“Quality is the ally of schedule and cost, not their adversary. If we have to sacrifice quality to meet schedule, it’s because we are doing the job wrong from the very beginning.” – James A. Ward
Let’s begin on a simple note, software testing is not important – it’s necessary. The purpose of software development is to provide solutions and make life easy for the people around us with technology. A job as important as this cannot compromise with quality.
Software testing is the first and the most important step in quality assurance.
Let’s imagine a scenario – if you had to prepare a meal for some guests, would you test it before serving or would you make them eat directly? If you are someone who would want these guests to come over again, you would definitely test the food and assure that it is of the best quality and consistency.
This is the entire purpose of testing –
- to ensure topmost quality,
- adherence to given standards
- keeping the client happy.
OKAY, So is Software Testing Really this Simple ?
The answer to this question is both yes and no.
Software testing is an activity which checks that the actual results are same as expected results and that there’re no defects in the final application. It also checks for any errors, gaps and deviation from the actual specification and requirements.
While the process seem simple and easy to do, it is much more than just matching point A to B.
In order to thoroughly check an Application Under Test (AUT), A QA engineer has to follow these basic steps –
- Basic Functionality testing:- where one needs to ensure that every button on the interface and API is working as expected.
- Code review:- where bugs are identified at the initial level to avoid discrepancies later.
- Static code analysis:- to check completely for any security issues and concurrency issues or loopholes.
- Unit testing:- to ensure that every unit is working as expected.
- Single-user performance:- testing to see if the software is responsive.
Thus, it can be said that the premise and purpose of software testing may be simple but the process and its importance is essential and complex.
SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WHY SHOULD I ALLOCATE BUDGET AND TIME TO THIS PROCESS?
Well, you must consider this an important business decision and in fact, an investment because if you don’t, you will end up spending more. Let us show you few statistics to prove our point –
- As per a research by Cambridge University’s business school, companies around the world spend more than $300 billion for the process debugging their software. If it did not yield those results, the amount of money spent would be considerably less.
- For example, the stock price for companies with software failure fell about 4 percent on an average and 7 percent after more failure
- As per IBM, it costs around 4 to 5 times more to fix a software bug after the release rather than during the development process.
The process of software development is much more than just making an application work, it is also about providing a smooth experience to the users. Software testing is the only through which one can ensure quality and hence, it needs a big place in your budget and schedule.
What are the Types of Software Testing
In order to find errors, bugs and discrepancies in the functioning of a software, one must don the hat of an end-user. You could say that testing is just executing a software to find out if it is working like it is expected too. There’re different types of testing which have a different purpose.
Let’s go over them one by one –
UNIT TESTING: This type verifies the most basic and smallest part of an application. In this type of testing, either a single unit or a group on inter-related units are tested. It is conducted by testing a sample input and then examining the output. For example, checking if loop is working fine or if there’s incorrect initialization.
INTEGRATION TESTING: It’s one step –up from unit testing. In this type, various unit-test components are used to build a program which produces a particular output. There are two types corresponding to this, namely, a) Black Box testing where the focus is on what is the output?, and b) white Box testing which focuses on how the output is achieved.
REGRESSION TESTING: A software cannot remain static. With change in business model or requirements, new modules have to be added. This type of testing checks whether the application works fine even after a new module is added. For example, if different types of events are added in an event management app, will it still work fine?
SMOKE TESTING: This is a basic test to ensure that one part of the software is working fine before proceeding to the next one. This means that if an application has 22 modules, one must make sure that module 1 is okay before adding module 2.
ALPHA TETSING: This is a type of acceptance testing, i.e., testing the application within the organization before releasing it.
BETA TETSING: This implies testing it for a limited number of users for feedback before releasing it to the entire market.
SYSTEM TESTING: Here, the application is tested in different operating system to check its viability.
STRESS TESTING: The application is exposed to unfavorable condition to check if it persists.
PERFORMANCE TESTING: The final check to see the speed and effectiveness of application.
The process of software testing is a web of logical steps woven with technical nuances. A QA engineer or a software professional must behave like an end-user but think like a software developer.
ALRIGHT, ONE LAST QUERY, HOW WOULD SOFTWARE TESTING HELP ME IN THE LONG RUN?
As previously discussed in our article, software testing is the most important step towards fulfilling the ultimate goal of software development process – providing quality solutions to clients and users.
Let us give you an overview on the importance of software testing
- COST-CUTTING: Yes, you read it right. Software testing or Quality Assurance (QA) is the least favorite topic during budget allocation, especially in startups. However, it is the most beneficial investment you would do in the long run. As mentioned before, bugs found out in the earlier stages take lesser money to be fixed than those found later. Technically educated testers and QA engineers may charge more money but provide a better solution leading to no rework.
- SECURITY REASONS: The biggest issue of World Wide Web presently is the theft of privacy and data. Users share a lot of their confidential data on banking apps and on payment gateways. A smallest technical glitch can lead to leakage of data and loss of reputation to a software company. A QA verified and tested software application provides a trustworthy product to the client and to the end users as well.
- PRODUCT QUALITY: The entire process of software development is carried out to bring to life a vision of a particular software application. Software testing ensures that the product being developed is as per the vision, idea and instructions of the client. The development plan looks simple in theory but its execution throws in new challenges every day. Software testing helps in finding out unexpected glitches and finding their solution. Details like device and operating system compatibility is also checked to ensure complete functionality and great quality.
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: We function in a saturated market where every idea is being repackaged and represented every week. What makes a product stand out is its quality. Software testing and quality assurance helps you in providing a smooth, glitch-free experience to your customers. Your trustworthiness and reliability depends upon the quality of the software application you’ve made; the only way to earn a goodwill is to test the waters and also, the product.
We can probably write 5 more points about why should you care about your own product but the simplest way to put it is this way – nobody likes to pay for a product which doesn’t live up to its claims and it is your duty to verify whether your product is, at least, as per what you had promised.
Software testing is an extremely important but often overlooked aspect of the software development process. However, the things are now changing.
Especially, as a career, software testers or QA engineers are in high demand.
Quality has taken a center stage in the software development process after much-needed reality checks. Thus, QA engineers are always required in organizations.
Also, as opposed to the myth, the pay scale for a developer and a tester are same at an initial level. The future scope and growth depends on the caliber and skills shown by the candidate.
One of the biggest reason why a career in Software testing is in demand is that it is a relatively easier skill to obtain. All you need is an analytical bed of mind and hunger to learn in order to get started with your QA career.
There are many ways through which you can learn about the tools and methodologies of testing. You can check out our website to get more information on testing and QA.
In conclusion, we would just say that no end result can be achieved without few obstacles. Software testing makes sure that these obstacles are removed and your final output is smooth and swift.