Software Testing is a continuous process. It focuses on preventing any unthinkable mistake affecting the final result. How is it related to development? Testing is an empirical technical investigation to get information about a product's quality. It's one of the most important disciplines within the field. Further, it's essential for the development of several solutions. Let's review the common concepts on the subject and how to do software testing!
What is Software Testing?
What is a test in software development? In the short term, the process examines different edges and behaviors. To do so, it applies verification and validation methods. These provide an independent and specific view of the final product. With these views, it's possible to analyze the potential risks a software could imply. In a nutshell, it prevents errors, reduces dev costs, and improves performance.
Software Testing came along with Development. This concept was born by Tom Kilburn after World War II. The computer scientist credits for the first working computer memory. His job relied on math calculation through machine code instructions. In this context, the method received the name purification. Further, this process was the norm for over two decades.
Yet, in the 80s, computer scientists adopted a broader view. This approach focused on the quality control of software development. Due to this focus, in the 90s, experience design stepped up in the game. This new process consisted of planning, creating, designing, executing, and testing. During this time, radical changes brought the testing process to a new level. To do so, administration and automation tools appeared. These tools were also integrated with new methodologies.
How does Software Testing Work?
When discussing software testing, it's essential to know the testing life cycle. There are vital variations in every software development. Yet, today there is a typical cycle for testing known as the Waterfall Model. These practices are at all stages of the process but can be a little unclear. Software Testing life cycle has a basis of six steps. These are Requirement Analysis, Test Planning, Test Case Development, Test Environment Setup, Test Execution, Test Cycle Closure
The tests follow a common pattern. Further, these steps seek to define the test environment that surrounds them. This process includes development, structuring, analysis, and reporting. Yet, it's essential to know that a software test can take a long time. Manual tests are enough to run small builds. Instead, automated tests incorporate diverse scenarios by applying differentiators. These tests have measurement results and define what works.
Types of Software Testing
Currently, there are several testing types. These approaches got different focuses on goals and strategies. Among them, there is:
● Integration Testing. It verifies that the different elements are efficiently combined at a functional level.
● Unit Testing. This approach allows for defining the correct functionality of the unitary parts. In this context, a unit is the smallest element that an application has.
● Functional Testing. Here, the function tests focus on different scenarios based on functional goals. In this case, a good tool for this is the black box test.
● Load Testing. It's about testing the operation of the software through a series of loads. They are load tests to test the real load scenario.
● Regression Testing. It's necessary to apply this test to rule out that the new features added break the functionality.
● Stress Testing. This allows you to check how much stress the system can withstand before a failure. It's a non-functional test.
● Usability Testing. Here, the digital experience comes into force and validates the possible user experiences.
Software Testing Techniques
There are some outstanding strategies to achieve optimal testing. Among these approaches, the following stand out:
1. Continuous Testing. It allows process validation within a realistic environment at an early stage. This type of test provides design improvements and reduces risks.
2. Configuration Management. This is about spearheading a centralized organization of test assets. With these elements, the next step is to build the software for testing. These tests often need user authentication and an audit trail to fulfill their goals.
3. Virtualization Process. Test stages can't be available during code development. The virtualization process includes a simulation process that allows for identifying missing systems. Through this, they can apply new configurations without altering the base.
4. Bug Tracking. This process focuses on awareness of possible flaws. Currently, some tools contemplate the metrics of the project and show the results. Specialists track the code's health by analyzing convergence between testing and development.
It's important to keep testing in mind as the main element rather than a late solution option. As a result, testing reduces costs and solves fewer problems. A large percentage of development teams use Continuous Testing. This technique responds to a DevOps approach. In this case, the development and operations influence the product's life cycle. The goal is to advance software delivery while stabilizing costs, risk, and quality. With these systems, the software doesn't have to be complete to reach performance conclusions. Further, it's possible to apply solutions to problems before they worsen.
Best Languages for Software Testing
As for 2022, the primary programming languages software testers use are as follows.
1. Python. It's an open-source, intuitive, and simple syntax language. Further, Python is ideal for executing applications involving Artificial Intelligence. For instance, this gets done through libraries like TensorFlow and Keras.
2. Java. This language has general characteristics. Also, it aims to get the least possible implementation dependencies. With this language, it's possible to create applications and various mobile processes. As Java has extensive functionality, it is ideal for software on mobile devices and loT.
3. C. This language is a clear example of one of the wonders created by Microsoft. Also known as C Sharp, C# is quite present in business environments. Besides, it has wide use in loT, video game development, applications, and web pages.
4. C++. The C++ (C Plus Plus) programming language is one of the most used. It's often defined as stable and instantaneous. It provides a standard template library with different structures, algorithms, and arithmetic operations. Because of libraries and speed, it's a preferred language for High-Frequency Trading.
These languages have great relevance in space and time. Yet, this does not guarantee their permanence. The tech field is volatile, and any language can get more advanced replacements anytime.
Comparing Software Testing
Cyber Security vs. Software Testing. Proposing a competition between both terms is a mistake, because each of these complements the other. Software testing is successful in optimizing cybersecurity hacking and eradicating data threats. A correct approach allows for the consolidation of good security practices. Furthermore, these apply through different stages of the development cycle.
Hardware Testing vs. Software Testing. Software Testing has broader relation with Quality Control Engineering. Yet, Hardware Testing connects more with Product Development. While Hardware Testing has specific time frames and conditions, Software Testing does not.
Quality Assurance vs. Software Testing. Quality Assurance prevents any error during the Software Development stage. Also, it guarantees the implementation of goals that benefit companies. Instead, Software Testing allows you to identify and attack any errors that may occur.
Software Automation vs. Software Testing. Currently, Software Testing encompasses automatic measurement. In short, it's about using tools that make the tests more instantaneous and with less margin for error. It's hard to establish a line between these two terms. That's because several types of current automation tools came from testing.
Why is Software Testing Important?
There are not a lot of cons to software testing within the development. If not applied, it can lead to severe software and bugs. Further, it can be detrimental to interconnected systems. And last but not least, it can affect brands' reputations and conclude in the loss of users.
When talking about real-life cases, there's the example of Nissan. The company had to take around one million cars off the market due to a software failure in the airbag sensors. In another example, software failure led to the loss of a USD 1,2B military satellite launch. Numbers speak for themselves: thanks to software failures, the US lost about USD 1,1T in assets in 2016. This does not only involves economic losses. Also, it goes by the user experience impact that affected 4,4B customers.
Yes, on expenses, testing processes need investment. Yet, they're a good one because, with good techniques, companies can achieve excellence. Software Testing is necessary to rule out problems before the product goes public. Dev teams can rule out terrible design choices with a pre-release target test. Further, they can prevent invalid functions, architectural flaws, and security vulnerabilities.
Spending time and effort on test orders helps improve software reliability. Thus, it helps develop high-quality products. Systems need to meet the goals and exceed user expectations. In consequence, ventures can bet on better positioning in the market.
The Future of Software Testing and Automation
A couple of decades ago, engineers wrote code through low-level machines. Then, they optimized it according to each type of processor. After that, cross-type compilers appeared; also SQL and ER frameworks followed. With these new tools, engineers put aside the writing of codes. They started developing internal structures in databases and so on. Everything will converge on system engineering instead of software engineering.
Currently, there is software testing automation. This type of testing offers automatic tools which don’t involve human labor. Further, this type of software allows test data to access the system under test. Besides, it provides the possibility to compare expectations with reality. This type of test requires many resources and financial investment.
With new generations in progress, software tools and professionals will execute higher-level projects. At some point, these projects may be through an AI in charge of the whole development process. So, in the long term, the answer to a possible software testing automatization is most likely yes.
It's possible to deduce that testing is an imperative technique. It allows identifying the error and attacking root problems. Furthermore, there are plenty of tools, techniques, and types of tests. If a software product launches without testing, it can be in vain and endanger users. In this context, software testing teams protect reliability and ensure real-world usability.