Smoke Testing in Software QA: Everything You Need to Know

Smoke Testing in Software QA: Everything You Need to Know

The phrase smoke testing is derived from the construction industry. Construction workers used this technique to check water pipelines. They inject smoke into the water pipelines to see if there is any water leakage. In technology, the phrase originated from hardware testing in which a board or any hardware component clears the test if it fails to catch fire the first time it turns on.

In the software realm, smoke testing is different from the construction smoke test, but the purpose is the same. It is the preliminary test of the software that helps QAs know the software quality and its ability to work for potential users- albeit without the literal smoke. 

If you want to know more about smoke testing, all shall be shared in other software QA articles, but without further ado, let’s dive right in.

You might like to read: 4 Reasons Why QA Struggles in Software Testing

What is Smoke Testing in Software Testing?

Smoke testing is the first line of defence used to debug builds. With this non-exhaustive software analysis, you can check some of the most crucial functions of the software. But it does not delve into finer details of the software. It entails defining and planning a set of test cases that focus on the major functionality of a component or system. 

During the smoke test phase, a number of capabilities are tested, such as browsing the application, logging in with a set of users (administrator, regular user), and testing the main features of the application.

Striking Features of Smoke Testing

Smoke test, also known as build verification testing, has many aspects or features that differentiate from other QA tests. Here are some key features of smoke test. 

  • Smoke testing is easy to conduct. It helps developers to improve the QA process.
  • It only takes 60 minutes to complete the smoke test.
  • You can conduct this testing both by manual and automatic testing processes. 
  • It involves a limited number of test cases to uncover many errors in new builds. 
  • It is effectively applicable at the different levels of software testing. 

Tips for Planning a Smoke Test

Here are the essential tips for conducting a smoke test in software QA if you are a beginner. 

  • Ensure that you are prepared for the smoke test. You should have prepared files, licenses, and servers. Also, make sure to create copies of your files. It will help you to have backups in case something goes wrong. 
  • Collect all the necessary files and collectively make a code file that you need while testing. 
  • Ensure that you only use a single script for running the test process. 
  • Clean all the unnecessary data that may affect the smoke test to run your tests in a clean environment.  

Two Best Tools for Smoke Test

There are various tools available that you can use for performing the smoke test. However, here are the two best tools that you can use for automated smoke tests.

  • Selenium: It is an open-source automation tool for performing extensive software testing.
  • PhantomJS: It is preferable for performing automated testing for web applications.

3 Ways QAs can Perform Smoke Testing 

There are three ways to smoke test the software QA. 

  • Manual testing is standard among all other ways of smoke test. It helps you to test the initial features and build the software.
  • The automated smoke test allows the users to test the batches of the initial build, mainly when you have limited time. 
  • Hybrid testing is a mix of both manual and automated smoke tests. It helps to test the overall performance of the software. 

How Smoke Testing Benefits QAs

The smoke test is crucial for ensuring the quality assurance of the development process. It gives the fantastic benefits that include:

  • Smoke testing helps to detect the bugs in the development phase to ensure software quality. 
  • It tests the core functionalities of your build and helps enhance the QA team’s effectiveness. 
  • With smoke test, you can streamline the QA process. Also, it makes the quality assurance process more effective for ensuring the better functionality of the software. 


The smoke test must be included in every release as part of the testing cycle. It identifies issues, so compromising its quality may affect the business model and negatively impact users. Better yet, consider using the services of software testing experts. Avail of the TestGear free trial and streamline your smoke testing in software QA.

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