Why Testing is so important in Software Development
Disaster, epic fail, these are probably some words and phrases that every company and organisation dreads. They release a software program into the market with so much dreams and anticipation, and the whole thing just goes down the drain.
What went wrong?
Is it something to do with the company?
With the software?
Look at some of the famous failures that happened to major companies:
Nest Smart thermostat
Google’s Nest Smart thermostat offered a software update the users and once they did it, they were left out in the cold, literally. With the update, the thermostat’s batteries died down and people were not all to heat their homes. Especially people with old air filters and incompatible boilers.
HSBC payment glitch
It was a long bank holiday weekend and about 275,000 people were left without pay because of a software glitch that made it impossible process their payments. An issue occurred with the bank’s electronic payment system.
Yahoo’ credentials breach
Yahoo had a major data breach, a major credential leak that caused about 500 million credentials dating back to four years. It caused a real scare to users as they worried about stolen accounts and passwords.
If you check the history of failed software releases, you would definitely see more cases like this. Cases that brought big corporations down to their knees. This is mostly because they failed to do one thing – software testing.
So, what is software testing?
It is simple. Software testing is a way of finding out if there are any issues, loopholes or glitches in your program. Another term for software testing is acceptance testing, where the software that you release in its final format will be accepted by the users and that it will work to its fullest capacity without any hitch. There are different test scenarios which we will discuss in the article and which will help you identify areas where the software needs to be rectified before its release.
The test scenarios will help identify the areas where a particular user might find a difficulty in using the app or software. So every single functionality of the program will be tested out to check for their accuracy. This would help bring out the performance of the entire program in different scenario:
Different kinds of testing processes:
User Interface test cases
User interface test cases can bring to light any issues with the GUI or Graphical User interface. And it will highlight the cosmetic inconsistencies, broken links, grammar and spelling errors and any other errors the user might encounter. The test cases are prepared by the design team and the testing team. This testing can be done easily, since it doesn’t need access to the internal parts of the software, and it comes with the normal QA testing. Once the testing is done, it will validate the software system as conferring with the functional requirements of the user.
Functionality test cases
Through Functional testing, the testers would be able to identify the success or failure of the application’s interface with other systems. Finally, it will validate the software system with the functional requirements or specifications. It is the QA team that normally writes the test cases for checking the functionality feature of the application
Performance test cases
Performance test cases validates the overall working of an application, the response time, the overall wait period of the system’s response system and so on. The testing team automates the tests, and each application, depending on their size and complexity can have hundreds and sometimes, thousands of test cases. The success of the performance test will be determined by the validity of performance issues.
Integration test cases
Through integration test cases, the analysts would be able to determine how the different modules of an application interact with each other. The testing team would create the test scenarios and the development team would give them inputs on how the cases should be written. They test to see whether the modules work with one another and work wholly as well. For example, when the homepage of a particular website is added as a favourite, it should appear in the homepage, so the link between the homepage and the “favourite” section should be intact.
Database test case
How is the data handled in the application? Everything appears to be working perfectly in the application, but what happens when a user enters the page and registers himself? This has to be tested with regard to a database. So the database tests have to be written in a manner that stores and handles the data in a safe and steady manner.
User acceptance testing
Of course, what’s the point in doing a number of tests and releasing an application without first doing a user acceptance testing. UAT testing is not checking for bugs, but to check whether the application is something the user would want. So when the test case is prepared, the scenario should be prepared in such a way that the test results should tell you whether the user would accept the application as and how it is built. So the focus of the test is to concentrate on the bigger picture, and not on a granular level.
Alpha testing is done during the finishing stages of app development, where the entire software is tested for its usability and functionality. This is done before the product is handed over to the client. After alpha testing, you have the beta testing phase.
Beta testing is the next phase after alpha testing and is carried out in real user environment using a limited number of customers. This beta version of the software is open to suggestions and constructive criticism by the users. After this phase is completed, and the errors corrected, the product will be in the market with its free or paid version.
Backward compatibility testing
In backward compatibility testing, the testing team would check whether an updated version of the software is compatible with the previous versions of the software. This way, people who use the older versions of the software would be able to continue their usage without updating.
A properly tested software application would be free of bugs, have high performance, ensures security and dependability. Software testing is a time-taking procedure, and might even need an investment, but it is worth the effort. The testing of the application in the early phases will help in catch the bugs initially. This is very important since security is a very crucial thing. When security is at risk, it would cause sensitive information to be stolen, and the vulnerability rate would be higher.
With proper testing, the quality of the product will also increase several times over. The product should deliver what it promises, and it should be compatible with different devices. Using the testing scenarios described above, your product will receive far greater acceptance than ever before. With networking capabilities galore, people are always looking for software that efficiently operates on all kinds of devices; they might want software that operates on Mac devices, tablets, smartphones and other devices.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.