From the dawn of computing, software testing has been an integral component of software development. Initially, testing was done manually by the developers themselves.
Today there are various techniques that allow companies to create and release hundreds of software-based apps, tools, and programs regularly. To make sure they are working well, proper software testing is needed.
So, let’s talk about what is software testing. It is the process of reviewing a software program or system to detect flaws or errors in its functioning, performance, security, and usability.
The goal of software testing is to ensure that the program meets the requirements, specifications, and functions as expected in a variety of circumstances and environments.
Introduction to Software Testing
During the 1980s and 1990s, software systems got more complicated than what it was during the 60s. Software testing became an increasingly important aspect of the software development process. During this period, different testing approaches, such as white-box testing and black-box testing, were established.
Software testing as a procedure focuses on the functionality assessment of software programs. During this process, software testers check for problems in the coding, structure, etc. They also check how the software works, specifically if it is meeting the credentials.
To define software testing, it is important to ask the following questions:
- Does the software meet the business objectives?
- Are the technical conditions of the software suitable for the function needed?
- Is it possible to implement the same features?
- Do the features meet the original plan or project scope?
It is for the software testing teams to assess the software properly. The demand for professional software testers is high. You can learn software testing online to develop your skills and pursue it as a career.
Types of Software Testing
The types of testing in software testing include:
1. Integration Testing
This is a testing technique used to verify if different modules or components of a software application can work together as expected. Integration testing is done after unit testing and before system testing. Its main aim is to detect defects in the interactions between different modules of the software application.
2. Acceptance Testing
This is a type of testing in software testing technique used to determine whether a software application meets the business requirements and is ready for deployment. Acceptance testing is usually carried out by end-users or stakeholders of the software application. The main aim of acceptance testing is to ensure that the software application is fit for its intended purpose.
3. Functional Testing
This is a testing technique used to verify that the software application performs the intended functions as specified in the requirements. Functional testing is usually carried out using test cases designed to test the different features of the software application.
4. Unit Testing
This is a testing technique used to verify that individual units or modules of a software application are working as expected. Unit testing is usually carried out by developers and is done at the code level. Its main aim is to detect defects early in the development cycle.
5. Performance Testing
This is a testing technique used to measure the performance of a software application under different load conditions. Performance testing is done to determine how well the software application can handle a large number of users or transactions. Its main aim is to identify performance bottlenecks and optimize the performance of the software application.
6. Stress Testing
This is a testing technique used to measure the ability of a software application to handle extreme load conditions. Stress testing is done to determine the breaking point of the software application and to identify any potential issues under heavy load conditions.
7. Regression Testing
This is a testing technique used to verify that changes made to a software application do not have any unintended side effects on the existing functionality. Regression testing is usually carried out after changes are made to the software application and are done to ensure that the existing functionality is not affected. Its main aim is to ensure that the software application remains stable and reliable over time.
Strategies for Software Testing
Some of the common software testing strategies are as follows:
1. Black Box Testing
This testing technique focuses on testing the functionality of a software application without having any knowledge about its internal code structure. In other words, the tester treats the software as a “black box” and only tests its inputs and outputs. This type of testing is usually carried out by testers who are not involved in the development process.
2. White Box Testing
This testing technique, also known as clear box testing or structural testing, involves testing the internal code structure of a software application. The tester knows the code structure and tests the individual code modules, functions, and algorithms to ensure that they are working as intended. This type of testing is usually carried out by developers or specialized testers.
3. Security Testing
This testing technique involves testing the security features of the software application to identify any vulnerabilities or weaknesses that may be exploited by attackers. The aim is to ensure that the application is secure and can protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.
4. System Testing
This type of testing in software testing technique involves testing the software application as a whole to ensure that it meets the functional and non-functional requirements. The aim is to identify any defects or issues that may impact the overall performance of the application.
Some other strategies of software testing include unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, acceptance testing, regression testing, performance testing, etc.
Software Testing Principles
There are several principles that guide software testing, such as:
1. Bug Detection
This principle refers to the process of identifying and reporting defects or issues in a software application. Bug detection can be done through various testing techniques such as black box testing, white box testing, unit testing, and system testing.
2. Error Inspection
This principle examines the code or the output of a software application to identify errors or defects. Error inspection can be carried out manually or through automated tools such as code analyzers.
3. Effective Testing
This principle refers to the process of testing a software application in such a way that it can identify all possible defects or issues. Effective testing requires a thorough understanding of the application’s requirements, design, and implementation.
4. Fast Testing
This principle refers to the process of testing a software application quickly without compromising on the quality of the testing. Fast testing can be achieved through techniques such as automation, parallel testing, and prioritization of test cases.
5. Context-dependent Functionality
This principle refers to the functionality of a software application that is dependent on the context in which it is used. Context-dependent functionality can be tested through techniques such as exploratory testing and usability testing.
6. Clustering Defect
This principle refers to the process of identifying and grouping similar defects or issues in a software application. Clustering defects can help in identifying common causes of defects and in prioritizing the defects for fixing. Clustering defects can be done through techniques such as defect clustering and root cause analysis.
Software Testing Life Cycle
The software testing life cycle (STLC) is a set of processes that must be completed in a certain order to assure the quality and dependability of a software product. The STLC consists of the following stages:
1. Requirement Analysis
The software testers focus on understanding the main requirements of the project. To understand the main bug types or problems visible in the software that prompted this evaluation, testers gather information about the testing process, the problem area, and potential solutions.
2. Test Planning
Next, the team starts planning the strategy for the testing process. Here, the professionals plan the course of testing, project scope, and potential cost estimates.
3. Development of the Test Case
Following the planning phase, the test team focuses on the development process. After proper reviewing, the testers prepare test data to use for testing.
4. Setting Up the Test Environment
Next, the team prepares the overall ecosystem of the testing process, including the software and hardware tools to use for this phase.
5. Execute Test Cases
The team members with the hardware, software, and network configurations start with the test script execution processes. They then compare the test results with the expected results.
6. Test Cycle Ends
Test Cycle Closure is the final phase of the test life cycle. At this point, all the software testers come together and study the information about the whole testing life cycle. They also check other factors like the software, cost of production, new product quality, and test coverage/time. They are also responsible for ensuring that the business objectives are met.
Software Testing Tools
During the process of testing in software engineering, professionals utilize different tools, approaches, and methodologies. Some of the important software testing tools are as follows:
This open-source tool for automation testing focuses mainly on web browser-based automation. Selenium works well as the base framework used in open-source-based automation software types, like Robot Framework and Protractor. The tool is free to use for quality analysis and automates the whole web app’s testing process. Moreover, it works on different browsers and is compatible with different coding languages, like Groovy, Python, Ruby, Java, and C#.
This tool is useful for testing applications and works on a cloud infrastructure. Open-source-based development teams and businesses can utilize SauceLabs. This tool works on both mobile devices and browsers.
Software testing experts also work with Appium to automate the hybrid, mobile web app, and native application versions. It also works with different operating systems, like Windows, iOS, and Android. The tool has cross-platform automation-based support for testing mobile apps. This makes it simple for testers to write test sequences for different platforms with the same API.
Many software testing experts utilize the PractiTest app to manage all of the QA tests for software types in one platform. The tool is an end-to-end platform for SaaS test management.
Using this load testing application is useful for professional software testers to check the load of software. Testers can check performance and load testing for web apps and other software types using this tool.
Software testing is an important step in the software development process that ensures the quality, dependability, and functionality of software products. Testing teams can uncover flaws and issues early in the development process by methodically testing software in a succession of phases according to the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). This reduces the cost and time required to remedy them.
To develop a successful and efficient testing strategy, it is critical to define and comprehend the meaning of software testing principles and the many types of software.