All About Software Testing

All About Software Testing

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Updated on Dec 4, 2023 12:12 IST

Software testing is an important phase in the software development life cycle. It ensures that applications meet quality standards and function as needed. This article will review the key aspects of software testing, its importance, and various testing methodologies.

software testing

Software testing is a critical and systematic software application evaluation to identify any discrepancies between expected and actual results. The need for software testing arises from the complexity of modern software applications, which often involve complex code structures, numerous dependencies, and interactions with various external systems. As software serves as the backbone of countless industries and daily activities, the impact of defects or malfunction can range from minor inconveniences to severe financial and reputational losses.

Importance of software testing

Software testing is important for various reasons:

  1. Bug Detection

Identifying and fixing bugs in the early development process prevents issues in later stages, reducing the cost and time required for corrections.

  1. Enhanced Software Quality

Software testing ensures that the software application meets the expected requirements and comes out as a high-quality end product.

  1. Security risk mitigation

Testing helps to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities, which allows us to take corrective measures in the development phase and enhance the software's overall reliability and security.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Detecting and fixing the bugs in the early development phase is more cost-effective than checking issues in post-production and after the software is released.

  1. End-user satisfaction

Software testing contributes to a positive user experience by minimizing software failures, crashes, or unexpected behaviour.

  1. Maintains the reputation of the software owner

Reliable software contributes to a positive reputation for both the development team and the organization and increases trust among stakeholders and customers.

Need for Software Testing

Testing is important because software bugs can be costly or dangerous. History is full of examples of software bugs that cost money and people.

  • On April 26, 1994, a China Airlines A300 crashed due to a software error, and hence, 264 innocent people died due to this testing failure.
  • Starbucks stores were serving free coffee because they were unable to process the transaction because of software failure in its POS system, and hence, they were forced to close their stores in the US and Canada.
  • In 1985, Canada's Therac-25 radiation therapy machine failed due to a software error and delivered fatal doses of radiation to patients, killing 3 and critically injuring 3 others.
  • Some of Amazon's retailers have seen their product price cut to 1p due to a software glitch. They were left with heavy losses.

Types of Software Testing

Software Testing is classified into three categories:

  1. Functional Testing
  2. Non-Functional Testing
  3. Regression and Maintenance Testing

Functional Testing

Functional testing is a type of software testing that verifies a software system against functional requirements/specifications. Functional testing is important because it tests the functional aspect of a software application by providing appropriate input and verifying the output against the functional requirements. Some examples of functional testing are:

  • System integration testing
  • User Acceptance testing
  • Smoke testing
  • Unit testing
  • Sanity testing

Examples of a few tools that are used in functional testing are:

  • Selenium
  • Postman
  • SoapUI
  • BrowserStack
  • Cypress

Non-Functional Testing

Functional testing is software testing to check a software application's non-functional aspects (performance, usability, reliability, etc.). It is designed to test system readiness against non-functional parameters that are never addressed by functional testing. Some examples of non-functional testing are:

  • Security testing
  • Performance testing
  • Reliability testing
  • Scalability Testing
  • Load testing

Examples of a few tools that are used in non-functional testing are:

  • JMeter
  • LoadRunner
  • Loadster
  • Forecast
  • vPerformer

Regression and Maintenance Testing

Regression testing is a software testing procedure that involves re-executing a set of previously executed test cases on a modified version of the software to ensure that existing functionality remains unaffected by the changes. It is an important aspect of testing in software development, particularly when updates, enhancements, or bug fixes are introduced to the codebase.

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