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Driving Excellence in QA: Continuous Improvement and Postman Best Practices

Written by 
Jenny Garcia
,
QA Analyst
Driving Excellence in QA: Continuous Improvement and Postman Best Practices
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In the fast-paced world of software development, continuous improvement in QA is vital for top-notch products. Explore key principles and Postman's role in streamlining API testing for enhanced efficiency and QA excellence.

Table of contents

Continuous quality improvement is essential for any business that wants to increase testing efficiency, ensure customer satisfaction, and boost defect detection rates. To reduce cycle time and enhance the quality of a product, you need to have a plan with set goals and objectives, as well as a strategy with the necessary tools and methodologies.

QA stepping stones to success

When thinking about the foundations of a QA continuous improvement process, four best practices should be the building blocks of your strategy.

Agile project management

Agile methodologies help foster collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability in QA practices through regular and frequent feedback loops. Since continuous improvement revolves around iteration, this approach aligns perfectly with teams continuously refining processes and efficiently delivering high-quality products.

Bugs and issues analysis

To move forward, you need to learn from the past. Analyzing past bugs and problems is essential for continuous improvement. It's not enough to address the issues on the surface; as QA professionals, we must identify and understand their root causes to prevent similar mistakes from happening again. This careful analysis is a vital part of the Quality Assurance process, leading to real and lasting improvements.

Test automation

Incorporating test automation into your QA processes can significantly boost testing speed and consistency. With automation, repetitive tasks are streamlined, enabling faster execution of test cases while maintaining uniformity across various test runs. By enhancing test efficiency and coverage, automation allows you to focus on more complex scenarios. 

Manual testing

While automation should always be a goal, specific test scenarios demand a detailed manual approach due to their uniqueness or complexity. Manual QA experts are pivotal in addressing these situations and conducting customized testing. Their adaptability significantly enhances software quality in exceptional use cases. They perform comprehensive tests to evaluate software interactions, responses to particular conditions, and other critical aspects within each scenario.

Enhance your QA process with Postman

Achieving successful product development requires consistent quality assurance techniques, and Postman is an invaluable tool for facilitating processes and improving effectiveness. Postman is a powerful platform that streamlines API usage, enabling faster and more organized endpoint management. With its user-friendly interface, Postman simplifies the API testing process and contributes to achieving excellence in quality assurance and optimizing overall processes. 

Postman makes it easy for QA teams to collaborate. You can share collections, test scripts, and documentation with your team members. The tool also automatically generates documentation from your requests, making it more straightforward for everyone to understand and use APIs. Let's explore how you can improve your QA workstream and testing processes using Postman.

Get started with API testing in Postman

Once you have downloaded and installed Postman, you can begin using it to test and develop APIs. Ensure you have the latest version for bug fixes and new features.

Here are the step-by-step instructions that I suggest you follow to test in Postman after downloading:

  1. Read the API documentation: Read and understand the documentation for the API you plan to test. This will provide you with instructions on how the API should work. Learn more about generating API documentation in Postman. 
  2. Select your workspace: In Postman, select or create a workspace to organize your projects and collections.
  3. Create a collection: Create a collection in Postman to group the requests related to the API you are testing.
  4. Create a request: Within the collection, create an HTTP request to interact with the API. This includes setting up the URL, headers, and necessary parameters.
  5. Send the request: Use the "Send" button in Postman to send the request to the server running the API. This will establish communication between the client (Postman) and the server.

Postman request types

You can send requests to APIs, inspect the responses and validate the returned data. Postman supports various types of requests, including GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and more; each function in Postman serves a specific purpose when interacting with APIs:

  1. GET: This function is used to make read requests to an API. With the GET method, you can retrieve information about a specific resource or a list of resources from the server.

  1. PUT: Is used to update or replace an existing resource on the server. You can use it to send data and update the information of a particular resource.

  1. POST: Is used to send data to the server to create a new resource. With this function, you can send information that will be stored on the server and is generally used to perform a creation action.

  1. DELETE: As the name suggests, the DELETE function is used to remove a specific resource on the server. By making a DELETE request, you are asking the server to delete the resource identified in the provided URL.

Postman offers a straightforward way to make requests and view responses from the server. Furthermore, you can customize headers, parameters, and authentication details. Additionally, you can store your requests, compile related requests into collections, and organize them into folders.

Create automated test scripts with JavaScript

With Postman, you can also create automated test scripts using JavaScript. These scripts help automate repetitive tasks, validate data, and test different scenarios. You can run these automated tests individually or as part of a collection to ensure the API functions correctly.

These automation tests are useful for automatically verifying the expected behavior of an API or web service. You can define different tests to validate status codes, headers, response data, and more.

The following test is written in JavaScript and is executed within the Postman test environment. It uses the pm.test() function to define a test case with the description "Status code is 200".

Within the test, pm.response refers to the response object received from the API request. The to.have.status(200) statement checks if the status code of the response is equal to 200. If the status code is 200, the test will pass; otherwise, it will fail.

If the test fails, it should be the result:

Make sure that the code is well-written to obtain the test pass.

The following test checks if the response time of a request is less than 200 milliseconds in Postman:

In this test case, the pm.test() function is utilized to define a specific test scenario with the description "Response time is less than 200ms." This test aims to evaluate the response time of a request.

Within the test function, the pm.expect() function is employed to establish an assertion regarding the response time. The value pm.response.responseTime represents the recorded response time derived from the API response.

To validate the desired condition, the assertion to.be.below(200) is used to check if the response time falls under the threshold of 200 milliseconds. If the response time satisfies these criteria, the test is considered successful. Conversely, if the response time exceeds 200 milliseconds, the test will be deemed unsuccessful, indicating a potential performance issue.

This is just a glimpse of the robust testing potential and capabilities of Postman. If you are interested in exploring further, check out these test examples

Takeaway

Quality Assurance processes are a fundamental part of organizational success, helping to guarantee outstanding results. If you want to exceed expectations and meet customer needs, you need to have a consistent drive to improve QA and explore what different tools have to offer. Postman is an excellent alternative for performing efficient testing and exploring different types of tests. Lastly, having an open attitude towards learning, adapting to changes, and refining testing abilities and techniques is fundamental for successful QA improvement, and so is for your professional growth. In the end, continuous improvement is a philosophy that can empower you to reach the highest level of excellence.

Jenny Garcia
Written by
Jenny Garcia
Jenny Garcia

Jenny is a QA professional passionate about ensuring the highest quality of software development and product delivery. She believes that her decision to enter the technology industry was the best she ever made and has been devoted to it ever since. An enthusiastic advocate for the power of effective communication, Jenny is committed to staying at the forefront of the industry by taking every opportunity to expand her knowledge and skills.

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