Software Testing Techniques

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QA Testing
  1. INTRODUCTION:

Software Testing is a process of finding errors while executing a program so that we get zero-defect software. It is aimed at evaluating the capability or usability of a program. It is also the process of evaluating the developed system to assess the quality of the final product. Unfortunately, the software-testing process is expensive and consumes a lot of time through the software development life cycle. As software systems grow, manual software testing becomes more and more difficult. Though a lot of advancements have been done in formal methods and verification techniques, still we need software to be fully tested before it could be handled to the customer side. Software testing plays an important role in the Software Development Life Cycle.

  1. SOFTWARE TESTING IS ALL ABOUT AUTOMATION

Automation is just like every other technology in that it takes effort to be successful. Over the past few years, testing went from 100% manual to incorporating automation so tests could be fast and repeatable. With mobile, agile and DevOps as driving forces, the payoff and ROI for automation that was promised years ago is finally happening,

Since businesses are moving to faster releases, the time to market has changed. Getting a software idea to become reality in a short timeframe puts pressure on organizations. Although the focus is on automation (and rightfully so), manual testing is still relevant and takes many different forms in agile. Developers are continuing to incorporate more automated tests, with “test early, test often” still the guiding principle.

 

2.1 The risks of automated testing

Automation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Companies have to complement test automation metrics with data from manual testing, exploratory testing, user acceptance testing, and testing in real-world customer environments to form a comprehensive view of the quality of the product. The suggestion of considering the following risks before getting started:

  • Most often automation does not cover 100% of use cases, but having a consistent pass rate of 100% can give you a sense of “false confidence” that is fatal.
  • Code coverage is not a reliable metric for ensuring end-to-end quality but is often used as a measure to gauge the effectiveness of test automation.
  • For connected applications involving multiple components, your “one-box” setup is not a real-world scenario. If you are not testing in an “integration environment,” you are not testing with the right dependencies.
  • With frequent changes in user experience, ROI on UI Automation might be limited for multi-channel applications. Having a services/API testing strategy combined with exploratory testing might be a better alternative.

2.2 Speed over quality

Because of the rise of automated tests; the need for speed continues to stay on companies’ minds. This means they can still focus on the speed of release without sacrificing quality. And, if testers became more technical and had to work with development a little more closely, it forces the DevOps conversation sooner. “It’s not the solution, but maybe that behaviour is creating an environment to have more productive conversations with evolving testing and evolving quality”. The shortcuts that take place during the development process can take a one-month turnaround to a one-week timeframe by simply reducing the amount of testing that is being done.

III.SOFTWARE TESTING IS EVOLVING RAPIDLY

The introduction of new architectures such as service-oriented architecture (SOA), increase in virtualization and inclination towards the cloud has shaken up the industry and has compelled testers to consider new aspects. Additionally, focus on DevOps has dramatically changed the face of IT.

Several important trends in the software testing world will alter the landscape that testers find themselves in today:

  • Mobile application testing (Rapid growth in Mobile testing)
  • Cloud-based Testing (Virtualization and Cloud Computing)
  • Testing in the Agile Development Environment
  • Context-driven test
  • Security Testing
  • Crowdsourced testing
  • The proliferation of open-source testing tools
  • Tester Certification

3.1 Mobility Application Testing (Rapid growth in Mobile testing):

With the surge of mobile devices in the market, there is a significant increase in mobile testing activity, including functionality, performance and security of mobile applications and devices. Some of the applications today are using the power of the cloud to communicate with the ERP systems. In such situations, data security is of paramount importance. The multitude of OS used on the handsets adds to the challenge calling for functionality testing and integration testing.

Mobile devices have become a major part of many Mobile App Testing organizations’ digital development strategy, but many businesses lack the testing specialists, tools, and consistent methodology needed for effective mobile development. Mobile market growth is nothing new; the mobile industry has been skyrocketing for several years, as consumers spend more time on multiple devices and consume mobile-only content. According to the World Quality Report, 55% of organizations now test mobile apps, up from 31% last year. Yet, 56% lack effective testing procedures. Security also remains a key consideration for mobile testing. With a growing number of devices interacting in the Internet of Things, safety must be a top concern in QA without compromising the very mobility and wireless access that enable mobile devices. While increased mobile usage remains the future for consumers, businesses have yet to develop effective testing procedures that can achieve effective test coverage without falling prey to the accelerating development lifecycle.

3.2 Cloud-based Testing (Virtualization and Cloud Computing):

As cloud computing becomes an increasing part of the IT mainstream with about 26% of software applications to be hosted on the cloud in 2015, IT professionals and experts see positive growth in the adoption of cloud-based testing. For the simple reason, cloud infrastructure offers a convenient solution, unlike other test environments which can be difficult and expensive to build and maintain. There are concerns related to data security and performance in cloud-based environments which organizations view as a medium-term challenge that will be soon addressed. Cloud testing is also flexible, allowing businesses to scale up or down as part of a dynamic testing strategy

3.3 Testing in the Agile Development Environment:

Companies are working hard to build a holistic testing approach that fits with the agile development methodology and brings in the right test tools. Continuous testing is something that we will be seeing a lot as companies today are more focused on getting into the delivery phase without having to wait for long. Testing in production is one approach that will be commonly used by testers to provide a constant flow of updates on how the software is shaping up for its features and value to the business. Agile methods are in the mainstream. They offer both challenges and opportunities for testers. Agile does not mean one thing, but a collection of many related things. Integration of testing best practices into Agile methodologies remains a challenge. Agile Scrum is another development that is changing how testers operate. This is a flexible, holistic product development strategy that encourages teams to self-organize and communicate regularly. In other words, testers work closely with developers and obtain early involvement and feedback on a project.

3.4Testing in Agile Methodology

 3.4.1 Context-driven Testing

A one-size-fits-all approach is not something that we can rely on when it comes to testing software applications. There is a need to be adaptable in the event the context changes. This has made context-driven software testing a trend that we expect will emerge strongly in the coming years. According to software testing leaders in the industry, the most successful testers in the future will be the ones that can bring the most skills to the table for any given context or business situation.

3.4.2 Security Testing

With the increased connectivity of data and information systems along with the rise of cloud-based computing and the phenomenon of the Internet of Things taking centre stage in the IT industry, security testing of software applications is going to be of top priority.

4.3 Crowd Sourced Software testing

This form of testing is slowly gaining popularity as it helps organizations thrift their budget for software development. It is helpful in situations wherein the testing team may not have all the resources to test the software in different environments and different scenarios. All these trends are testimony of the fact that the software testing industry is evolving at an enormous pace. What will be interesting for us to watch is how this industry is going to adapt itself to the growing demands of technology and innovation in the IT sector.

3.5 Open-source testing tools

Agile methods have spun off many useful open-source test tools like X-Unit, Selenium etc. Test automation skills are essential to take advantage of these tools. Integrated development environments often include related or similar tools.

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