Which are the main misconceptions about software testing? Here we debunk some of the most believed myths when it comes to software testing. Discover them!
Software testing is one the most crucial parts of the software development lifecycle. At this stage of the process, testing teams can identify the flaws and drawbacks of the underdeveloped and developed software. Hence, they assist in the improvement of the software quality. However, it is difficult to isolate the software testing myths from facts when we talk about the testing phase of software as this one is often misunderstood.
To provide you with a clear idea of the testing phase during development, here we will show you the realities of the misconceptions. Let’s smash down the five most common myths when it comes to software testing!
Myth 1: Start testing after development
Testing after software is completed is among the software testing myths that most people believe is right to do. This was the way testing was done in traditional or Waterfall software development models. If the product is tested after the completion of development, bugs are going to be found very late in the process, causing the testing team to become a bottleneck and, as a consequence, delay the delivery of the project. This approach is called Testing After Development (TAD).
In addition, when testing occurs on fully developed software, the testing team will have little understanding of the details. It tends to rely only on the design and construction of the developer. Therefore, a lack of communication between the testing team and the developers occurs, which can affect the overall quality.
On the other hand, if testing is included and considered before development starts, it helps to fix the flaws alongside the development. It also increases efficiency, provides a better customer experience, and reduces the dependency on post-development testing.
In Agile teams, this is usually known as Shift Left Testing (SLT). The main idea is to consider testing early in the software development process in order to reduce the length of time to delivery while still improving the quality of each release.
Shift Left Testing provides the following advantages:
- Testing the software in early stages, finding defects earlier makes them easier and faster to fix (less cost)
- Working side by side with developers and the rest of the team on gathering requirements and thinking of a solution
- Improving the overall quality
- Providing product feedback on daily basis
- Reviewing progress
Myth 2: Testing is expensive
There is a famous saying: “Pay a handsome amount later for correcting the issues found or pay less to test software during the development process.” One thing is true — testing in the wrong stage of the development process (or not doing it at all) can affect the entire budget if they have to redo part of the product after its completion. Companies should design a strategy to tackle this issue, and the best way to do it is by starting testing from the early stages (as stated in the previous myth).
This will not only help to save costs but also reduce the time of development. Take into account that reducing the budget by not doing testing will affect and reduce the final product’s quality, thereby greatly increasing costs in the end.
Myth 3: There is no need for manual testing if we can automate
People tend to think that manual testing can be fully replaced by automated testing; however, this is only true for some tests, not for all of them.
Manual tests provide the opportunity for humans to observe and provide their insights or their judgment. It also helps to improve user experience. Although the automation of testing provides better efficiency and reliability than manual testing, this method lacks human judgment.
Besides, doing automation is usually expensive. Creating an automated test usually takes much more time than testing that scenario manually. In this case, it is very important to do a cost/benefit analysis for what you decide to automate. This is why repetitive tests (usually regression tests) are often the best candidates to be automated. This will allow manual testers to have more time to focus on edge cases, do exploratory testing, and find complex issues related to business logic.
In conclusion, manual and automated tests are complementary, and using both testing methods is necessary.
Myth 4: Developers should not care about testing
It is a common myth that developers have nothing to do with the testing of software. However, software developers can offer significant insights on testing as they have a rich understanding of the application functionality and the impact of any changes they are making.
Although the testing team usually has certain knowledge about coding and programming, they cannot have the same in-depth insights about the application design and development process. Most of the time, they perform testing without having an understanding of the code.
In this sense, the collaboration between both teams is an important factor in the success of the development because developers can access end-user needs due to their detailed knowledge. They can provide significant details to the testers, which ultimately helps to improve their performance and results. Both testing and development teams deal with the testing phase from their point of view, which means they both are an integral part of the testing phase.
Myth 5: The testing team does not require technical knowledge
Many people believe that testing does not require a background of programming, and therefore, everyone can perform it efficiently. It is true that testers can test an application without technical knowledge, but if a tester does not have a sound knowledge base of coding or at least a good understanding of how the application was implemented, then they may fail to properly test the software.
Technical skills will allow the tester to detect those places in the application where deep testing is required or to guess where the application might crash, taking into account technology weaknesses and in consequence running adequate tests to verify that. In addition, if we think about automation testing, expertise in programming skills is crucial.
Bonus myth: If good testing is done, software will be bug-free
Testing can prove the existence of issues but not the absence of them. No one can provide 100% bug-free software. It is impossible. A system as a whole can have an infinite combination of inputs that are physically impossible to test. A sampling of inputs considered the most important, depending on the testing technique used, will be utilized to create and run tests. This way, skillful testers will be able to find most of the critical defects, increasing the software quality to the best possible level of compliance.
To sum up
In the software development industry, testing is a relatively new activity, and there are still many misconceptions and myths surrounding it. In this article, we have elaborated on their realities, this way refuting the most believed and important ones.
Testing is a core activity in any development project and should be planned and estimated from the beginning of the development life cycle. It would allow us not just to improve our product quality but also to improve our overall process providing a solid product to our end users.
Now we hope that this information provided regarding the realities of software testing has put the myths to rest! What do you think?
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