Software Testing Life Cycle: Types and Methodologies
Imagine you have made a prototype of your product. Even though this is a big step towards delivering your product to the users, there is still one big hurdle that you need to overcome: software testing. There are many types of software tests, but you will have to do a lot of due diligence to roll out a quality product right from the start.
In order to help you on your journey, we came up with some types and methodologies of software testing to get you well on your way. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is software testing?
Believe it or not, software testing is not simply making sure that there are no bugs in your code or that all of the functionalities work properly. If we look at the big picture, software testing is about providing potential investors with a sneak peek into the capabilities of your product before it hits the market. This will allow you to secure funding to provide an even better product and investigators will get an early opportunity to invest in the next big thing.
The basics of testing are fairly simple. You must make sure everything:
- Satisfies all of the criteria that you initially planned out
- Has the necessary responses to various inputs
- Is usable in the intended environment
- Satisfies the wants and needs of investors
To make sure that your software contains the above-mentioned criteria, you have some options when it comes to testing. Let’s take a look at just some of the methods out there.
Types of Software Tests
There are many types of testing. Before we get into the nuts and bolts in terms of what goes on during software testing, here is an overview of the various types of tests.
Functionality testing – Whenever you are developing software, you have a set of requirements that you must fulfill. Each of these requirements specifies a particular function that this software must perform in order to conform to the original plan. Therefore, each of these functions must be thoroughly tested to prevent any glitches during rollout.
Non-Functionality Testing – Conversely, if in the previous section we talked about testing functionality, here we will check how a system operates. The term “performance” is very broad and can include a lot of requirements.
Unit testing – With unit testing, you are trying to ascertain that one single code aspect is functioning properly. Some functions that will need to be tested over and over again to make sure that everything works even outside intended environment conditions. Even though by itself, this method cannot confirm the functionality of an entire product, rather it is used to make sure that various section that makes up the entire product work independent of each other.
Integration testing – What’s great about this method is it exposes the many flaws in the interfaces and possible glitches as to how integrated components work with each other. Large chunks that play a critical role in the overall design are integrated and tested until the entire product functions as one big ecosystem.
System Testing – Once everything is completed, it is time to test the integrated software. Here, you want to do one final check to confirm compliance with all of the requirements.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the types of software testing. While many other exist, let’s go on to the testing process itself.
Software Testing Methodologies
The following are the two predominant methodologies on how to test software. The first method is the traditional Waterfall method. Within the Waterfall environment, testing is performed by a totally different group of testers and is usually performed as soon the functionality has been developed and often serves as a security blanket to make up for the various project delays. Having said this, in a Waterfall environment, unit testing is always performed by the developers even though other tests will be done by specially assigned testers.
Then there is Agile where the software engineer would write the unit tests knowing that they will fail this test at first. After each subsequent failed test, software engineers write the minimum amount of code to get a passing score, therefore making sure that test suites are always updated as new fail conditions and corner cases are exposed. You may be wondering: why conduct such tests in the first place? On the surface they appear to be a huge waste of time and money, but, if we look further we see the ultimate goal: continuous integration.
The Software Testing Life Cycle
Here is the usual sequence:
- First, you need to analyze the requirements. Here you would determine which aspects can be tested and with what parameters.
- Then you need to plan the test. Planning is critical because many activities will go on simultaneously.
- Then you would prepare the procedures, scenarios, and cases
- Now you are ready to actually perform the test
- After the testing is completed you need to generate some metrics and provide final reports
- Analyze the reports
- If a defect was discovered, additional testing will be needed
- Regression testing
- Test closure
Even though the above-mentioned software testing processes can seem convoluted, most custom software development services will perform a lot of testing to get the job right on time and on budget. Testing can give you peace of mind knowing that when your product is introduced, it will at least have the capability to take off right away. Just ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you that there is nothing worse than messing up a product launch, therefore, the importance of software testing cannot be overstated.