Software testing is the process of evaluating and verifying that a software product or
application does what it is supposed to do. The benefits of testing include preventing bugs,
reducing development costs and improving performance.
Few can argue against the need for quality control when developing software. Late
delivery or software defects can damage a brand’s reputation — leading to frustrated
and lost customers. In extreme cases, a bug or defect can degrade interconnected
systems or cause serious malfunctions.
Consider Nissan having to recall over 1 million cars due to a software defect in the
airbag sensor detectors. Or a software bug that caused the failure of a USD 1.2 billion
military satellite launch. 2
The numbers speak for themselves. Software failures in the
US cost the economy USD 1.1 trillion in assets in 2016. What’s more, they impacted 4.4
Though testing itself costs money, companies can save millions per year in development
and support if they have a good testing technique and QA processes in place. Early
software testing uncovers problems before a product goes to market. The sooner
development teams receive test feedback, the sooner they can address issues such as:
When development leaves ample room for testing, it improves software reliability and
high-quality applications are delivered with few errors. A system that meets or even
exceeds customer expectations leads to potentially more sales and greater market
There are many different types of software tests, each with specific objectives and strategies:
Checking functions by emulating business scenarios, based on functional requirements. Black-box testing is a common way to verify functions.
Ensuring that software components or functions operate
Validating that each software unit performs as expected. A unit isthe smallest testable component of an application.
Checking whether new features break or degrade
functionality. Sanity testing can be used to verify menus, functions and
commands at the surface level, when there is no time for a full regression test
Testing how much strain the system can take before it fails. Considered to be a type of non-functional testing.
Validating how well a customer can use a system or web
application to complete a task.
Testing how the software performs under different
workloads. Load testing, for example, is used to evaluate performance under
real-life load conditions.
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