Software Testing: Understanding the Basic Principles

The concept of software quality was introduced to ensure any released software is safe and functions as expected. Software testing is the activity meant to detect and solve technical problems in the software source code and evaluate the overall usability, security, performance, and compatibility of the product. It is carried out by test engineers who work for a provider of quality assurance testing services in parallel with the development process or at the dedicated testing phase. There are different principles of software testing that represent the process’s ground rules.

These include the following:

Testing Shows the Presence of Mistakes

Software testing is intended to detect the defects within software. However, regardless of how thoroughly the product is tested, testers can’t be 100% sure that there aren’t any defects. Testing can only be used for minimizing the number of undiscovered problems.

It Is Not Possible to Perform Exhaustive Testing

It is not possible to test all combinations of data inputs, preconditions, and scenarios within an application. For instance, if an application screen has ten input fields and three potential value options each, this indicates covering all possible combinations. Thus, engineers would have to make 59, 049 test scenarios. To avoid spending weeks to create millions of less possible scenarios, testers should concentrate on possibly more important ones.

Clustering Defects

This principle states that around 80% of all errors are found in just 20% of the system modules. Thus, if a defect is found in a certain module of a software program, there is a possibility that there might be other defects. This makes it essential to thoroughly test this area of the product for quality assurance.

Testing Depends on Context

Depending on an application’s purpose or industry, it must be tested differently. Although safety could be essential for a fintech product, it’s less important for a corporate website. Corporate websites focus on speed and usability.

Updating Tests Regularly

Even if the tester runs the same set of tests over and over, they may not find more problems. Once the detected errors are fixed, such test scenarios become useless. Thus, they need to review and update the tests regularly to adjust and possibly discover more errors.

The principles discussed above are undisputed guidelines for software testing professionals; however, there are more aspects to think about. Other principles are added to the basic ones. For instance, a principle states that testing should be an independent process that unbiased professionals handle.


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