A Simplified Guide to Software Testing
By Winston Smith 12.04.2018
Software testing is the exploring of the performance capabilities and qualities that a software is envisioned to provide. Software testing might seem to be a new concept that has recently been discovered but this couldn’t be further from the truth. History of software testing runs back to the 1950s when debugging was a standard way of testing the quality in various products. Software testing was then brought into picture in 1979 as a way to identify and remove faults from the software code and then testing the code using real life environments. Software testing is meant to ensure that a software is ready to be used by consumers and that the product is free from any kind of defects. Issues that are meant to be solved by conducting a software test occur through various methods. Errors usually arise when the coding that underlines the foundation of the software proves to have been mistakenly written or omitted. This error then causes a failure in the source code and this results in wrong outputs after execution of the software. Some of these errors may not even be detected when the software is executed and may cause further problems when run using a different computer probably a consumer’s. Therefore, the software has to be effectively tested before it is released to the market.
Importance of Software Testing
Software testing holds a variety of benefits when it comes to its application. Some of the advantages associated with software testing are:
- It enables for various faults that might have occurred during the development to be easily corrected and fixed reducing situations of public outcries and embarrassment.
- To ensure that there is satisfaction in the product from the customer. This will also market your software as a reliable product.
- To ensure that the software in question operates effectively with great all round performance.
- It fulfils the requirements that are set for software before they are released to the public for purchases
- It reduces on future costs that would arise over a period of time if the software experienced malfunctions while in use.
- Tested software ensures that the customer or consumer suffers low maintenance costs during the utilization of the product as it ensures that no expenditure is suffered in a bid to fix faults suffered due to malfunctioning of the software.
- Tested products also ensure that there is strong client confidence in the software produced in a certain company.
- Software Quality is also maintained when software are well tested and corrected.
Mode of Software Testing
There are two ways in which a software product can be tested. This are:
- Manual Testing
- Automatic Testing.
The two are as explainable as stated in their names. Manual testing is where a software is checked for bugs and faults without the use of automated tools. Here, the tester draws up a test plan which involves a scheduled plan which shows a guide to testing a software. Therefore the tester signs on every part that seems satisfactory to standards of the software as planned. Any disparities in the input and desired output of the software are regarded as faults. It is a very time consuming procedure and is rarely preferred.
Automatic testing on the other hand involves the use of automation tools to check and correct defects identified in the software. This tools that ensure that debugging is successfully achieved resulting in a quality product. Some of the most popular automation software testing tools in the market include, Selenium, Github, Jenkins et cetera.
Principles of Testing
Software testing is based on two principals which govern how the testing of a software is undertaken. This principles are:
- Whitebox Testing: this is a principle that employs a testing mechanism that takes into account the inner workings involved in the software. It is referred in other nomenclatures as glass box testing or structural testing.
- Blackbox Testing: here, the internal mechanisms of the software are ignored and the main consideration is the output that is fed into the software together with its execution. It is also called functional testing.
Various types of testing mechanisms all fall under this two principles. They determine the manner in which the software is to be tested in a bid to ensure that all faults and defects that occurred during development are corrected.
Types of testing mechanisms
This mechanisms can easily be defined under the two principles outlined above. Therefore, under the principle of blackbox testing, some of the testing mechanisms used are:
- Functional testing: this is where functionalities involving the system are commonly considered and ensured that they are in par conditions.
- Stress testing: this is where a software is tested under various conditions that are not favorable in a bid to see how the software would respond.
- Beta testing: this is a test that employs the opinion of a party that was not part of the development team. This team is given access to the software and opinions on what can be improved taken into account. This mechanisms ensures that problems overlooked by development team are identified.
- Regression testing: this is a test that is run on the software to ensure that any changes that have been made to the software have not affected its functionality.
- Performance testing: this mechanism of testing ensures that the desired output is delivered in the expected time. It measure the effectiveness of the software.
- Usability testing: this is a test that involves potential consumers and seeks to find if the software is too complex to be understood by consumer or if it provides a good user experience when used.
This are some of the types that are part of the blackbox testing principle. Other mechanisms falling under this principle are available to ensure the best of quality is provided to consumers.
The whitebox principle also employs a variety of mechanisms that ensures all errors in a software have been effectively corrected. This include:
- Integrated Testing: this mechanisms seeks to find the compatibility of a software to the recommended hardware. Therefore various components are brought together to ensure that a desired output is achieved.
- Unit Testing: this is where isolated parts of the software are independently to ensure that there is a desired output to every input that is fed into that unit.