peer testing contributes to improving the overall quality of the software. Through collaborative review and feedback, team members can suggest enhancements, highlight areas for improvement, and share best practices in the code or test scripts. This leads to better code and script readability and maintainability, resulting in higher-quality software.
  • Knowledge Sharing and Learning: This process fosters an environment of knowledge sharing and learning within the team. Reviewing each other’s work allows colleagues to gain exposure to different coding styles, approaches, and problem-solving techniques. Testers can offer improvement in test scripts and testing approaches, learn from each other’s experiences, expand their knowledge and improve their skills.
  • Code Consistency and Standards: Peer testing helps enforce coding standards and maintain code consistency across the project. Reviewing application code or testing scripts, ensures that developers and testers follow established guidelines, conventions, and architectural principles. Such practice makes the code and the script more readable, understandable, and maintainable, especially when multiple individuals work on the same project.
  • Collaboration and Team Building: It promotes collaboration and team building by involving team members in the review process. It creates a sense of shared responsibility, encourages open communication, constructive feedback, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Risk Mitigation: Peer testing helps mitigate risks associated with software defects. Catching and addressing issues reduces the likelihood of critical bugs or functional gaps in the final product. This process improves customer satisfaction, reduces support requests, and minimizes the impact of potential issues on the project timeline.

Who Should Do It?

It is a very important practice that benefits the author and the reviewer. Here are some of the individuals who should be a part of the review:

  • Developers: Peers within the development team can review each other’s code to identify issues in the code, bugs, or areas for improvement.
  • Testers: Quality assurance professionals can engage in peer testing to validate test cases, review test plans, and provide feedback on the testing process. They can check the requirement documents, the testing approach, and the use of automation tools.

There are many other individuals involved in peer testing, such as designers, business analysts, project managers, and stakeholders, that ensure reviewing of several documents. But mostly, when it comes to checking the code or test scripts, developers and testers remain a big part of peer testing.

What are the Requirements of Peer Testing?

Peer testing does not have a long list of requirements that you need to follow necessarily, but below are a few suggestions you can take into account:

  • Be constructive and positive in your feedback.
  • Do not treat it as a formality or back away from it.
  • Learn from the review and the suggestions for existing and future changes in your code or test scripts.
  • Ask relevant questions if any doubts persist.
  • Follow a structured review process to avoid communication gaps or confusion about the project.
  • Define clear objectives of peer testing before starting the process.
  • Be confident that getting your work reviewed or reviewing somebody else’s code will only improve your skills and expertise.

How to Perform Peer Testing?

Upon deploying the code in the development/test environment, follow the below steps to perform a standardized peer testing process:

  • The coder or the tester works on their project; they design, develop, test, and implement the code or the test script.
  • Subsequently, they execute a self-review process. Developers perform unit testing, and testers check their scripts manually or using automated tools.
  • Peer testing comes now; another developer or tester checks your code and provides feedback on the same.
  • If there is any issue, the code or the script is Rejected and sent back to the author with suggestions. After the problem is resolved, peer testing is done again, and the function is Passed.

You can perform peer testing in two ways: Manual or automated. Let’s discuss this.

Manual

With manual peer testing, the reviewer goes through the code or the test script line-by-line manually without using any automation tools. They spend time understanding every function and looking at minute details in the program to avoid overseeing any issues. It further extends the process as the reviewer would need to carefully draft a feedback document with all the details to highlight the code’s issues and possible improvement areas.

While manual peer testing brings a human approach to the entire process, it is also time-consuming and prone to errors.

Automated

Automated peer testing involves using an automation tool, such as Testsigma, to review and provide feedback to the author. By using an automated tool, you are saving time and resources by a tremendous amount. Tools like Testsigma offer an in-built review workflow that allows testers to verify each other’s work.

It supports parallel testing and has the maintainability testing feature to continue changing the code as per the review feedback without worrying about the test cases failing. And Testsigma consists of many other functions you can employ as a tester to increase the business ROI by building end-to-end tests 5X faster for web, mobile apps, and APIs.

Read more on how Testsigma supports peer reviews here: https://testsigma.com/docs/collaboration/test-cases-review-management/

Disadvantages of Peer Testing

Some of the disadvantages of peer testing are:

  • A lack of expertise or skill in reviewing code as per the specified guidelines can impact the entire process.
  • Engaging more than one peer to perform the review in order to stay in line with the deadline can hamper communication.
  • Often, group dynamics and interpersonal relations also play a major role in the peer testing process, likely affecting the project’s health.
  • Peer testing may not provide comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the work being reviewed.
  • There are chances that peers engaged in the testing process may not have received formal training in review techniques or quality assurance methodologies.

Summary

Peer testing is verifying the code or test scripts of your fellow colleagues to offer constructive advice on improving the program or test script and making it better. With multiple advantages and disadvantages to the process, peer testing is still a good practice to follow as it allows both the author and the tester to work on their skills and improve communication across the team.

You can perform peer testing manually or by using an automation tool. We offer you Testsigma as the go-to peer testing tool as it consists of peer review and reporting features that are most important in peer testing.

Check out our tool in action by registering for a free demo. And meanwhile, browse through the website to know why Testsigma is a one-in-million test automation tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of P2P in testing?

P2P stands for peer-to-peer in software testing terms. It means performing testing activities directly between peers or individuals. It involves the collaboration and interaction of team members to evaluate and validate the software or system under test.

Why is peer testing important?

Peer testing enhances a lot more than just the code being tested; it improves collaboration between team members, allows them to showcase their expertise, highlights bugs early on in the SDLC process, and reduces bias among colleagues.


Test automation made easy

Start your smart continuous testing journey today with Testsigma.

SHARE THIS BLOG

RELATED POSTS


Load testing_banner image
How to Write Test Cases for Notepad? [Sample Test Cases]
Load Testing Tools_banner image
A Beginner’s Guide to Autonomous Testing
Software Testing Case Study on Flaky Tests
Software Testing Case Study on Flaky Tests