Why is Testing necessary? – Importance of Software Testing

Testing is very much necessary to rectify the errors made in the software application and make sure good quality before delivering to customers or end users.

Software testing is essential as it discovers a defect before it is delivered to customer ensuring good software quality.

By performing testing, we can detect defects or bugs in the early stages of development. Defects identified at the later stage are more costly to rectify.

Testing helps us to make software more reliable and user-friendly.

Customers or end users of software product have huge benefits of software testing as it plays an essential role in ensuring good quality product delivered.

Software Testing gains customers confidence

Establishing the quality of the product is essential. As once the customer gets a quality product, it helps in gaining their confidence.

Product quality is very much essential to gain the confidence of the customer.

It is necessary to provide the facilities to the customers like the delivery of the high-quality software application which requires lower maintenance, and it results to more consistent, reliable and accurate results.

Software Testing is crucial as it makes sure that the customer finds the organization reliable and are satisfied with the application.

In case the customer is not satisfied with software testing or product quality at the time of delivery, then they may switch to another organization.

Sometimes the contract includes finance policies about the timeline and quality of the product, and in that case, testing also prevents the financial losses.

Delivering the excellent quality product on time helps us to build the customers confidence within the team and organisation.

The client does not like to use the software which has bugs so they may not accept the software if they are not happy with the application.

Testing helps in product performance and quality

It is also required to assure adequate performance of software application and software testing helps in assuring adequate performance.

It is essential to make sure that the applications should not result into any failures because it can be costly in the future or the later stages of the development.

The software testing is vital for the effective performance of the software application or product.

Testing helps in identifying defects in early stages of software development

Software testing is required to detect the defects and errors introduced during the development phases.

By doing testing, it ensures that bugs and issues are detected early in the life cycle of the product development.

The requirement defects detected late in software development life cycle can be very costly to fix because it requires redesign, re-implementation and retesting of the application.

The programmers make a mistake during the implementation of the software, and there can be many reasons for this like lack of experience of the programmer, lack of knowledge, insufficient experience in that particular domain, and incorrect implementation of the algorithm due to complex logic.

Software Testing helps in reducing defect costs

The high-quality product has fewer defects and requires less maintenance which in turn means reduced costs.

After developing the product, it is critical to ensure that the application should not result in any failures because it can be costly in the future or the later stages of the development.

Difference between Errors, Defects and Failures in Software Testing

During the testing process, a software tester might come across several terms like errors, defects, failures, bugs, mistakes, and errors.

Let us understand the difference between Errors, Defects, Failures, Mistake, Fault and Bug.

Software Testers and quality analysts use these terms (error, mistakes, faults, bugs, failures, and defects) interchangeably. However, they signify and represent different aspects of the software.

These terms are the built-in part of the software testing lifecycle and you need to understand these terms clearly to validate the quality, effectiveness, and functionality of the software.

These terms have individual quality and are entirely different from one another.

The characteristics of occurrence and resolution of error, mistakes, faults, bugs, failures, and defects are different.

Let us go through each of these terms and understand the differences in detail:

What are Error and Mistake?

During the process of software testing, the team of testers has to face the most basic errors, and these are the mistakes made by the software developer or programmer while developing the code or design of the software.

Errors are the difference which we get from the results expected by the team, and errors further change the functionality of the software.

What are the reasons for error and mistakes?

The reasons for these mistakes and errors are the misunderstanding of requirements by the software developer.

Let us have a look at some other reasons for errors and mistakes in the software:

  • Mistakes made during code development in the program
  • Errors and mistakes may happen because of wrong coding logic, looping and syntax errors
  • Difference between actual and expected results – Misunderstanding of requirements by the developer

How to prevent Errors and Mistakes?

  • Implement a good code review process; reviews help to find the issues upfront and improve the quality of the software
  • Identify the issues and prepare a proper plan to rectify those issues
  • Verify the fixes after code deployment and confirm their quality and accuracy

What is Fault?

The fault is another discrepancy which is found by the tester during the process of software testing.

Unlike errors, the reason for a fault to occur is not because of some differences between the actual and expected result, but it is because of an error in software.

What are the reasons for faults?

Faults in software can occur because of various reasons, some of them are:

  • Discrepancies or issues in the software code because of which failure happens in the software
  • Incorrect process or steps followed which using the software
  • An inconsistency which makes the software act incorrectly and not as per the
    stated requirements

How to prevent Faults?

  • Proper code analysis implementation
  • Define proper Peer review process before code check-in

What is a failure?

When software is not able to perform as required and is presenting results that are not as per expected results, then it is termed as a failure.

These failures are incorrect external behavior which leads to software behaviour that is not in compliance with the specifications.

What are the reasons for Failures?

Failures occur when a defect present in the software is executed by the team, which forces to produce unpredicted results and function inappropriately.

Other reasons that may lead to the failure of the software are:

  1. Human errors and mistakes made while using the software and providing wrong or incomplete inputs.
  2. Users – Failures may also occur in the software or application if the user or client tries to perform operations that are disabled for that particular user or role
  3. Application Usage – Failures might also arise due to errors in the way application is being used.

How to prevent Failures?

  • First, identify and analyze errors and issues
  • Try to adopt effective preventive techniques
  • Perform re-testing and negative scenario testing
  • Verify and validate specifications and requirements thoroughly during all phases of development

What is a Defect?

Defect means when the actual result of the software differs from the one expected and predicted by the testers while testing the software.

Defects therefore are, defined as any difference encountered from the specifications mentioned in the product functional specification document by the client of the project.

These are the differences and issues in the software or application, found during the process of testing, that impact the functionality of the software and application.

What are the reasons for Defects?

Defects in the software can obstruct the functionality as well as the performance of the software application.

Hence, it is crucial for us to know the different reasons that cause defects in the software application.

Some of the other reasons for defects in software are:

  • The error made by the developer in code or incorrect coding logic causes software to perform inaccurately.
  • Any misunderstanding of requirements by developers can lead to defects
  • Updates to requirements in later phases of development lead to defects in the software or application
  • Setting up wrong and incorrect data for the software application

How to prevent Defects?

  • Implement a proper peer review process
  • Code reviews should be done on a regular basis to assess code quality and accuracy
  • Define and use effective software development methodologies
  • Adopt efficient programming techniques.

Early and Frequent feedback in Agile – Importance and Benefits

Why is Early and Frequent feedback important in Agile Development?

Early and Frequent feedback is one of the key advantages of Agile Software Development methodologies.

As Agile projects have short iterations, the working code is delivered in each iteration and showcased to the customer. The showcase gives an opportunity to the customer to provide early and continuous feedback.

This overcomes the major problem with traditional development models, like Waterfall Development Methodology, in which the customer was able to see the working product only at the tail end of SDLC (Software Development LifeCycle)

At the last phases of the project in the Waterfall approach, it is too late to incorporate the issues from customer feedback.

By getting frequent customer feedback as the project progresses in each iteration, Agile teams can include most new changes into the product development process, i.e. in future iterations.

When the customer provides feedback early it becomes easy for the development team to focus on the highest business value items first. Highest business value items or items with the highest risk are delivered first in order to reduce risks in the project.

Early feedback also helps to manage work within a team effectively as there is transparency within the whole team. For example, what is the work allocated in sprint and whats the progress in each sprint?

Some of the benefits of early and frequent feedback are:

  • Early feedback avoids requirement gaps, which can sometimes become more clear once the working prototype of software is showcased to the customer.
  • Requirement gaps detected on later phases of SDLC in traditional development model like “Waterfall Model” are very expensive to fix, early feedback avoids this situation in Agile Development Methodology
  • After each iteration of Agile Development, the customer is shown the working software built incrementally in each iteration, which helps them to see if the product actually functions the way they want it to work
  • Continuous integration in Agile Development helps in identifying issues early and then resolving them
  • The agile development team works out the consistent velocity and delivers the product with consistent pace until the end of the project cycle
  • As the customer is involved in the whole development process, the Agile team can clarify the queries anytime in case of doubts

Whole-Team Approach in Agile Development Methodology

What is Whole-Team Approach?

Whole-Team Approach in Agile Development advocates involving the people with right skillset into Agile Development project to ensure the successful delivery.

The Agile team should include members from the customer and other business stakeholders to determine the features of the product.

The whole-team approach suggests that quality is the responsibility of the whole Agile project team including Developers, Testers, Business Analysts, Business stakeholders and other people involved in the project.

Co-location is also important for the whole-team approach as it promotes daily communication and collaboration among the team.

Daily standup meeting is conducted in the whole-team approach to check the work progress and resolve any blockers for any of the team members.

Small teams of 3 to 9 members should be formed in order to achieve maximum benefits of the whole-team approach and ensure successful project delivery.

For any feature discussions or elaborations, testers, developers and business representatives are involved which ensures everyone understands the feature correctly.

The concept of involving testers, developers and business analysts is known as three Amigos or power of three.

What are the benefits of Whole-Team Approach?

  • As co-location is highly recommended in the whole team approach, it enhances daily collaboration and communication within the whole Agile project team
  • Since the whole-team approach involves members with a different skill set, it is very helpful for team members to leverage that skill set for project delivery
  • Quality is not only testing teams responsibility, but whole team is also responsible for the quality of product delivered
  • Testers, developers, and business representatives work together in the whole development process to ensure the desired product quality is achieved
  • Testers work closely with developers to leverage coding skills in their Automation Testing and also extend testing knowledge to other team members
  • All members of the team are involved in any product future discussions, analysis or estimation, which ensures everyone in the team is on the same page

Agile Manifesto for Software Development – Four values of Agile Manifesto

Agile Manifesto History

Agile Manifesto came up when the group of individuals were brainstorming over shortcomings of traditional development models.

There had been some evolution of lightweight development methods since 1990s in oder to overcome the limitations of traditional development methodologies.

In year 2001, a group of 17 individuals met to discuss lightweight development methods in order to overcome the limitations and issues with traditional software development models

This group agreed on common set of principles and values which later became “Agile Manifesto” for Agile Software Development.

The Agile Manifesto contains following four statements of values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

As per Agile Manifesto, the concepts to the right have value, however the concepts to the left have greater value.

Let us understand the Agile Manifesto concepts in detail.

Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools 

As per Agile Manifesto, it is argued that there are benefits of following the processes and tools, however, the core to any Agile Development is the team and communication within the team.

If there is heavy reliance on the processes and tools rather than the interaction and collaboartion within team members, it hampers the effectiveness and overall progress of project.

Agile Software Development teams can work more effectively through continuous collaboration rather than heavily relying on tools and processes to get the work done.

To summarise, Agile Development focuses more on following points:

  • Agile development is very people-centered.
  • People are the key to any development project as they build the software.
  • Contnuous communication and interaction within the team is key to get most value out of the whole team
  • More importance should be given to team collaboration
  • Least reliance on the process and tools makes the team more effective in getting blockers resolved and get things moving

Working Software over comprehensive documentation

From the end user or customers perspective, a working software is much more useful and valuable than excessive detailed documentation.

A working software gives a very good feel to the customer of how things will look like after being developed and it provides opportunity to customer to give early feedback to development team.

Some of the benefits and advantages of working software as compared to every detailed documentation are:

  • Working prototype is much easy to understand for customer and provide feedback.
  • As working software is available very early in development cycle, so it gives opportunity to customer to provide easy feedback.
  • Agile software development can confer notable time-to-market advantage, as working software, albeit with reduced functionality, is available much earlier in the development lifecycle.
  • Due to early software demonstration to customer, there is a huge scope to innovate and improve the solution if required, during the software development lifecycle with minimal cost impacts.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Traditional development methodologies like Waterfall and V-Model didn’t gave flexibility for early customer feedback due to their sequential approach.

In traditional development methodologies the requirements were gathered first and then the contracts were formed based on those requirements.

Any changes required later were managed by change requests and negotiated over contracts again.

It is very difficult for customers to specify the requirements all at once before the development starts.

To overcome all the above challenges the Customer collaboration is more valuable than negotiating over contracts with customer.

  • Collaborating directly with customers during the whole development cycle helps to understand requirements correctly
  • Customers find it very difficult to specify all requirements at once
  • Frequent collaboration with customers is likely to bring more success to the project 

Responding to change over following a plan

Following a plan is important to any project, however, having flexibility in work practices in order to embrace change in projects is more important than strictly following the plan.

Change is unavoidable in software projects due to the environment in which business operates, legislation, technology changes and many other factors.

All these factors should be accommodated in the software development methodologies, so the team is ready to respond to changes if required. 

The advantages of fourth value of Agile manifesto is as follows:

  • Agile software development embraces changes throughout the development cycle due to early feedback and continuous customer collaboration
  • Agile development does follow plan, however it is flexible enough to accomodate changes if required
  • Due to continuous delivery in agile projects, the development team is able to respond to the changes quickly