To test is to doubt. So why do we doubt?
We might be perfect in coding, specs, typos and in other types of code complexities but what we cannot control is the outside variable. The biggest myth is good programmers write code without bugs. Whereas, history says that even well-written programs have 1-3 bugs per hundred statements.
Testing is a process of evaluating a systems component(s) in order to find out whether it fulfils the requirements or not. But why test software? Testing is done to evaluate any errors, gaps or missing element that is proving to be a hindrance on the final product. In short, testing is done to find the BUGS!
A bug is one of the major reasons of a software error that is caused due to human mistakes or conflict with the outside variable resulting in the software undesired or incorrect results. Some of the major reasons for software bugs are;
- Miscommunication or no communication
- Complexity of the software
- Programming errors
- The change of requirements like redesigning, rescheduling of engineers and more
- Deadline pressure
- Poorly documented code and use of obsolete automation scripts
- No proper planning and process execution etc.
Thus, software testing help find the defects that can be solved before the final product is launched. An early start to software testing can greatly reduce the cost of the product and time required to rework on the code that helps in producing error free software that is delivered to the client. During the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the process of testing can begin from the requirement gathering phase and continue till the deployment of the software depending on the development model used.
The importance of software testing is far beyond the testing of the code. Testing is highly important in finding the functional behaviour of the application. Behaviour not just in terms of bad code, the inaccurate or incomplete collection and communication of components, thus resulting in the inaccurate functioning of the application.
Software Testing has 3 Main Purposes:
- Verification confirms whether the software is meeting its technical specifications i.e. whether the values entered under specific preconditions is meeting its measurable output.
- Validation confirms whether the software is meeting its business requirements i.e. the end users need.
- Defect finding is a process through which the faults actual source is traced down to specification, design, or development (coding) phases.
Software Testing Answers Questions that Development Testing and Code Reviews Can’t
- Does the software work as expected?
- Does the software meet the end user requirements
- Is this what the end users expected?
- Will the end user like it?
- Is the software compatible with other systems?
- How is the software performing?
- How the software work when more users are added?
- What areas need improvement and more work?
- Is the software ready for release?
What can we do with the answers to these questions?
- Early identification of defect will save time and money
- Reduction in development downtime
- Build a better application and end product
- Fulfil the end users need and requirements
- Identify the modifications and enhancement for the next version
By 2017, software testing market size is estimated to grow to $34 Billion. This rapid growth in the market size is due to the increased use of newer technologies, mobiles, and Internet of Things (IoT). This digital transformation has moved testing away from product-centric to becoming more customer-centric. Thus, software testing involves some or all of the following factors (the more the better);
- Business requirements
- Functional design requirements
- Technical design requirements
- Regulatory requirements
- Programmer code
- Systems administration standards and restrictions
- Corporate standards
- Professional or trade association best practices
- Hardware configuration
- Cultural issues and language differences
“Why Software Testing”… Let’s Look At Some Valid Points
Software testing is huge. It has different goals and objectives. We have mentioned above some of the important questions only software testing can answer accurately. While finding a bug in the application is not the sole purpose of software testing, let’s dig more to know the importance and reason to software testing.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing them information on the product and application usability, associated risks, and specific requirements thus helping them build a better product for the end user.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on functional, performance, reliability, security, and usability and so on so that they can build a right application.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on the products usability to the end user that helps them build the right product and application.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on the products compatibility with the various operating system, hardware, and different browser.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on improving the quality of the product and application. This helps in reducing the post-release cost of support and service thus translating into higher revenue opportunities.
- An early adoption of software testing helps in preventing bugs at early stage because a prevented bug is better than a detected and corrected bug
- Various types of software testing like load testing and performance testing helps in making the application reliable thus determining that the application can be installed and run easily on various platforms
- Software testing also ensures the compliance of the product and application with regulatory requirements thus safeguarding the decision makers and the organization from any future legality.
Software testing is an integral part of product development lifecycle and can show the excellent result when done properly and effectively. For effective and efficient testing results, ensure that everyone involved in the testing process is familiar with the basics of software testing goals, principles, limitations, and concepts. Have a defined set of practices, methodologies, principals, and standards for optimal software testing results. Remember testing is more than debugging. Software testing is quality assurance, verification, validation, and reliability. It is an art that is changing with every passing decade. Software testing today is more technical and process oriented.