There are many ideas of what software testing is. This post will explain the basics of software testing and is an introduction to software testing in all its forms including some of the different types of testing and why testing is so important for quality software.
1. What is software testing?
Software Testing is the process of identifying the accuracy and quality of the software product and service under test. Apparently, it was born to validate whether the product fulfills the particular prerequisites, needs, and desires of the client. At the end of the day, testing executes a framework or application with a specific end goal to point out bugs, errors or defects. The responsibility of testing is to point out the issues of bugs and give Dev (Developers) a clue to help them fix it right following the requirements.
Software Testing Objectives
- Uncover as many as errors (or bugs) as possible in a given product.
- Demonstrate a given software product matching its requirement specifications.
- Validate the quality of a software using the minimum cost and efforts.
- Generate high-quality test cases, perform effective tests, and issue correct and helpful problem reports.
Software testing is often divided into 2 main processes: Verification and Validation.
- Verification in software testing is the process when your team just need to check whether the software, system or framework consistent, aligned with the requirements of a documentation.
- Validation is the process that your team needs to verify the accuracy of the system. In this process, you will look back to the product, system and think about what users actually want and what has been done.
In Software Testing, there is the difference between Errors, Defects, and Bugs that we should distinguish clearly to avoid misunderstanding problem.
Error is a deviation from the actual and the expected result. It represents the mistakes made by people.
Bug is an error found BEFORE the application goes into production. A programming error that causes a program to work poorly, produce incorrect results, or crash. An error in software or hardware that causes a program to malfunction.
Defect happens once the error is identified during testing, it is logged as a ‘Defect’ in the tracking system.
Failure is the incapacity of a system to conduct its required functions within clarified performance requirements, literally a disappointment or a letdown. And no one wants to do business with a failure.
In short, “A mistake in coding is called Error, Error found by the tester is called Defect, Defectaccepted by development team then it is called Bug, build does not meet the requirements then it is a Failure.”
2. Why is Software Testing important?
One of the controversy topics that is mentioned in a long meeting before starting or after reviewing a project’s sprint is about the associated costs of fixing bugs. The more extended a bug goes undetected, the more exorbitant it is to settle. Basic costs versus benefits investigation will indicate overwhelmingly that the advantages of utilizing a QA Testing Engineer to approve the code far exceed the expenses.
Besides the expensive cost needed to be paid for the delay of detecting bugs, if the testing team missed out on capturing or identifying the risks and software issues accurately or exhaustively it can lead to some disasters. For example: It took NASA 7 years to identify gigantic hole in the sky due to an error in the data analysis software, the huge hole in the ozone was flagged as a software issue in the system and was ignored because they did not expect such an extreme deviation in the results thrown up by the software. When NASA engineers reviewed their raw data, they realized that their satellites had indeed detected the hole long ago, but they completely missed it.
So that, here are 5 reasons why every member of the team should take an eye on Product Testing for the whole process.
2.1 To ensure there is no difference between the actual and the expectation
Software testing is created to detect any problems occurred during coding and developing a new function or feature of a software product before it is delivered to the end users. These upcoming features should be correctly matched with what it is supposed to be. Also, Testing tool will be a gadget checking whether your team decently refers to the requirement. Hence, it basically is a device helping to close the gap between actual and expectation in making a software product.
2.2 To make sure your product is powerful enough no matter how many people are using.
There is a big distinction when there is a person using your product referring to hundreds of people trying to do the same thing at the same time. Your software needs to be strong enough to guarantee that there will be no crashing down or loading annoying happened when a number of people are trying to run your products. Therefore, it should be smoothly and perfectly working with everyone.
2.3 To figure out as many as possible the chance of bugs generating.
It can’t be denied to say that nothing is perfect. There is always some unseen problems which may generate during using your application. The responsibility of testing tool is to avoid bugs found by users. We, who develop this application/software product should take the duty of falling down as many as possible the number of bugs which may interrupt users in future, so deliver the best experience for our users whilst using our apps.
2.4 To offer a product that can perfectly work on different browsers and tech devices
At the booming moment of this technology era, we, fortunately, welcome the existence of a number of technology devices, browsers, and operating systems, giving us the chance to choose different technology instruments to greater our tech experience. Therefore, the stress of creating an application or product which could perfectly work on most of the technology instruments has never been so great before.
2.5 To deliver the best product that we can.
Again, testing tool is created to provide the most excellent software product and service to the end users. Of course, we couldn’t bring the best (since there is nothing perfect, we all know) but we could minimize the chance of bugs occurred within our capability. Before releasing, we could be proud and confident enough on the product we bring to market. In any case, unseen bugs may have a real impact on a real person. Therefore, if we could have a chance to encounter the bug before the users find it out, nothing could be greater than this.
3. Type of Software Testing
Testing is surely a fundamental part of software development. Poor testing methodologies cause the troublesome products and unsustainable development. Having a well-prepared testing plan makes a product be more competitive and assure the products coming in a predictable timeline associated with high quality.
Apparently, a product is usually tested from a very early stage when it is just a small code tested piece by piece then being tested at the final of development when it is under the shape of a full application or software product in general. Of course, there are a number of Software Testing types out there (more than 100 different types in general); however, at the beginning, we just need to adjust a few common types that every product usually goes through before going further.
3.1 Unit Test
It is not exaggerated saying that people usually hear about Unit Test before getting noted about the software testing industry since it is the most basic testing used at the developer level. We focus on the single piece of unit code whilst it is already isolated from any outside interaction or dependency on any module before. This test requires the developer checking the smallest units of codes they have written and prove that units can work independently.
3.2 Integration Test
Still, at the developer level, after Unit Test, the combination (or integration) of these smallest codes should also be checked carefully. Integration test provides the testing modules which access to network, databases and file system. They will indicate whether the database and the network are working well when they are combined into the whole system. Most importantly, the connection between small units of code tested in the previous stage will be proven at this stage.
3.3 Functional Testing
There is no doubt to claim that functional testing is the higher level of test type should be used after Integration Test. Functional tests check for the accuracy of the output with respect to the input defined in the specification. Not much emphasis is given to the intermediate values but more focus is given on the final output created.
3.4 Smoke Test
Smoke Tests analogy comes from the electronics where an issue means the circuit board giving out smoke. After functional tests are done, a simple test will be executed at the starting point, after a fresh installation and newer input values.
3.5 Regression Test
Whenever complex bugs are stuck in a system, typically which affect the core areas of the system, regression tests are used to retest all the modules of the system.
3.6 UI Test
Well, apart from those core testing types above, GUI test is also a well-known and really popular in software engineering industry now. This graphic user interface testing ensures the specific application or products being friendly for all users. Principally, GUI Testing evaluates design components such as layout, colors, fonts, size, and so on. Also, GUI Testing can be executed both manually and automatically.
This is only a brief introduction to what is software testing. If you are interested in learning more about the discipline, you might want to start with webinars and eBooks on Huddle or try this post on Manual Testing & Automated Testing.