Testing methodologies are approaches and procedures used to test a certain product to ensure it fits the purpose it was meant to serve. Testing methodologies generally include testing that a particular product functions as par its specification, has no unwanted side effects when applied in ways outside its designed constraints and in case of a worst case, it will safely fail e.g. if a nuclear reactor fails it will shut down.
Software Testing Methodologies
Software testing methodologies involve different methods and approaches to making sure that an application is fully tested. Software testing methodologies include every step including unit testing separate modules, testing integration of an entire system as well as specialized methods of testing like security and performance.
The significance of Testing Methodologies
As software applications become more complex and intertwined, plus the huge number of diverse platforms and devices that require testing, it is crucial than ever to have in place a strong testing methodology. This will ensure that the software applications being build have undergone vigorous testing so that they meet the specified requirements as well as operate in all platforms without interfering with the usability and security.
Testing is an important component of the software development process. When done inappropriately, it can result in unstable outputs as well as unpredictable project completion time.
3 Different Types of Software Testing Methodologies
In this article, we are going to focus on 3 major types of software testing methodologies used in software development life cycle.
- Black Box Testing
With this method, the tester is blocked from seeing the internal structure of the application source code as well as the program. While carrying the test, tester only needs to focus on inputs and anticipated outputs without necessarily knowing how the software works and how the inputs are processed. The main purpose of Black Box Testing is to check the software functionality to ensure that it works appropriately according to the requirements and meets user demands. This method of testing can be successfully applied to the majority of software testing level including unit testing, system testing, user acceptance testing and integration testing.
Black box testing has the following advantages;
- It can be used by any staff member as it does not require any technical knowledge to implement.
- Testing can be done in isolation, therefore eliminating chances of bias in favor of the application developers. Additionally, with black box testing, the tester can easily help detect discrepancies in the application specifications.
- More effective and suitable for large system
The disadvantages are;
- Difficult to design test case
- It is not possible to identify all inputs
- Overlapping tests is possible
- White Box Testing
This is opposite to black box testing in a way that tester can actually see the internal source code and program. This method of testing is also sometimes called Clear Box Testing, or Open Box Testing. While black box testing does not require any knowledge to implement, white box testing requires the tester to have sufficient knowledge of programming. For this reason, it is only software developers who carry out white box testing. The method is also applicable to all testing levels, though it is used mainly in unit testing as well as integration testing. The aim of white box testing is to improve software security, flow of inputs as well as outputs through the system, and enhancing design and usability.
- Helps to optimize the code
- It can easily be automated
- It covers all paths of the code
- Testing can be done early is the cycle of development
- Costly and complex
- Developers don’t like white box testing
- It requires skillful resources for it to be implemented
- It is time-costing, especially with large applications.
- Agile Testing
Agile method of testing strictly follows the values of agile software development. This means that software should be tested for flaws as quickly as possible within the context of agile principles and give feedback quickly to ensure faster project development. This method of testing concentrates on detecting flaws or any defects very soon or within agile principles and then quickly give feedback for faster and better project development.
Agile principles include;
- Highest priority is customer satisfaction through early delivery of products
- Welcoming any change requirement, even late in the stage of development
- Delivering working and high standard software
- Client and developer must work hand in hand daily through the project lifecycle
- Projects to be built around motivated individuals by giving them support and needed environment
- Enhance face-to-face means of communication
- The primary measure of success is the working software
- Agile processes enhance sustainable development
- Attention should be paid on technical excellence as well as good design for better agility
- Simplicity is the technique of maximizing the amount of undone work
- Self-organizing teams result to best architectures, designs as well as requirements.
- The team should, at regular intervals reflect on ways of becoming more effective.
Advantages of Agile Testing
- Significantly saves time and money
- Less documentation
- Consistent user feedback
- Earl detection of flaws through regular meetings
- Documentation can take longer for the test team to be conversant
- Regression bugs might be introduced by regular bug fixings and releases
- Short-termism on the side of the test team.
Whichever software testing methodology you choose, ensure that you have the required skills to implement the software testing in order to get desirable results. If you don’t have needed skills at your disposal, you can consider outsourcing.