Software testing procedures play a critical role in the software development cycle, not only because they are used to identify potential bugs in a software program. They are performed because each testing stage is done with specific goals in mind.
However, the entire software testing process can be difficult to understand, especially by those who aren’t equipped with solid technical knowledge. That is why, in this article, we aim to discuss the software testing process in such a way that can be understood by all of us, tech-savvy or not.
To start with, what is software testing?
Software Testing Defined
As the name suggests, software testing is the process of testing and evaluating a software program and its components. It is done to check and identify obvious and potential issues, bugs, and errors that may affect the overall functionality of the software.
You may ask, is it okay to skip this process? Well, the answer is yes. But developers highly recommend not doing so because it is designed to bridge the gap between the required and existing software system. And as mentioned, it can be used to detect any issues with the current software so they can be fixed prior to the launch.
Now, there are many different types of software testing methods, which depend on the requirements of the project. These software testing procedures can be conducted in two ways: automated or manual.
In the manual software testing process, the tester may manually locate issues in the software program being developed. He/she is responsible for performing all test cases without the use of any automation tools. The automated software testing process, on the other hand, requires the use of an application. The aim is to simplify all manual efforts by using a set of scripts that can be worked upon and accessed by the program.
Regardless of whether the developers prefer automated or manual software testing, there are essential software testing steps that they should perform before launching the software program. We’ll enumerate them in the next section.
5 Important Software Testing Procedures
Here are five important software testing procedures that developers should perform to identify the most obvious issues and bugs of a software program being developed.
1. Test the basic functionalities.
If you are a developer, you have to ensure that every button and function of your software program works. For instance, if you are developing a PC repair software tool, the program must allow you to input text into the text field without resulting in crashes. It must allow users to try out various combinations of characters and clicks, too. The goal is simple: to allow people to play around with the features and functionalities of the program without seeing errors.
Now, if the PC repair software is designed to be accessed by an API; you have to run tests that ensure the basic API functionalities work before moving forward to more intensive test cases. If the basic functionality testing fails, then there is nothing to be worried about. You can always fix the issues later.
2. Review the code.
After testing the basic functionalities, it’s time to review the source code. This time, another person may review the source code. A fresh pair of eyes can unveil a lot of problems. But remember to only perform this step after doing the basic functionality testing.
3. Analyze the source code.
In this step, you can use tools that are designed to analyze bytecodes or source codes without having to execute them. These tools can identify any potential weakness in the code, including concurrency problems and security vulnerabilities. You can also take advantage of these tools to follow proper coding standards.
4. Perform unit testing.
Next, you will have to create unit tests that aim to check and ensure all components, methods, or classes are working as expected. You have to test them using a range of invalid and valid inputs. If you are following a continuous integration environment, these tests should be performed every time you make changes to the source code.
After performing unit tests and they fail, fix them right away. If you can’t fix them immediately for some reason, then let other testers know so that they won’t be surprised with the result.
5. Execute a single-user performance test.
Some developers consider implementing load and performance tests and run them whenever changes in the source code are made. This is commonly used in the backend code of software programs.
But developers should also consider performing these tests on the front end to ensure the program is responsive when users are trying the system. If it takes minutes to display a web page, review the source code until you find what’s causing things to slow down. Fix it right away before others discover it.
Tips to Improve the Entire Software Testing Process
Before we wrap up this article, allow us to leave some helpful ideas to improve your software testing process.
Tip #1: Double-check the requirements from the client.
Always ensure there are no ambiguities. If you find one, sort them out immediately. The quality of the software depends on your user’s requirements, so you cannot afford to commit mistakes in this part.
Tip #2: Be involved.
As a tester, you may not be that involved in the actual development of the software. However, if you wish to excel in your work, getting involved right from the start can take you to greater heights. Get a better understanding of the software program in general so you can easily identify the areas that need intensive testing.
Tip #3: Create test cases based on design documents.
Seek help from developers when it comes to creating test cases. This will reduce your time in creating test cases during the actual testing stage.
Tip #4: Allow QA leads to develop and review test plans.
A good test plan should cover the scope, schedule, deadlines, and risks involved in the creation of a software program. So, if you are tasked to do so, make sure all these aspects are properly outlined. And then, let your QA lead review the test plan.
Tip #5: Maintain quality.
Be sure that quality is maintained right from the start, regardless of whether it is in the testing or development stage. As a tester, you are responsible for maintaining quality, so do not let any mistake pass.
Some of the above procedures may not be included in some software testing methods. However, if you’re a developer, make time to run these tests to avoid leaving obvious issues in the software program and of course, to protect your reputation. After all, a developer who cannot identify obvious issues is never going to make it big in the industry. Nobody wants a purely-coded program. So, invest more time in reviewing, designing, and testing all aspects of your code.