Software projects today are more complex than ever before. Software industry grows at an extremely fast rate and developers should be updated with new releases and opportunities in the software world to use latest technologies and best practices. Therefore this time I decided to talk a bit more about software testing techniques part, which plays a crucial role in building scalable platforms with high performance.
There are different business models, but in software development, quality is essential for success. To guarantee this quality tests are vital. Software testing helps teams evaluate software against requirements gathered from users and product owner, simplifying the life of the developers. We are big fans of Agile methodology and we believe that to be truly agile you need to do TDD and CI. In Agile tests play one of the most important roles in the development part. We believe that tests shouldn’t be separated from the development, like it is done in traditional models. Software testing is a part of the software development process. And tests should be written before writing the code to identify errors quickly and fix them in the shortest time possible. Software testing really helps to reduce software development risks, time, and costs.
There are still some people, who prefer to “save” money on testing. And this is a huge mistake! Even though the initial investment maybe bigger, in the long term the maintenance of the platform and the development process will become much cheaper. Software tests give rapid feedback and therefore all agile lovers use them to be truly agile!
We spoke with our agile software development team and even though there are dozens of different tests that you may find on the internet, we highlighted 4 ones, that we believe are the most important ones and essential for building working software. Also you will find a list of top testing tools that we use working on our projects.
4 software testing techniques that are essential for building working software
1. Unit testing
Let’s start with the first one and smallest one – unit testing. Unit testing is performed on the smallest elements of a system, each component is tested to ensure that it properly works. Usually it performs a single cohesive function. The goal of unit testing is to analyze each small part of the code and test that is working correctly.
Unit testing is mostly used by agile developers, especially by extreme programmers, TDD lovers. However unit tests become more popular nowadays and other developers start using it as well.
2. Integration testing
Integration testing is a logical extension of Unit Testing. Two units that have already been tested are combined into a component and the interface between them is tested. A component, in this sense, refers to an integrated aggregate of more than one unit, units are combined into components, which are in turn aggregated into even larger parts of the program.
The purpose of integration testing is to verify the functional, and reliability between the components that are integrated. It identifies problems that occur when units are combined.
This is particularly beneficial because it determines how efficiently the units are running together. Keep in mind that no matter how efficiently each unit is running, if they aren’t properly integrated, it will affect the functionality of the software program. Also, what is important to know is that integration test is also about testing units with databases or other external third party libraries.
3. Functional testing
Functional testing is about making sure that features work end to end. For example, testing that a user’s settings were updated when a user clicks on a save button. Functional testing tests a slice of functionality of the whole system. It is performed to verify that a software application performs and functions correctly according to design specifications.
Functional testing is a crucial element in ensuring the quality of a software product, and confirming that it performs its stated functions in a way that the users expect. Testing is used to verify that your designed application, website, software executes its functions through a proper response to user commands, a consistent user interface, integration with other systems and business processes, and proper handling of data and searches.
Before we start a project, we always set to work crafting the best user stories; short, simple descriptions of particular features as desired and described from a user’s perspective.
The best user stories are invariably the simplest, and normally take the form of a very straightforward formula:
As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>
As a student, I want reminder notifications so I don’t miss homework deadlines.
So functional testing tests these user stories. Another way of naming functional testing can be acceptance tests, customer tests, etc. There are plenty versions in the internet, but we believe that functional testing is the right name for this kind of test.
4. Performance testing
And the fourth one is performance testing. In software development, performance testing is a testing practice performed to determine how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a particular workload. It can also serve to investigate, measure, validate or verify other quality attributes of the system, such as scalability, reliability and resource usage.
Performance testing builds performance standards into the implementation, design and architecture of a system.
It can verify that a software platform meets the specifications claimed by its owner. This test proves how efficient the software is. Checks how well the software works in anticipated and peak workloads. There are different variations or sub types of performance testing like load testing, stress testing, volume testing, and many many more. This testing makes sure that what you have done, you have done it good, taking into account different circumstances that may arise in the future.
There are some other good tools for software testing, I will be happy to discuss them in the comments section below! And if you are interested in topics on how to build working software, I recommend you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive latest articles and best practices.
Do you want to discuss the possibilities for your company ? Please contact us, we will be happy to discuss your project!