Software testing is a process in which the application or program is executed in order to find any defects or bugs in it. It can also be defined as a process of validating and verifying the specific criteria of an application or program so that it

  • Meets the business and technical requirements based on which the application or program is designed and developed
  • Works as expected
  • Can also be implemented with the same set of characteristics

The definition of software testing can be explained in following parts

  1. Process: Software Testing is a complete process, i.e it is a set of activities performed rather than a single activity
  2. All Life Cycle Activities: The testing process takes place throughout the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) which includes the following
    • The process of introducing and designing tests as early as possible in the life cycle can help in preventing the defects from entering the software’s code. It is referred to as “verifying the test basis via test design”
    • The test basis generally includes the information related to the requirements and design specifications
  3. Static Testing: It is a form of testing that has the capability to find defects without actually executing the code. This form of testing is mainly done during the process of verification and mainly includes reviewing of documents and static analysis, which is a useful and cost effective way of testing. For instance, reviewing, walkthrough, inspection, etc.
  4. Dynamic testing: In this form of testing, the software code has to be executed in order to get the results of running tests. This testing process is generally done during the process of validation. For instance, unit testing, integration testing, system testing, etc.
  5. Planning: It is important to plan as to what testing techniques are implemented where and when. With thorough planning, the test activities are controlled and the testing process and the status of software being tested is reported.
  6. Preparation: The test techniques are prepared by selecting test conditions and designing test cases.
  7. Evaluation: During evaluation, the results are checked and the software under test and its completion criteria is evaluated. This in turn helps us conclude whether the testing process is finished and also whether the software product being tested has passed the tests or not.
  8. Software products and related work products: Along with testing of the code, it is equally important to test the requirements, design specifications, and the related documents like operation, user and training material.

Why is Software Testing needed?

Software testing is an essential process that is needed in order to find any defects or bugs in the software and to test if the software developed meets the client requirements. This greatly helps the developing team to fix the detected bugs and deliver good quality software.

There are several instances recorded where due to human error along the software development lifecycle, has affected the clients requirement criteria. Some of the instances are given below

  • The client providing the software requirements may not exactly know what is expected of the software or may even forget to provide some important details that ultimately leads to developing a product with missing features
  • The developing team recording the requirements of the software may misinterpret or completely miss a requirement while documenting them
  • While designing the software, if there are any issues within the design, it may lead to development of bugs in the future
  • Bugs can also be introduced during the development phase due to human error, lack of skill and knowledge, etc.
  • During the testing phase, testers too can miss bugs or defects due to human error, lack of time, lack of skill and knowledge, lack of experience, etc.
  • Also, clients may not have the time or bandwidth to test each and every feature of the software developed and may release the product to their end users without completely testing it, which can lead to finding errors in the software by the end users using the product in their environment

For an organization developing and releasing the software, the business and reputation completely depends on the quality of its product and how well it does in the end user market. Also, in some cases, the revenue generated may also depend on the number of sales of software product in the market.

Therefore, software testing is an important part of software development and should be introduced into the software developing lifecycle as early as possible to remove and fix any kind of potential defects that may cause trouble later.