Understanding the definition of software testing is easy. Software testing is the process of finding errors and issues in software. The testing process also checks whether the real outcomes actually match the expected results.
If any problems are identified, such as missing requirements, gaps, and defects, developers can take the appropriate actions to fix them.
Most developers and testers use a combination of automated software testing tools and manual testing. Of course, the end goal of the software testing process is to deliver a quality product to customers.
All of that is pretty straightforward, but learning the precise ins and outs of software testing is more challenging and will take time to master.
To get started, here are some of the basics you should know about.
Software testing involves multiple types of tests, each of which has its own subcategories of tests, so it can take a while to understand each one.
Functional testing is about verifying each function of the software, using a specified set of requirements. Basically, functional testing tests the behavior of the software.
There are several types of functional tests that you can perform. They include:
- Unit testing tests individual components of the software to see if they behave according to the set requirements.
- Integration testing involves testing the individual components once they are combined into a group.
- System testing, which verifies the compliance of integrated software.
- Interface testing tests whether two software systems are communicating correctly.
- Sanity testing tests logical reasoning concerning the working of the program.
- Smoke testing, which tests basic functionalities.
- Beta testing, in which users try the software and report issues and errors.
- Regression testing, is one of the most important tests. When you perform regression testing in agile, you can ensure no bugs arise when you make code changes after the software has gone live.
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Non-functional testing is about considering parameters like performance, usability, and reliability. For example, a non-functional test could be conducted to check how many users are able to log into the system at the same time.
Types of non-functional tests include:
- Performance testing tests the performance of the software under the required workload.
- Load testing tests the behavior of the software under a large workload.
- Stress testing determines the robustness of the software by assessing whether it is functioning beyond regular operation.
- Volume testing tests the performance of the software by loading the database with an increased volume of data.
- Security testing ensures the software is protected against attacks from internal and external sources.
- Compatibility testing checks whether the software is compatible with different browsers and devices.
- Install testing, which checks whether the software functions according to expectations after it has been installed.
- Reliability testing checks whether the software can perform specific tasks without failure within a set timeframe.
Black-box, White-box, and Gray-box Testing
In addition to functional and non-functional testing, black-box testing, white-box testing, and gray-box testing should be performed:
- Black-box testing is about using the software without knowing how it has been built. Testers will not know about things like the code or logic used in the software, which means they are able to test the product in the same way as end-users would.
- White-box testing is the opposite of black-box testing in that testers have most of the information about the software. With white-box testing, testers can identify inefficiencies in the code, such as unnecessary lines of code.
- Gray-box testing involves testers having partial information about the software. Gray-box testing is used to identify bugs that average end users would not be able to identify as bugs.