What Software Testing Is and What It Isn’t

What Software Testing Is and What It Isn’t

Essentially, software testing (or briefly “testing” in the context of this article) is a process of detecting the presence of defects in software systems. A defect can be introduced in development or maintenance phases, leading to one or more errors (“bugs” – a slang term for something that goes wrong in software program), misunderstandings, omissions and even defects created by some developers with malicious intent. Testing is an attempt to detect defects. Testing does not involve work associated with identifying and eliminating errors. In other words, testing activities do not include debugging, or actions related to eliminating the effects of errors.


Testing plays a crucial role in software development, because this process significantly contributes towards a particular software application doing exactly what the designers expect it to do. In some cases, the testing challenge becomes more complicated: now the goal of this process is to make sure that the manufactured application does only what the software engineer intended.


In any case, testing helps to build better quality software products and prevent the program from being delivered with defects. If buggy apps go into production it may have negative consequences for software vendors: loss of time, assets, customers and even human lives. It is reasonable to resort to independent verification and validation services if you want to save your time and budget. Ukrainian third party specialists raise software quality at attractive price and within deadline.  


So, what software is? We define the software as a set of instructions and data necessary to perform a task on the computer. Let’s clarify this definition – all representations of these instructions and data. In particular, the concept of representation includes not only the programs’ source codes and data files, but also models built during analysis and design phases. All of the software’s representations (code, documentation, etc) can and must be tested. Just as architects and builders can study the drawings of a new building before we dig out the first cubic meter of foundation pit, we can investigate analytical and design software models before the first lines of the source code are written.


Testing allows you to ensure that the finished software product meets the requirements regarding specific terms of reference, but testing is not yet quality assurance. Some programmers mistakenly identify testing with quality assurance. In many organizations, quality assurance activities usually include such processes as test plan development and system testing. Testing is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, part of any quality assurance procedure.


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