Software Testing is the process of identifying and evaluating the functionality and working of a software application. It comprises a set of activities post-production, that involve figuring out the shortcomings or errors in a particular program so that it could be rectified before the application is made available to the end-users. The testing is usually conducted by a software testing engineer whose job is to check whether the application has been coded correctly and also make sure that the program is able to meet all the intended requirements of the consumer or client.
software testing is
Software Testing is essential not only just to find defects, but also to make sure that the program satisfies both business as well as system requirement specifications. Testing also seeks to find ways to improve the efficiency, usability, reliability and performance of an application in order to provide a better-quality product and ensure customer satisfaction.
what software testing?
Primarily there are two main types of software testing techniques namely, functional testing and non-functional testing.
Functional Testing: This is a type of testing where the software is evaluated against all the functional requirements and other specifications like technical details, data processing, data manipulation and more. It is a type of black box testing as it mainly involves examining the operations and activities of an application without judging its internal working. It is to check whether the application works as per customer needs.
Here are the different types of functional testing methods:
It involves testing the individual components or modules of a software application. Typically, it is performed by the developer and not by the tester as it is required to have more in-depth knowledge about the design and functioning of the particular program. The goal here is to make sure that each unit of the software code is working correctly in terms of requirement and functionality.
This is the second phase after unit testing where individual modules are combined and tested as a group. Modules are generally code components, individual applications, client or server-side applications. The main purpose of such testing is to find issues in the interaction between combined/integrated units.
Once all the components of the software are integrated, the system is then tested as a whole to check whether it meets the specific quality standards. This is also a black box type of testing where the internal functioning is not taken under consideration. Usually, a specialized testing team is hired to verify the software against the business/ functional/ end-user requirements.
Smoke testing is conducted to ascertain whether the software is stable enough to handle the more rigorous forms of testing. It is also known as ‘Day 0’ as it is done initially before exposing the software to further examination. It checks whether the basic functionalities are working fine or they need to be fixed. Smoke tests can be manual or automated.
Sanity testing is conducted to make sure that the minor changes introduced to software code are working correctly. It examines the new functionalities and bug fixes made to the software. It is performed prior to regression testing and is needed to ensure that the software performs as per the given specifications.
Similar to sanity testing, regression testing is done after any modification is made to the existing software code. It is done to make sure that there are no broken or defective features present in the modified application. Typically, automation tools are used to conduct such tests as it gets too difficult to examine the whole system manually.
7.User Acceptance Testing:
This is a type of black-box testing used to determine whether the software is conforming to the specific requirements of the user or client. It is usually performed on client-side systems by the intended users. The examination is based on a certain pre-determined set of outcomes that have been agreed upon whilst signing of the contract. It sometimes involves regulatory agencies verifying the results of the tests that have been conducted earlier on the software product.
This kind of testing is performed to examine the non-functional aspects of an application like performance, usability, security etc. It checks whether the program behaves as per the requirement or not. The tests mainly focus on the quality of the software rather than its actual functioning. It ensures that an application meets the specific performance parameters.
Here are the different types of non-functional testing methods:
- Load Testing: The test is used to measure the performance of an application when exposed to a lot of users at the same time. It is helps us determine the maximum capacity of an application and also gives us an idea about how well it performs in the real world. It ensures that the system runs efficiently under heavy load for a long period of time without crashing or failing.
- Stress Testing: It is used to check the behavior of an application when subjected to extreme stress situations beyond the normal level, like placing larger numbers beyond storage capacity or putting complex database queries. It is conducted to identify the breaking point of the application and to verify its stability and reliability.
- Security Testing: Security tests ensure that an application is free from any sort of risk or vulnerability that might be exploited by hackers to cause harm to the system. These tests are used to detect flaws in the security mechanism of a system that protects user data against any sort of unauthorized access. The various types of testing methods include penetration testing, risk assessment, vulnerability scanning, security auditing etc.
- Compatibility Testing: It is done to check the performance of an application across various networks, devices, hardware, and software platforms. The test ensures that the users do not face any issue regarding compatibility on the different platforms while using the software. It also verifies the rendering and usability of the particular application.
7 Fundamental Principles of Software Testing:
1.Testing Shows Presence of Defects:
Effective testing methods indicate the presence of defects in software. Sufficient testing can reduce the frequency of errors in a program; however, it does not guarantee a 100% bug-free application. The goal of testing is to make the particular software fail and also reduce the possibility of such failures. It is mainly concerned with the presence of defects rather than their absence.
2.Exhaustive Testing is Impossible:
Exhaustive testing refers to a situation when all the possible functionalities of software have been tested using valid/invalid inputs and preconditions. It is a phase when a product has been completely tested and there are no undiscovered faults left at the end. This is typically impossible as the number of possible inputs that can be provided to software is too vast to be fully used in a testing program.
Software errors detected at the early stages of production are usually less expensive to fix. Early testing saves the developers time and money since it takes a lot of effort to find faults in a fully developed software, due to the huge size of the written code. Hence, it is always beneficial to begin testing at the premature stages of application development.
It means that a small number of modules contain the majority of the errors detected in software. According to Pareto Principle, 80% of the bugs are present in 20% of the software module and the rest 20% of the issues are found in the remaining 80% of the modules.
Repeating the same test cases, again and again, will no longer find new bugs in the software, this situation is referred to as pesticide paradox. To avoid this issue, testers must adopt different approaches to their testing methods and also update the existing test cases regularly. Introducing new methods of testing significantly increases the possibility of detecting more errors in software.
6.Testing Is Context Dependent:
Testing procedures differ depending upon the kind of software developed. Softwares based on separate domains use separate parameters of testing. For example, an e-commerce application would be tested differently from an application used in flight control.
7.Absence of Error – Fallacy:
An error-free application may still be unusable if wrong requirements were incorporated while developing the product. Therefore, there is no point in finding and fixing errors in such applications if they do not fulfill the intended requirements of the consumer. Hence, testing should be conducted not only to find defects, but also to make sure that software addresses all the user needs.
Software testing life cycle:
It refers to a sequence of test activities required to assess the quality of a software product.
During this phase, the QA (Quality Assurance) team explores the testable requirements of the software and if any requirement is not understandable or not testable then the team can approach the concerned stakeholder like the business analyst, the technical manager or the client. This is the very first step towards prevention of bugs in the software.
In this step, the Test Manager analyses the objective, scope, and requirements of the entire project and creates a test plan accordingly. Activities like resource allocation, a delegation of responsibilities, and selection of tools are carried out in this phase.
In this phase, the QA team begins with the development of test cases and the collection of test data, which are later again reviewed by the leader and team members. A Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is also prepared to trace the requirements to the test cases that are needed to verify whether the requirements have been fulfilled.
4.Test Environment Setup:
This phase involves setting up of conditions under which the software will be tested. The hardware and software are arranged based on the test case design. After the test setup is complete, the QA team will run a smoke test to check the stability of the environment.
In this phase, the QA team starts executing the test cases based of on the plan made earlier. The test results are marked as pass or fail corresponding to each test case. The failed cases are then reported to the development team for analyzing and fixing the bugs. A re-test is again conducted after the existing defects are resolved.
This is the last phase of the STLC, where a final report is created based on evaluation of all the test activities. A meeting is called to evaluate the test cycle based on test coverage, time, quality, cost, software functioning, and business objectives. The team also discusses about the best practices that could be adopted for testing similar products in near future.
Career as a Software Testing Engineer:
Primarily, the role of a software testing engineer is to examine a particular software and provide stakeholders with information about the quality and functioning of the product. Such testing can provide an objective and independent view of the software to help clients and businesses understand the risks of software implementation. There are many activities involved in a software testing job like analyzing software requirements, creating test plans, generating test data, writing and executing test cases. Nowadays, testing is a lot more than just a routine job and it has received the title of Quality Assurance (QA) which also covers planning, monitoring, and control.
software testing jobs
The most common way to look for a software testing job is to look at a job listing website depending upon the country you are located in like naukri.com, monster.com, LinkedIn etc. You may also work independently as a freelancer through popular websites like upwork.com and freelancer.com. You can also get hired through private referrals, but in such cases, you have to develop a good relationship with the hiring manager of a particular organization.
software testing company
Before applying for a job in a software testing company, you must make sure that you have basic knowledge about software testing and the different concepts surrounding it. You need to have the required technical knowledge about Databases/SQL, Linux distributions and various Testing Tools both manual as well as automatic. Apart from technical knowledge, one must also have good communication skills, analytical skills, a great attitude, and a passion for the job. As a fresher, you can join in a company as a QA analyst and then work your way up to a Test Manager or a Senior Test Manager. The average salary of a QA tester ranges from 4 lakhs p.a. to 10 lakhs p.a. depending upon your experience and job profile.