7 testing principles every software engineer should know


Software testing is playing a bigger role today as companies are under pressure to build more applications in faster time frames.

People say machines have dominated the tech world. It sounds wrong, just as they show in movies like Terminator, where machines take over the world. But if we speak affirmatively, then machines play an important role in our personal and professional life. The behavior or operation of these machines is controlled by software. Therefore, the principle of testing software can offer the solutions to all our worries from which these fiction films were born.

There are different types of software testing methodologies that allow us to create software and make it work exactly as we want it to. Therefore, it is necessary that the factors be taken into account in software testing strategies. This blog will walk you through the details of software testing.

So let’s do it starting with what software testing is? Software testing is the process of evaluating the functionality of software to find any type of bug. It is used to verify whether the finished software product meets all of the customer’s specific business requirements. And it also identifies flaws in the software that could become an obstacle to building a quality product.

In addition to the verification and validation of software products, software testing is used to meet the business and technical requirements that guided its design and development. It also helps to ensure that the software is performing according to its requirements.

Why do we need software testing?

Business growth depends on the success rate of a software application. And software testing plays an important role in the development of software applications and other products. There are many benefits that we can derive from software testing. They are as mentioned below:

Profitable: Testing the product is important, but testing the product at the right time is more important. There are many stages in a software development cycle, and if you are successful in finding the flaws or bugs in the early stages, it will cost you a lot less to fix them than the money you would have to spend if you knew after the product has been completed. So testing can save you a lot more money in the long run.

Security: The most sensitive and vulnerable part of business, as well as software, is security. Users want to use the products they can trust. Software testing can help you rule out all kinds of risks and problems beforehand.

Product quality: The only thing that makes your dream come true is that it works perfectly the same way you thought or expected it to. Thus, a product must meet all the requirements. Then and only then will the product work to achieve the desired results.

Client satisfaction: The most important job of a business or product owner is to provide their customer with the best user experience and achieve the highest customer satisfaction rate. If you test software, you will find out what issues or potential issues a user might face. And now that you know them, you can push them away immediately and deliver a software product that works seamlessly.

Now, having discussed the benefits of software testing, let’s move on and take a look at the Seven Principles of Software Testing.

The Seven Principles of Software Testing

There are seven fundamental testing principles. These principles are used by software developers to make their development and testing process more efficient. Before we discuss them in detail, let’s take a quick look at the Seven Principles of Testing.

1) Exhaustive testing is not possible

Yes, we need to extend the software to find the bugs, but we don’t do exhaustive testing. It is not even possible. We just have to test the software according to their needs. These requirements will determine the type of risk assessment that will be necessary and the duration of the tests to be performed.

But again, how do you define risk? To answer this, let’s take an example:

What would be the most likely operation to cause your system to fail? Well, it’s easy, and we all experience it more often: opening ten different types of trades at once. Yes, the simplest example is to open ten apps at a time on your mobile and see what happens. It would crash – that is, a system failure.

So, when you test your operating system, you should know that most of the glitches are caused while multitasking activity is taking place. It needs to be tested thoroughly.

2) Grouping of faults

The grouping of faults shows how a small number of modules consists of most faults detected during software testing. It is an equivalent of the Pareto principle in software testing, which states that 80% of productivity comes from 20% of important work.

After you have acquired enough experience and expertise, you will easily be able to identify risky modules in a software application. But there is a problem with this kind of testing. If you perform the same test multiple times on the same software, the test case will no longer be able to find new bugs in the system.

3) The pesticide paradox

When the same pesticide is used over and over again on the farm to eradicate pests, the pests or insects eventually develop resistance to this mixture of pesticides. Therefore, the pesticide will no longer act on the insects. We also talked about the above principle of flaw grouping that if you run the same test on the same software over and over again, you won’t be able to find new bugs after a while.

So this proves that the pesticide rule also applies to software testing. We can put it this way: If the same test or set of tests is performed over and over, those tests or methods will eventually become useless in finding new defects. But how can you overcome this?

You can do this simply by regularly reviewing and revising your methods and test cases. You can also add new different test cases that might help you find more bugs or flaws in your software.

Neither a developer nor a tester should be completely dependent on the existing set of testing techniques and development practices. They must be constantly on the lookout for new and improved sets of techniques to make their processes more and more efficient.

Always keep one thing in mind that even after all this sweat and hard work, you can’t pretend that your software product is completely bug-free. Even a tech giant like Microsoft can’t achieve this feat.

4) The tests show the presence of defects

Yes, that’s what testing is for. They are made to find faults. This principle simply says that the aspect of the test relates only to the presence of faults in a software or an application and not to the absence of faults.

As a result, testing your application or software decreases the chances of undetected faults. And even if your test doesn’t find any flaws in the software application, that doesn’t prove that your application is bug-free.

But what if you work so hard to make your software product almost completely bug-free, say 99% bug-free, but it doesn’t meet your customer’s expectations? What if you worked so hard to remove all the flaws to give your customer a seamless user experience, but the software didn’t meet a customer’s needs?

Well, we would get an answer for that from the following principle.

5) No error – an error

It is quite possible that the software you create is virtually non-defective software, but it may still be completely unnecessary for a customer. This can happen if you test the system or software for the wrong requirements. Therefore, it is important to clarify the business requirements of the customer, because software testing is not only about finding the bugs, but also testing the software to determine whether or not it meets the customer’s requirements.

The absence of error is an error. For example, finding and fixing bugs or defects does not help create a useful product and does not meet the needs of the user. So how can we solve this problem?

We will talk about this in the next principle.

6) Early testing

Developers and QA experts should test as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. Because if a defect occurs in any phase like conception and development, then they could be easily identified at an early stage.

Some software development companies have a software development process where testing is done after the completion of each phase. After rectifying only the known errors, they move on to the next phase. This makes the development process as well as bug fixing much less expensive than when it is finished after the product is finished.

But when should you start testing? It is highly recommended that you start finding bugs once you understand the customer’s requirements.

7) Tests depend on the context

The tests always depend on the type of product you want to develop. The requirements of an ecommerce website will always be different from that of a standard application. Therefore, the testing methods will also be different as the testing techniques and standards are created based on a customer’s requirements.

An application developer would use different types of testing approaches, methodologies and techniques depending on the types of applications. For example, testing an ATM will be different from testing any point of sale system in a retail store.

Myth: The principles are just for reference. I will not use them in practice

A developer should never even think about taking this approach. If you want to build effective software and provide customers with a seamless user experience, you need to develop effective strategies for testing your software applications.

Learning these test principles is similar to learning to drive a car. Initially, you pay attention to all aspects of driving, such as gear changes, speed, clutch handling, etc. But as you gain more experience, you start to focus only on driving while everything else comes naturally to you.

The same goes for the principles of testing we talked about above in this article. Expert testers adapted these principles to such a level that they could all apply them even without thinking. Therefore, the myth that the principles of software testing are not involved in practice is not true.

Now, in the end, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and understood the importance of different testing principles. If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.


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