It’s tough to understand the software testing process, even for the best of us. However, we have discussed the testing process that’s adapted by the testers based on their particular requirements.
What is Software Testing?
It refers to the process of evaluating software and its components to identify any errors. Also, errors or bugs that potentially might disrupt the functionality of the software.
So, it’s vital to undertake the software process as it bridges the gap between the existing and the required system software via detecting the defects prior to the launch. So that they can be corrected in time.
What are the Different Types of Software Testing Process?
Although it depends on certain factors like – project requirements, budget associations and expertise of the team, while there are generally two ways to conduct the Software Testing Process
- Software Testing Process
- Manual Testing and Automation Testing.
1) Manual Testing
It is the Software Testing Process that allows the tester to locate bugs or defects in the Software Program.
The role of the tester involves- to use the software like the end user would, and then identify problems and palliate them ensuring flawless functionality of the Software.
However, the tester is solely responsible for executing all test cases manually without turning to any automation tools.
The tester undertakes the implementation while preparing a test plan document detailing the systematic approach to Software Testing.
2) Automation Testing
It’s a technique that uses an application to handle the implementation of the Software Testing Cycle in its entirety.
It uses scripted sequences executed by Testing Tools. Therefore, it is a process that supports software functionality prior to the release of the Software into Production.
Since, it is a way of simplifying manual efforts into a set of scripts that the system can access and work on. Thus, automation Testing considerably reduces the time involved in the whole process of Software Testing. While simultaneously enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.
There are two major types of Software Testing, depending on the Software Testing Process.
1) Structured Software Testing
This is the sort of Software Testing thereupon the tests and test cases are derived from a thorough knowledge of the structural code of the Software and its Internal Implementation.
Since it directly deals with the knowledge of the code, Therefore, mostly a trained team of developers handles it.
2) Unstructured Software Testing
This is the kind of Software Testing is executed without prior planning or documentation. Therefore, it is considered to be the least formal testing method. And is only intended to run once unless of course an error is detected.
So, in that case, it is run on repeat until the error alleviates. Also known as Ad Hoc Testing, it is performed by Improvisation. As the sole aim of it is to detect a bug by taking up whatever means needed.
The following of the sequential steps that comprising Structured Software Testing Life Cycle, ensure that standards are met with respect to the quality of the Software in question.
What are the Different Phases in the Structured Software Testing Life Cycle?
The first step in the Software Testing Life Cycle is to identify which are the features of the Software that can be tested and how.
At this stage any requirement of the Software that is revealed to be un-testable is identified and subsequent alleviation strategies are planned. The Requirements that are arrived at here can either be Functional i.e. related to the basic functions the software is supposed to do in nature or Non-Functional i.e. related to system performance or security availability.
- RTM – Requirement Traceability Matrix.
- Automation Feasibility Report
- Test Planning
Now that the testing team has a list of requirements that are to be tested, the next step for them is to devise activities and resources, which are crucial to the practicality of the testing process. This is where the metrics are also identified, which will facilitate the supervision of the testing process. So, stage to determine the cost estimates for the project, a senior Quality Assurance Manager will be involved at this. Because it’s only after running the plan by the QA manager that the Test Plan will be finalized.
- Test Plan or Strategy Document
- Effort Estimation Document
- Test Analysis
This stage is the answer to ‘What are we testing question?’. The test conditions are understood and accessed not just through the requirements that have been identified at the first stage. But also, another related test basis such as- the product’s risks. While arriving at suitable test conditions, the other factors that are taken into account are listed below-
Different levels and depth of testing
- Firstly, complexity levels of the product
- Secondly, risks associated with the product and the project
- Next, involvement of the Software Development Life Cycle
- Subsequently, skillset, knowledge, expertise, and experience of the team
- Also, availability of the different stakeholders
If the Software Testing Process were answers to a series of questions i.e. which it is, this stage would answer the question – ‘How to go about testing the Software?’
The answer, however, depends on a lot of tasks that need to be completed at this point in the process.
These are –
Working on with the predefined test conditions. Since, this requires breaking down of the test conditions into multiple sub-conditions. So that all areas can obtain their due coverage.
Identifying and collecting all data related to the test, and using it to set up a test environment conducive to the software.
Developing metrics to track the specifications and test coverage.
Now that all the basic structuring work has been done. So, the next step involves to plan how the test implementation of devised structure.
This states that arrange all test cases according to their priority. And an introductory review is in order to ensure that all test cases are accurate in themselves and in relation to other test cases.
Also, to work with the larger picture if needed the test cases and test scripts will undergo an additional reworking.
- Environment ready with test data set up
- Smoke Test results
- Test Execution
When all is said and done, now this is where the real action begins. All the planning and management culminates into this i.e. the implementation of the Software Test. So, this involves a thorough testing of the Software, yes. But also, at the same time a recording of the test results at every point of the execution process.
So, not only will you be keeping a record of the defects or errors as and when they arise. But you will also be simultaneously tracking your progress with the traceability metrics that have been identified in the earlier stages.
This is where the Exit criteria starts by ensuring that all results of the Software Testing Process are duly reported to the concerned stakeholders.
There are different ways of making regular reports, weekly or daily. So, to ensure that parties are up-to-date with which stage is the Software Testing Process at a consensus is to be arrived at between the stakeholders and the testers. Depending on the Project Managers and their understanding of the Software Testing Process. As, the reports can be intensely technical or written in easily understandable non-technical language considering layman.
- Competed RTM with the execution status
- Test cases updated with results
- Defect Reports
- Test Cycle Closure
This final stage is more of seeing off of the Software Testing Process. Because it is where you tick off the checklist and ensure all actions that were started during the process have reached their completion.
This involves making concluding remarks on all actions of the testing process with respect to their implementation and/or mitigation.
Also, a revaluation of the entire Software Testing Process. As it concludes, will help the team in understanding and reviewing their activities. So that lessons can be learned from the testing process and similar mistakes (if any) be avoided in the next Software Testing Cycle the team undertakes.
- Test Closure Report
- Test Metrics
This is a complete guide to the Software Testing Process. While the particulars of the process might vary. Depending on the specific type of Software Testing Technique that is being used by the team, the process, in general, undergoes all these steps.
Though, the end goal remains the same, i.e., to ensure that before passing it on the production team make sure the software is perfect.
There is no point to having a Software that is fueled with bugs that make it impossible for the end users to use it productively. Therefore, irrespective of it’s handling, Software Testing is an important process in the Development of the Software.
A number of career options have evolved in the testing industry. Many software professionals consider it as a good profession. For example, from being test engineer one can move to senior test engineer, test lead to test manager; else can become Quality Assurance lead, Quality Assurance Manager. Thus options available in the testing domain are huge.
There is always a demand for good performance testers who can analyze the performance test results, identify the bottlenecks and suggest tuning techniques. There are a lot of companies, specializing in software testing, open source and integration services. International job consultants also are constantly looking for Software Testing Professionals for overseas jobs. Hence, the skills is great demand be it any sector.
So learn and become a Certified Software Testing Professional