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EDITOR’S PICK: 7 Tests to Find Bugs in Your Software

Software debugging!

Are you looking to get into software development? Maybe you have an idea for an application you’re looking to get off the ground? Whatever the case, once the hard part is over follow this guide to make sure your software is perfect and ready for the world.

Black Box testing
One of the most common forms of testing, Black Box testing treats the software itself as a black box: you are only concerned with inputs and outputs. If you do something within the software, is the result what you expected?

Black box testing covers a variety of techniques, including boundary value analysis, equivalence partitioning, and fuzz testing.

However, black-box testing doesn’t present the reasons for any errors and therefore can make it difficult to come up with design test cases.

White Box testing
If you understand the ins and outs of your system you can move onto white box testing. You should test the internal security holes, broken paths in the coding, the flow of inputs through the code, the expected output, and the function of each object individually. It’s a fast way of discovering problems and solving them.

One technique, branch coverage, will check every possible path of an application, looking for bugs with a control flow graph. However, it does often require professional resources and a detailed understanding of programming.

Functional testing
Functional testing focuses on the functionality of the application. Specifically, testing would focus on aspects such as performance, useability, resilience, security, and scalability. It is the first round of testing because it involves the biggest potential problems of an application which has to be nailed down before going into finer detail.

The first step is to understand the functional requirements. Is the software doing what it is supposed to be doing? Identify the purpose of the software and its features. Are they easy to use? Are they performing as expected? From there you can figure out the expected outcomes with selected test input values, conduct test cases, and compare the result.

Automated testing
Taking a lot of the manual labor out of the equation, automated testing is the faster, more efficient, and therefore cheaper, means of testing for bugs. It also makes it easier to test for multilingual sites.

Test cases that are repeatedly executed or are tedious or time-consuming can be run through an automated tool to test multiple aspects of the software in a lesser amount of time.

There are many automation tools to choose from so look out for how easy it is to use, its ability to test databases, object identification, image testing, and error recovery testing.

Regression testing
Regression testing confirms that a change in program or code hasn’t adversely affected existing features in your software.

Mainly made up of tests already executed, regression testing is done by taking relevant test cases that have been affected by an alteration and retesting them all with a variety of tools. Select test cases that have frequent defects have functionalities that are more visible to users and demonstrate the goals and features of the product.

Exploratory testing
The looser means of testing, exploratory testing omits the use of test cases and allows the tester to check systems on a whim. Treating testing as a less tedious and more thoughtful activity focuses on discovery, investigation, and learning.

It also uses the tools automation hasn’t got yet, namely: prediction, suggestion, refinement, and collaboration. A human can go through the software and take notes, making predictions and suggestions for improvement that an automated tool may have missed.

However, it relies on a tester’s skills and is not suitable long term due to money and time.

Acceptance testing
Acceptance testing focuses more on the objective of the software. It uses a test audience to test the requirements for a customer and what is expected of a software. For example, user acceptance testing assesses whether it is suitable for the consumer, business acceptance testing sees if it meets the business goals, regulation acceptance testing makes sure it keeps to the rules and regulations of the government, etc.

It tests the functionality and the usability of the system, but it needs to be controlled like a social experiment to get results and should be the final stage before handing it over to the public.

There are other forms of testing, like load testing which tests how the software performs with a lot of traffic, recovery testing from error conditions, and security testing. Have a look online for more detail on each of these and on top of a test plan, you will be on your way to developing a perfect application.


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