Coding

Published on December 13th, 2017 | by Guest

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Here’s everything you need to know about software testing

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes before a software is released in the market? I suppose not! We, the general public are more interested in the finished product rather than the developmental process.

However, programmers and developers put in a lot of effort trying to create a seamless software. They months on end trying to get the code right after which additional effort is put into eliminating the bugs that can defect the end-product. And until the software satisfies the stakeholders, it won’t be up for commercial use.

Customers expect the software to perform as per the statements on the sales page. If a project wastes their time and money – they won’t think twice before jumping on to the opponent’s product. And with the cut-throat competition out there, no company would want to lose their consumers and put their reputation at stake.

Unfortunately, after putting in the ‘excess’ time, effort, and money – software fail, and fail frequently. While lack of effective project management, communication and coordination between teams, and failure of foresight are considered the main causes of project failure – there is no denying the importance of quality software testing.

According to many studies, the failure rate of software projects range between 50% to 80%. The McKinsey Report also claims that software projects only produce 83% of their predicted value. In the same way, the National Institute of Standard and Technology reports that software failures cost the U.S. economy an estimate of $59.5 billion each year.

Manual software testing

Each software that is released in the market goes through a phase known as ‘manual testing’ in which engineers test every aspect of the software to catch ‘bugs’ that may jeopardize successful release of the software.

However, we are all humans and can make mistakes all the time. Even after sitting in front of the computer for hours, many programmers miss the ‘bug’ that can lead to software failure. This is where the importance of automation testing software comes in.

Automated software testing

Automated testing is a process in which automated tools run tests that repeat predefined actions to compare the developer’s expected and actual outcomes. If the program’s expectations and outcomes align with each other, the project is behaving as it should then your project is bug free. On the other hand, if both the aspects don’t align, there is an issue that should be addressed after which the tests are repeated until the desired outcomes are achieved.

Benefits of automated software testing:

Some of the benefits of adopting this software testing method include:

  • Test can be run quickly and effectively
  • Although, automated tests are expensive during the set up stage, they can be cost-effective in the long run as they don’t require the expertise and time of a human.
  • Results can be seen by everyone on the team which enhances collaboration

Software testing methods

Here are the different methods you can use to judge software:

Black box testing: The black box testing methods focuses on the outcomes which mean that no knowledge of coding is necessary. The method attempts to find errors in the following areas:

  • Interface
  • Incorrect or missing functions
  • Errors in data structures
  • Performance errors
  • Initialization and termination errors

White box testing: The testing method emphasizes on the internal structure of the product. Programming know-hows and implementation knowledge is essential for this testing method in which developers go deep in the code to find the cause of product failure.

Static testing: The testers examine the software’s code and documenting without executing the program. Static tests usually start early in the developmental phase.

Dynamic testing: The testers compare outputs with expected behavior with this method.

GUI testing: This test is conducted to analyze the GUI characteristics, including text formats, buttons, lists, layouts, colors, fonts, and so on. The test can be either automated or manual and since they are time-consuming – third-party companies often take on the task instead of developers.

Test levels

These levels are essential in identifying areas of weakness in each phase of the software development life cycle:

Unit testing in which the developers test the basic parts of code like interface, functions, etc.

Component testing is similar to unit testing but involves testing modules of the software for defects. This helps verify the individual software function.

Integration testing helps identifies error when modules are integrated.

System testing falls under the black box category and is one of the final tests of the developmental process. It helps determine if the system functions can meet business and user needs.

Alpha testing is conducted when the internal staff tests the software at the developer’s site. This helps the developer eliminate bugs and other function issues.

Beta testing, also known as the field testing, is conducted when the clients test the product on their own site after which a feedback on the possible improvements is sent back to the developers.

Acceptance testing also falls under the black box testing and allows the client to test software to find out if the program is created as desired.

Conclusion

The software developmental process is similar to knitting a sweater. If a missed stitch is spotted exactly after the stitch is made, the knitter can simply unravel a bit of yarn and move on. However, if the mistake is not caught till the end, chances are you will have to unravel the whole sweater just to fix that one stitch.

If the software coders don’t catch their omission until the final tests or worse, until the system has been rolled out – the costs and the time incurred to correct the error is likely to be greater than if the mistake had been caught earlier.

According to studies, instead of developing new features, almost 43 percent of app developers spend from 10 to 25 percent of their time debugging application errors discovered during production. Another survey concluded that 56% of the participants estimated that their last significant software bug resulted in an average of $250,000 in lost revenue.

In simple words, software testing is essential part of bringing a product into market. In fact, developers who wish to see positive outcome in their product should integrate it in every part of the development cycle. Because undoubtedly, we the consumers want a perfect product in our hands and won’t settle for anything less.

 

 

About the author:

Erica Silva is a blogger by choice.  She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

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