Creating a platform or application takes time. Complex projects may even take years. Besides the requirements needed, the software undergoes several tests.
This post expounds on the entire software testing cycle. This way, you will know what to expect and how to go about the process.
What Is Software Testing?
Software testing is a process that assesses the functionality of a software program. It is an important step in quality assurance and helps ensure that the software meets its intended purpose.
Most of all, it identifies errors and defects so developers can correct them before the product becomes available to end users.
To meet these goals, testing goes through a life cycle that involves the following phases:
Requirements and Planning
In the first phase, all the relevant stakeholders must come together and agree on what the software needs to do. This includes defining any functional or non-functional requirements. These can include things like performance, security, or usability.
Make sure all stakeholders are on the same page and that there is a clear understanding of what needs to be done. All requirements should be documented, so everyone is aware of them. Further, create a testing plan that outlines the approach and methodology you will use.
The next phase is analysis, where testers will try to find as many potential problems as possible. It includes:
- Positive testing. Also known as confirmation testing, this type of test checks the software’s behavior, making sure it functions as intended.
- Negative testing. It is also called error or exception handling. It monitors for bugs and errors.
- Edge cases. These are tests that check how the software behaves in extreme conditions, such as low memory.
Either way, this is when testers need to be creative and think of all the potential problems that could arise. They should also design test cases that cover as many scenarios as possible, such as different browsers, devices, or operating systems.
After analyzing the requirements, it’s time to design the test cases. These cases must cover all the positive and negative scenarios identified in the previous step. Some of the activities the team may undertake include:
- Creating test data. This is the input that will be used to test the software.
- Choosing the right testing tools. Automated testing may be used to speed up the process.
This is also the stage where developers may perform white and black box testing. As definitions, white box testing is a method where the tester has knowledge of the internal workings of the software. They use this to design test cases that exercise all the different code paths.
Black box testing, on the other hand, is where the tester only has access to the functionality of the software, not its internals.
Either way, the team should choose the right testing tools for the job. Automated testing can help speed up the process, but it’s important to make sure that it’s being used correctly.
Implementation and Execution
After the test cases have been designed, it’s time to implement them and run the tests. This step may involve:
- Writing test scripts. These are the set of instructions that will be followed to run the tests.
- Configuring the test environment. This includes setting up any hardware or software needed to run the tests.
- Running the tests. The team will now execute the test scripts and record the results. Any errors or bugs will be documented and passed to the developers.
Software developers should also be on standby during this phase. They need to be prepared to fix any bugs found during testing. In addition, they should be available to answer any questions the testers may have.
Conclusion and Closure
Once all the tests have been run, it’s time to analyze the results and create a report. The team will go over all the defects found and decide if they need to be fixed. If they do, developers will work on fixing them. Once all the outstanding issues have been resolved, the software is now ready for release.
At this stage, the team should also take some time to reflect on the process. They can identify any areas where they can improve and make changes for future projects.
Can You Customize These Stages?
Now that you know the different stages of a software testing life cycle, you may be wondering if you can customize them to fit your needs. The answer is yes. Depending on the project, some of these stages may be combined or omitted entirely.
For example, if you’re working on a small project with a limited budget, you may choose to combine the design and implementation phases. This will save you time and money.
Or, if you’re working on a project with a tight deadline, you may choose to omit the conclusion and closure stages.
However, it’s important to note that these stages are not always linear. In some cases, you may need to go back and repeat a previous stage. For example, if new requirements come in, you may need to go back to the analysis phase. The software testing life cycle is a flexible process you can customize to fit your needs.