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  • Writer's pictureJohanna Ryan

Do You Really Need a Sandbox for Training When Software Testing?

You’ve got a big software rollout coming up and it’s likely that your developers have created a software testing environment for you. Should you get them to create a copy that can be used as a sandbox for training? Or do you let your staff loose in the live software? Your choice will have a substantial impact on the success of the rollout.

What is the Purpose of a Software Testing Environment?

Software testing environments are made for significant software rollouts. They give staff the chance to test that the software works as it should and contains all the correct information before going live. It provides an opportunity for users to detect any bugs prior to staff actually using the new system.

If it’s a large system you’re introducing to the company, it’s essential that you check that everything is behaving as expected. The software testing process may include generating reports or verifying data to check that all components of the system are working correctly.

A software testing environment is not designed for new data input and progression and does not necessarily need up to date data. It is purely for testing.

What is a Sandbox for Training?

A sandbox for training is a copy of the real software, created for the purpose of training staff how to use it. The idea is that even if staff make errors in the software training environment, it won’t make a difference to the real system, as it’s only a simulation.

Software training environments are created only after the software testing environment has been used to detect and fix any bugs. This means that the sandbox for training is a fully functional copy of the final version of the software.

Using a sandbox for training is a great way for staff to learn how to use new software. They can add, change, and delete data without it affecting the real system.

Is It a Good Idea to Use a Sandbox for Training?

A sandbox for training allows your staff to familiarise themselves with new software and gives your team the confidence to explore the system without worrying about doing something wrong.

Benefits of Using a Sandbox for Training

Practice in a No-Risk Environment

The massive benefit that comes with using a training environment is that your staff can practice using the software without any risk. There’s no chance that errors will impact the day-to-day business, allowing for them to play more freely.

Employees are likely to learn more quickly using a sandbox environment than the real thing because they can feel free to click on anything and explore. Users are often much more cautious when using a real system for the first time, as they are worried about ‘breaking’ something or clicking somewhere they shouldn’t. This can make it harder to learn the new system.

Scrambled Data

If your software testing environment contains confidential data, your developer can scramble the information for the training sandbox to keep peoples’ details safe. This means you can let staff have access to a version of the full system without the risk of confidentiality breaches.

A Sandbox Can Be Reset

With staff playing in the training environment, changing things each day, it can be beneficial to have it reset each evening. That way, the changes made are not permanent, so even if something does go wrong, it will disappear again.

This provides staff with the certainty that the changes they are making are not permanent and overnight will simply reset.

Advance Access

For all software rollouts, a system will undergo thorough testing in the software testing environment to detect any bugs. However, the majority of your staff won’t see the system until they need to use it.

If you have a sandbox for training, end users can access and practice in the new software before it is officially rolled out. That way, when it is the time of Go Live, they will already be familiar with it. It is best practice to introduce staff to a training environment around two weeks prior to the rollout.

What’s the Best Way to Train Your Staff to Use Software?

The best way to train your staff is by using a sandbox for training alongside video tutorials. Your employees will be able to follow along with the instructional videos, learning about the system as they go.

Give them confidence that they can’t do anything wrong by introducing a sandbox for training. This allows them to explore the system without the risk of making real mistakes or permanently deleting data.

Follow My Lead creates fully customised video tutorials that can be used alongside a sandbox to show your staff step-by-step how to use the new software. Contact Follow My Lead to find out more about how we can help your next software rollout to be a success.

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