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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Need for software testing

When you talk about the process of software development, one of the major parts (and a full science by itself) is the process of software testing. One cannot talk about software development without talking about software testing.
Let us first talk about the process of software development. Software development is the process of developing a software application, built to order on the basis of a set of requirements. These requirements could be from a client (where the software is built on the requirements particular to the client), or could be based on a mix of market needs and competitor analysis when a shrink-wrapped software product is being built.
An integral part of the software development process is the software testing process. The scope and details of the software development practice is huge by itself, covering by itself a number of different processes. And what does this software testing process do ? There is the need for a process to ensure that the requirements against which the software is being built is adhering to the requirements as much as possible. In more technical words, the process of testing ensures that a process of validation and verification is being carried out during the entire development process. In less technical words, software testing ensures that somebody is checking that the development process is happening in the right way, that the application is matching the needs of the client.
Testing follows a process to ensure that the process is effective, with the preparation for testing entailing preparation of a test plan and detailed test cases. And there are many additional processes that form a part of software testing, such as test automation, white box testing, black box testing, etc. The usage of specific testing processes during a software development project depends on the kind of project it is. For example, in a project where there is no exposure of details of the code to the testing team, there is no question of white box testing, and so on.

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