What is software testing

What is software testing?

Software testing is the act of measuring the level of correspondence between a program’s expected and actual behavior using a series of specific tests.

Testing refers to a technique for application quality control, which includes not only the tests themselves, but also planning, designing, and analyzing results.

Today, software testing has become an integral part of creating any mobile app. It is carried out at various stages, and the more detailed the tests are, the less likely it is that the software will experience errors while the user is interacting with it. A testing specialist’s main job is to find all the errors before launching the program to the masses.

Stages of Software Testing

Software testing includes many stages, among which are:

  • Testing strategy and planning
  • Specification and code analysis
  • Conducting research based on test results
  • Recommendations for software improvement

How does software testing work?

Testers start working with the software product immediately after its launch. While the programmers work on the code, testers create a plan with a description of the scope of work along with a timeline for their implementation. Throughout the project’s development, this document can be supplemented and altered while strategies, testing types, schedules, and so on are specified.

Testers develop test cases or a list of specific actions for testing individual functions of a software product. It’s also important to determine whether a project needs automated testing or if manual testing is sufficient.

Automated tests are developed and run for a specific project, which requires additional financial costs. However, they make it easier and faster to check complex multi-functional applications.

Levels of Software Testing

Software testing is a multi-level process, with a time designated for each level:

  • Unit Testing is the lowest level at which the performance of individual parts of the code is assessed. The objects, classes, functions, and modules are checked.
  • Integration Testing - The connection between the elements that were verified at the first stage and the interaction of the software with the hardware and the operating system are checked.
  • System Testing is the verification of the software product’s compliance with functional and nonfunctional requirements.
  • Acceptance Testing is the final check for the program’s compliance with the customer’s requirements.

Based on the results of these checks, test reports are compiled and submitted to developers for correction. Each new version of the software is tested until all errors have been corrected.

Types of Software Testing

There are many types of software testing. Depending on what the goal is, the following can be distinguished:

  • functional
  • nonfunctional
  • change

Functional tests look at a system’s external behavior and are based on functions and features, as well as interactions with other systems. They include:

  • The functional testing carried out at all levels
  • Security testing for analyzing the risks associated with providing a holistic approach to protecting the application
  • Compatibility testing checks an app’s ability to interact with one or more components or systems and includes compatibility and integration testing.

Non-functional testing is needed to determine a software’s characteristics as measured by various values, and includes:

  • All types of performance testing, load testing, stress testing, reliability testing, and volume testing
  • Installation testing is for verifying successful installation and configuration, as well as updating or uninstalling the software
  • Usability testing is aimed at establishing the degree of usability, learnability, understandability, and attractiveness for users in a given situation
  • Failure and recovery testing examines the app’s ability to withstand and successfully recover from potential failures due to software bugs, hardware failures, or communication problems
  • Configuration testing checks the software’s operation under various system configurations.

Change tests are performed after defects have been fixed. They confirm whether a problem has been solved.

Types of change testing include:

  • Smoke testing - checks the launch and basic functions of the software
  • Regression testing - checks for fixed bugs and new sections of code
  • Build testing - determines whether the software version meets the quality criteria
  • Confirmation or consistency testing, is a very specific test that is required to confirm that a particular feature works as intended

Why is software testing important?

A programmer may make a mistake while working on a software program’s code. As a result, the program may produce unpredictable results in response to the most common actions.

Not only can errors occur during programming, but also during the design and technical specification phases. Any mistake, big or small, will have a negative impact on the app’s popularity and cause a wave of criticism. To prevent this, it’s important to conduct software testing at all stages of development.

Test engineers check the program and find places in the code where the functionality doesn’t meet the stated requirements. To eliminate as many errors as possible, experts simulate various situations that may arise while using the app.

Software testing is important for developers as well as customers. It improves the quality of the code, ensures its safety in a team environment, and helps create a better application architecture, thereby saving money in the long run.

Software Testing Best Practices

1. Use a controlled environment for security testing

Cloud testing, popular today among freelancers and development companies, has many vulnerabilities, especially when on a public network. You must create a secure environment for local testing. Use local servers where manual and automated testing can be done safely.

2. Run tests throughout the product development cycle

A planned schedule for testing each feature of the software helps you identify bugs and fix defects as quickly as possible. This reduces the labor costs at the final stage of quality control and improves the quality of the app.

3. Prepare tests for maximum coverage

Use all types of testing to attain maximize coverage. During the requirements phase, develop test cases for the analysis and design phases so that the requirements can also be tested.

4. Tests should be written by individual specialists

Test writing begins before the code is written, and it shouldn’t be left to the programmers, who can be biased when writing tests and test scripts for their own code. Give preference to qualified testers who have access to the latest tools and approaches in the field of testing. Experience with LoadRunner, Jmeter, UFT, HP ALM, Selenium, etc. is preferred.

5. Record reports for all tests

All tests must be taken into account. Record the results and observations in a file and add them to the final report. In addition to noting errors, their impacts on the system as a whole should be described and all possible solutions explored.

6. Isolate the application from the developers

Testing the application in the development environment is not recommended, as designers and programmers are constantly making changes. For testing to be objective and complete, you need to isolate the application from the design and programming environment for a certain amount of time.

7. Create a target operating model for testing

The target operating model for testing defines the processes, methods, tools, RACI matrix, and communication paths for a particular project. With its help, a new team member can quickly and successfully join the work.

8. Clean up the test code before the final release of the software

If an app requires changes to its main code to successfully pass a test, it must be cleaned up after the process is completed. Clearing out the test code from the main code during the app’s final deployment will save time and resources.

Learn more about how long does it take to create a mobile app.

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