Software testing is an important stage in the creation of any custom-made system or application. Thanks to the work done, testers are able to predict and prevent many problems, supporting correct operation and ensuring high quality of the solution created. They also help you save the additional costs associated with it.
Due to many years of experience in software testing, we decided to collect the most important questions and answers about the testing process:
What is software testing?
The purpose of software testing is to check its proper operation and gather information about how it’s working. However, before the tester can check if everything is functioning properly, they must find the so-called test oracle. This is information that helps you understand how the software works. An oracle may be, among others a document, similar system or other person with knowledge of the software.
Application testing itself is a series of processes in which a software tester finds out if the program works according to your assumptions. Remember, however, that it is not possible to test all elements of the application. Advanced projects can have even millions of paths, making them impossible to check.
Therefore, we recommend choosing the key, most important functions that should be double-checked. The selection of these areas is best done by a test leader or project manager in consultation with the testers.
Why is it worth testing applications?
It is worth testing applications for both qualitative and financial reasons. An application tester can be considered as the first user of the software. Through verification tests, they check whether a given product meets with the requirements defined by your company. By performing validation tests, they make sure that the needs and requirements of future users are met.
The greater the consistency in the results between verification and validation tests, the higher the quality the created software will be. Thus, your system will gain in value and trust levels of your colleagues and clients.
In addition to quality improvement and assurance, testing also has other benefits. Detection of errors and defects in the early stages of creating the system will save both time and production costs. Repairing a defect in the early implementation phase is significantly cheaper than in the advanced one, when the application areas are more connected and have more influence on each other.
In addition, application testing provides information on system components that should be given more attention and additional testing. Their implementation will help signal possible delays in the project, and thus save us unexpected complications.
When to start testing software?
It is good practice to test at many levels throughout the entire system creation cycle. Application tests can be started when not a single line of code has been implemented yet. In this case, the final version of the documentation and requirements are tested.
Such tests help to find contradictions in the logic according to which the software should work. These are static tests that do not require a system boot. Above all, they support verification by searching for system inaccuracies.
Dynamic tests include, for example:
- in the system maintenance phase
They require running the software and, above all, support validation, search for failures and require test cases, i.e. a list resulting from the analysis of your needs, according to which the given system functions are checked. In this way, we can make sure that the software works correctly or not.
What are the other types of tests?
Tests can also be divided into functional and non-functional. The former are used to check the functions that have been implemented in the system. They are detecting for any lack of implementation of the functionalities described in the requirements.
In this way, testers check whether the given functionality is in line with your requirements and expectations and that all the most important functions of the system work properly.
Non-functional testing checks the quality characteristics of some or all of the software. They use aspects not related to specific functionality. An example is checking the system response time or performance. We test when the user will receive the program response or how many users can work in the system at the same time so that its behavior does not deviate from the assumed standard.
We can also divide the tests into white box and black box.
The first, white-box, are structural tests and verify the source code. These tests help to optimize the operation of the software, accurately indicate and determine the place and cause of the error.
Black box tests are functional tests. The application tester, when performing black box tests, does not refer to the internal structure of the system in its activities, but to your functional assumptions. In this way, it checks whether the application works as originally agreed, meeting yours and your client’s expectations.
What’s the difference between software testing and quality assurance (QA)?
The last important issue is the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance. Both of these concepts, for various reasons, are often treated as one and the same. The truth is, however, that testing is one of many processes that affects the provision of high-quality systems. It helps you find software defects and report them early enough, but it no longer affects their resolution.
Therefore, you cannot put an equal sign between QC and QA, but please note that without proper testing, the system loses quality. This again leads to a loss of user confidence and hence financial losses.
It is worth betting on professionally performed tests. They will help us anticipate potential problems and help eliminate them. They also support the adaptation of the software to the needs of users and avoid greater and unexpected costs when creating it.
The entry was prepared in cooperation with Robert Waniewski.
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