The software testing process is a very crucial part of the software development life cycle. Imagine if you have released your software product with a lot of bugs resulting in a terrible user experience and operational glitches. What will you do? That’s why one does require smooth and full-fledged software that can grab attention in no time. The following post focuses on what is software testing and why software testing must be considered as one of the most crucial aspects of the Software Development Life Cycle.
What is Software Testing? Why Software Testing is a Crucial Aspect of a Software Development Life Cycle?
Table of Contents
What is Software Testing?
Imagine you want to build a house. Now I am sure you must have some ideas, needs or expectations in your mind. When you hire an architect you do pass on your requirements but will they be fulfilled or not that will be known once the house is entirely built. Similarly, when you plan to develop a software product, you do mention your needs and requirements to the software development team. Unlike building your house, the software development process ensures that you get what you expect. And here the software testing process plays a crucial role.
Now when we studied in school, we used to give exams right so that our mentors knew what we understood and where we were lagging. Similarly, software testing is much like taking those examinations where testers get to know whether the developers have created the product right according to the given requirements or not. Apart from that, they are also responsible for determining whether the product is bug-free or not. . The only thing we can do is identify problems at an early stage and solve them right before the product is launched. What happens when software is precisely tested? Well, to begin with, you receive a highly robust solution that is best when it comes to performance and security.
Software testing is not a new concept. This one was invented right from the time when the development of software came into existence. You can say right after the second world war. Debugging was pretty much in demand during those days. Slowly and steadily developers’ teams began considering other alternatives such as fixing bugs and testing apps according to that particular time.
After a while, a huge transformation was found. All of a sudden software testing was no longer limited to simply testing several other aspects were included in the entire development cycle right from planning to designing to, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. This is what quality assurance was all about.
Certain Benefits offered by Software Testing
Now many of you have this misconception that software testing and quality assurance are the same. Well, there is a subtle difference that can be too significant to overlook. You see software testing is more kind of the technical aspects whereas quality assurance is related to the software specifications. Further, I would like to mention certain benefits of software testing.
#1 Saves ample money
Of course, being cautious saves ample time, energy, and money and software testing is no exception. No matter how progressive we become, saving money will always be one of the crucial factors for choosing any service in particular. Software testing does aid a lot when it comes to saving money. . Why you may ask? Imagine there’s an app that you recently downloaded and once it was done the next thing you did was try signing up. Unfortunately, instead of a smooth transition, an error message was shown! As a result, you may try once more, and if the same thing happens you will uninstall the app and switch to another one. If we see it from the business perspective, they have already lost ample money as several of their customers have switched. The worst scenario of all is, they might not even return.
Software testing if done correctly can save you from such embarrassment.
Another benefit offered by software testing is security. Security breaches happening every now and then becomes a more crucial aspect to take into account. There have been several complaints where user information has been stolen from the business app. As a result, users are seeking around for trusted apps. So exactly what kind of information can be secured? Well, everything ranging from the personal details of your clients to their confidential details and what not!
Now I am sure you must be wondering how software testing or test automation can aid here.
- You get a trustworthy product
- All information is kept safe
- Products without any vulnerability
- Eliminating Problems in prior
- Saves in regards time, money, and energy
#3 Enhanced performance of the software
Imagine you, later on, get to realize the fact that you have created software features, inefficiency, poor security, what will you do? Will you even try releasing it? Probably not! This can ruin your reputation to a great extent. . Moreover, your end-users won’t be relying on you anymore and within secs they will be switching to your competitors.
By conducting effective software testing procedures right from the beginning, both your development and testing teams can save you from having such nightmares.
What are the steps involved in Software Testing?
Now many times have we been asked when to begin testing? Is there any specific time to conduct software testing? Well, there is one thing you must take into consideration right from the start, software testing should never be an afterthought. It must be taken into consideration right from the start. As mentioned earlier, software testing saves ample money, time, and energy from doing the same chores again and again and conducting an error-free software development process.
For your information, testing can be conducted in all the phases of the Software Development Life Cycle. For example in the requirement gathering phase, constant checks and analyses are done whereas, in the design and development phase, it’s being simultaneously reviewed. And to be honest it’s a never-ending process. Further, we would like to mention certain phases of the software testing life cycle that one must take into consideration.
#1 Requirement Analysis
Here software testers have the responsibility to view, identify and analyze all the needs and requirements given to them prior. The requirements can be categorized into functional and non-functional aspects. So what happens is requirements are analyzed thoroughly and then prioritized accordingly. For example, is the action button clickable or not, can you write numbers in the text field. After all, you are creating a software product and it has to be ideal without any compromises done.
#2 Test Planning
The next step is the test plan and here the QA team is incorporated once all the requirements are gathered. A precise, crisp outline is created. Every small aspect is taken care of here from identifying the core needs to watching out for potential mistakes, risks, and defining time schedules. It’s basically all about creating a strategy but in regards to testing. So prepping up a test plan, estimating deadlines, assigning tasks, finalizing tools and technologies are all included in the test planning.
Now it’s time to make all the trains run! Time for some action. Once you create a test plan, it’s time to design and develop test cases or test scripts. Apart from creating test cases, software testers must also be able to prioritize them and prepare automated scripts.
#4 Test Environment
What exactly is an ideal test environment? It’s when software testers are found using precise software and hardware configurations with servers, frameworks, and data setups. In simple words, your website doesn’t need to work absolutely in a perfect manner on all web browsers. The reason is that each one of these has different software and hardware requirements. So with conducting an accurate test environment chances are such mishaps are minimized.
Last but certainly not least, as the name implies here all the test cases are being executed. All the test results are compared and defects are being identified and changes are made.
Types of Software Testing
1. Unit testing –
- Unit testing is pretty basic! It’s round one! Here software testing is done by testing each unit. As a result, problems can be determined easily since the developer knows which code is working appropriately and which is not.
Here software testers tend to test individual units such as a function, a method, module, anything and check whether each one of them is performing right according to the given needs or not. Now when is this kind of testing performed? It’s while the code is being developed. Now nobody wants to get into costly defect rectification, and that’s the reason why unit testing is considered at the time of development during the initial days. Apart from bug fixing and making changes precisely, here unit tests help with code reuse as well.
2. Integration testing –
- This approach focuses on whether all the units are working efficiently or not. It’s more kind of checking the bond between how the software is constructed and how it is designed.
Now any software development project comprises several modules which are developed by different programmers, and integration testing means going through these modules. Again here bugs are caught at an early stage of the development cycle. Feedbacks turn out to be extremely useful for both testers and developers. High code coverage and it’s trackable seamlessly.
3. System testing –
- Here the software is tested thoroughly, right from the start to finish. Every aspect is taken care of here right from performance to features and functionalities to security.
This kind of testing is performed after integration testing. To deliver a high-end quality product, and whether the software is matching the exact needs or not, a kind of testing is conducted. Saves money, strengthens the security, ensures high quality of the product, enables customer’s satisfaction, the overall development process is improved, are few benefits offered by system testing.
4. Acceptance testing –
- This one is the last section of the entire software testing process and maybe that’s the reason why it turns out to be more time-consuming. Here testers tend to figure out whether the developed software is well-suited for end-users needs or not? Does it behave or reciprocate in a particular way or not?
Why consider acceptance testing? Well, further below we would like to highlight certain reasons worth considering.
- Low maintenance costs
- Identify issues and repair what’s broken such as features and functionalities
- Understand from the end-users point of view
- Enhance scalability and robustness of a software
- Increases customers satisfaction
Software Testing Myths Busted!
Myth #1 Software Testing is way too expensive
Software testing has always been an afterthought, sometimes an option. Well, the reason was that individuals think that the software testing process can cost you way more than conducting software development without testing. But here’s the question – is it possible to conduct software development without such testing processes as performance testing, black box testing, usability testing, white box testing, automated testing, regression testing, manual testing, and so on?
Myth #2 ONLY post-development is the Phase when Testers must be involved
This is one of the biggest myths we have come across. Here involving a QA at a later stage means you are keeping everything at stake. What if the developed product is full of bugs and errors, what if you couldn’t make it in time? It may quite interest you to know that testers invest an equal amount of time as much as developers do while developing an app. Yes, even they are asked to understand the client’s requirements and plan different tests. So yes, testers should be involved in the software development project right from the very beginning.
Myth #3 Software Testing adds no value
Quality is more kind of an expense so choose development over-testing. Many of you still have this misconception that quality doesn’t offer any value. But do you realize that creating a product lacking in terms of quality, performance, and security can result in high losses?
Software Testing Tools
- HP Quick Test Professional
- IBM Rational Functional Tester
- Visual Studio Test Professional
- Testing Anywhere
So you see software testing is extremely important. Fortunately, you will come across a wide range of software development companies that do offer software testing services as well. So make sure you verify the expertise of teams before you can even entrust your testing projects. That’s all for now, in case you still have any doubts or queries, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.