Integrating software testing into the software development process is crucial to ensure the quality and reliability of your code.
It means running more software tests during your development phase to minimize defects and save the business from costly bugs.
It will be a dangerous situation if the software fails any of time due to lack of testing. So, without testing software cannot be deployed to the production environment.
What is Software Testing?
Software testing is the process of validating and verifying that the software product matches expected requirements and does what it is supposed to do. The purpose of software testing is to find bugs, discrepancies or missing requirements in contrast to expected requirements.
Black Box vs. White Box Testing
Software testing can be majorly classified into two categories:
Black Box Testing
Black box testing is a method of software testing which examines the functionality of software with limited knowledge of its internal architecture and coding.
With this testing approach, the testers are only aware of what the software is supposed to do according to the specification of requirements or user manuals.
The testers can test the software by just focusing on the inputs and outputs. The output is then compared to see if it is the same as the expected value specified in the test cases.
To find all the bugs, a complete test must be executed. This means that not only all valid inputs must be tested, but the uncorrected inputs must also be tested.
White Box Testing
White box testing is a method of software testing which verifies the internal structures and coding of a software.
It involves testing the software at the code level and requires a deep understanding of the programming and the design of the software.
This testing approach is also known as glass box testing, transparent box testing, clear box testing, open box testing and structural testing.
The developers usually perform the White box testing and then send the the software to the Quality Assurance (QA) team, where they will perform the Black box testing.
Manual vs. Automation testing
The biggest difference between manual and automation testing is who executes the test case. In manual testing, a human performs the test. In automation testing, the tool or framework does it.
With manual testing, the testers or QA team execute tests manually without the help of any automated tool by following a written test plan consisting of sets of various test cases.
It is a traditional method of all testing types and help catch bugs and feature issues before a software goes live.
Manual testing is very hand-on and time-consuming but is helpful where human interaction is required and for testing how user-friendly the software is.
With automation testing, the testers or QA team write code or test scripts to automate test execution with error logs and reports automatically generated.
Automation testing is cost effective and much faster but requires coding skills, scripting knowledge and test maintenance.
Repetitive, high-frequency tasks and regression test can easily be automated.
Functional Testing Methods
Below are some common examples of functional testing methodologies.
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- System Testing
- Regression Testing
Let’s take a deeper look at each step!
Unit testing checks the smallest testable parts of software code, such as a component, function, method, or procedure.
Developers can write unit tests manually or automate them using a unit testing framework. The main goal is to detect bugs early in the development process, as well as ensuring that the functionality performs as expected.
Especially in a continuous integration environment, unit testing is a crucial practice and you should run every time you commit a change to the relevant repository.
Integration testing checks how different units or components interact together. This is unlike unit testing which test independent components. It occurs usually after unit testing.
The purpose of integration testing is to identify bugs in the interaction between these software units or components when they are integrated into a larger system.
System testing validates the functionality and performance of the software as a whole. All the modules or components including external peripherals are integrated to verify if the system works as specified in the requirements.
After this testing, the product will almost cover all the possible bugs or errors before it goes live or is introduced to the market.
Regression testing ensures that new updates or code changes do not impact the existing features and software still works as expected after a change.
The test cases are re-executed in order to check that new code changes do not have side effects on other parts of the software application.
Non-functional Testing Methods
Below are some common examples of non-functional testing methodologies.
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
- Usability Testing
Performance testing is a non-functional testing method that evaluates how the speed, responsiveness and stability of a software under a given workload. The purpose of this testing is to locate computing bottlenecks within an application.
Security testing is non-functional testing method that examines the security of the data and functionalities of the software. The purpose of this testing is to identify vulnerabilities and detect every possible security risks or potential threats in the software.
Usability testing is non-functional testing method that measures the user’s experience when interacting with a software.
Software Testing Best Practices
1. A developer should never try to test his own code.
However, this statement does not mean that the developer should not test. It means that testing is more effectively performed by an external group. There is a well-known principle in testing: Testing is a destructive process. The developer has finished his coding, then the coding is tested by him. This is difficult for the developer because he has to change sides and now does destructive activities.
2. Each test case includes the definition of the expected result before starting of the test.
If the expected result is not defined in advance, there is a risk of considering a plausible but erroneous result as correct. Moreover, defining the expected results in writing beforehand avoids useless discussions.
3. Test cases must be defined for invalid and unexpected input data as well as for valid and expected input data.
This statement says that the tester should not neglect the invalid and unexpected data. The invalid and expected data are very useful to analyze the behavior of a software at the extreme condition.
4. Testing is a process of executing a program with the intent of finding errors.
The tester has succeeded if he has found the error in the program. Moreover, his work is measured by the number of errors found. The tester must design a good test case. A good test case is characterized by the fact that it detects a previously unknown error.
Remember, software testing is an ongoing process throughout the development lifecycle. Implementing these testing steps will help you produce high-quality software that meets user expectations and also reduce bugs.
Furthermore, it also allows the software to hit the market faster and reduces the possibility of lost revenue and reputation due to entirely avoidable bugs.