software testing TUTORIAL

Software testing is a process of executing a program or system with the intent to find software bugs (errors/failures), and for this purpose, it makes use of an automated tool.

Software errors that occur in applications stem from different sources such as; inadequacy of system requirements, incorrect or unavailable design assumptions, wrongly implemented designs or interfaces – to name but a few examples.

The reasons why these kinds of errors are committed can have several root causes in both software development and its project management phases.

So regardless of whether these kinds of failures originate in the requirements phase, during the design & planning stages, or in their implementation by programmers there is still just one way to prevent them completely when designing code/programs And this is simply by performing comprehensive software testing.

The goals of software testing can be summed up as follows:

1. Finding errors and failures in the software, prior to its release or use.

2. Determining the cause of these errors and failures.

3. Rectifying the errors and failures detected during the testing process.

Corrective action helps to minimize product recall, loss of customers, negative publicity, etc. which often have an adverse effect on a company’s bottom line.

The main aim of software testing is to ensure that the software works as expected because undetected software bugs can lead to customer dissatisfaction, product recalls, financial losses, and even litigation. Testing also helps reduce development costs and improves the quality of products and services.

There are many different types of software testing, but the most common ones are :

1. Functional testing system testing

2. Regression testing

3. Load testing

4. Performance testing

1. Functional testing :

The software is tested for its compliance with the requirements specified in the design document. In system testing, all aspects of the system are tested to ensure that they work together properly.

2. Regression testing :

Regression testing is used to test for changes in the output caused by previously fixed errors.

3. Load testing :

Load testing checks how well the software performs when subjected to increasing loads.

4. Performance testing :

Performance testing assesses how well the software responds to various stress conditions.

Software testers use a variety of tools such as black-box testers, white-box testers, and automated tools to test the software.

Black-Box Tester

A black-box tester (also known as a functional tester) is one who implements the specification by taking inputs and producing outputs without any knowledge of the inner working of the program.

A black-box testing approach treats the software as a ‘black box’ whose internal logic or design can not be affected or influenced by the test case implementer during testing.

In simple words, a black-box tester tests an application from an end-user perspective, i.e., he/she does not have any prior information about its internal functionalities and architecture.

This means that a black-box tester would primarily verify if certain features are present in a system and how they work without worrying too much about what’s going on inside the box.

White-Box Tester

A white-box tester (also known as a structural tester, clear box tester, or glass box tester) is one who has knowledge of the internal workings of the program being tested.

A white-box testing approach uses this knowledge to design test cases that can target specific areas of the code.

This type of testing is also called ‘glass-box testing’ because the tester can see through the coding into the heart of the application.

White-box testers can be further classified into two categories viz., control flow testers and data flow testers.

Control flow testers focus on how the data flows through the program, while data flow testers concentrate on how the data is used in the program.

An automated software tester or tool is used to test software that does not require human intervention.

Such tools are available for testing all types of applications, whether desktop-based, mobile application, or web-based.

One advantage of using automated tools is that they can run continuously even after the testers have gone home.

They can also perform hundreds or thousands of tests in a very short time span thus reducing the testing cycle.

There are three different types of automated software testers:

1. GUI scripting tester

The GUI scripting tester automates testing through user interface interactions with scripts written in one of the many scripting languages such as Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript), JavaScript, etc.

This type of tester enables testers to write detailed functional, performance, and regression test cases without any programming skills.

2. Grey Box Tester

The grey box tester or the data-driven testing tool also known as ‘keyword-driven testing’ automates functional and regression test design with limited support for performance and stress testing.

This type of automated software tester uses a spreadsheet to store and link keywords with different actions while running the tests.

3. Behavior-Driven Testing (BDT)

Behavior-driven testing (BDT) or keyword-driven testing (KDT) is an automated approach for Agile and Test Driven Development (TDD).

It works on Cucumber, JBehave, Cuke4Nuke, etc., which are computer languages that can be understood by non-technical testers without any prior knowledge of coding.

BDT provides more flexibility than other types of automation tools since it does not require testers to develop explicit test scripts.

In spite of all its benefits, automated software testing can have some drawbacks as well.

Since the results generated by the tool are highly dependent upon the quality and accuracy of the input data, a major challenge for automated testing is maintaining a standard format across multiple tests.

Another important factor is that automated tools usually lack innovative ideas – an area where humans excel – making them less reliable in identifying bugs and security breaches.

Thus it’s essential for testers to complement their existing skills with more advanced capabilities such as business intelligence (BI) and natural language processing (NLP).