Software testing is one of the key components of any software development process. It is beneficial as it explores all the risks and complications involved in the software implementation. It could be conducted at any stage depending on the need and testing method used. However, it should not be understood as something with the aim of finding errors. In fact, software testing is a means of validating and authorizing a particular software or program. The benefits are innumerable and therefore, it is highly advisable to be aware of the importance of Software Testing.
Software testing takes time and is a must to satisfy the demands of the stakeholders and to determine the reliability of software with all its complexities. Efficiency and quality improvement are central to the concept of software testing and not mere de-bugging. Software testing is not a straightforward procedure rather involves a series of convoluted mechanisms. One must be aware of all the technicalities involved. Only after knowing these exceptionally well, successful software testing can be conducted.
Software testing has been labelled by many seasoned testers as an art which can be mastered by experience, intuition and practice. It requires a perfect balance between testing tools and techniques and there are even better alternatives available to it like inspection, fault tolerance and clean-room engineering. Moreover, it is also practically infeasible to completely take away all the flaws out of any software. The errors may be many in number and therefore, the whole purpose of testing appears to be impractical and coverage might be limited. Therefore, software testing has always been a subject of great deliberation and something which has not been able to avoid criticism.
Having a clearly defined test strategy makes the job of software testing easier and saves a lot of time. Working as per a plan helps in the better implementation of the test strategy. The test environment should be absolutely right. Having adequate resources and all the necessary documentation in a working atmosphere makes software testing easier, saves time and is efficacious at the same time. The earlier an error is detected the easier it would be to fix and at the same time, it reduces the costs involved drastically. Therefore, the time factor becomes crucial and testing is said to give great results when done at the right time.
There are many methods employed in software testing which include the static method or the dynamic one. The primary is good at verification while the later has proven its mettle in validation. There are other methods also. These include the box approach which is further divided in two ways the black box testing and the white one. The white box testing is used to check the internal functioning of a program while the black box testing examines functionality. Grey box testing is another method. Visual testing is a more advanced way which comes with certain advantages like enhancing the communication quality.
The testing objective determines the level of testing which includes unit, integration, system and acceptance testing. There is an installation testing to check that the system is installed correctly. This follows compatibility, smoke and sanity and regression testing which covers up all the aspects that might need a test. Performance testing deals with issues like usability and security which are crucial. Software testing also involves certification.
Thus, software testing is a vast ocean in itself which has multiple layers to it and can be explored completely through experience and practice.