Software testing

Software testing

Software testing is an empirical investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test [ [ Exploratory Testing] , Cem Kaner, Florida Institute of Technology, "Quality Assurance Institute Worldwide Annual Software Testing Conference", Orlando, FL, November 2006] , with respect to the context in which it is intended to operate. This includes, but is not limited to, the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs.

Software Testing can also be defined as, the set of activities that involves Planning and preparation of what to test the software for and executing the software with the intent of finding defects and validating the software against Requirements analysis [ [ Definition of Software Testing] , Kumar, Senior Test Architect,] . Testing involves operation of a system or application under controlled conditions and evaluating the results. Controlled conditions would include both normal and abnormal conditions. Software testing is conducted not only to check if the software meets the functional/technical/security requirements but also to break the software with negative inputs or by incorrect usage.


Testing can never completely establish the correctness of computer software. Instead, it furnishes a "criticism" or "comparison" that compares the state and behaviour of the product against oracles—principles or mechanisms by which someone might recognize a problem. These oracles may include (but are not limited to) specifications, comparable products, past versions of the same product, inferences about intended or expected purpose, user or customer expectations, relevant standards, applicable laws, or other criteria.

Over its existence, computer software has continued to grow in complexity and size. Every software product has a target audience. For example, the audience for video game software is completely different from banking software. Therefore, when an organization develops or otherwise invests in a software product, it presumably must assess whether the software product will be acceptable to its end users, its target audience, its purchasers, and other stakeholders. Software testing is the process of attempting to make this assessment.

A study conducted by NIST in 2002 reports that software bugs cost the U.S. economy $59.5 billion annually. More than a third of this cost could be avoided if better software testing was performed. [ [ Software errors cost U.S. economy $59.5 billion annually] , NIST report]


The separation of debugging from testing was initially introduced by Glenford J. Myers in 1979. [cite book|first=Glenford J.|last=Myers|title=The Art of Software Testing|publisher=John Wiley and Sons|year=1979|id=ISBN 0-471-04328-1] Although his attention was on breakage testing ("a successful test is one that finds a bug"Fact|date=August 2008), it illustrated the desire of the software engineering community to separate fundamental development activities, such as debugging, from that of verification. Dr. Dave Gelperin and Dr. William C. Hetzel classified in 1988 the phases and goals in software testing in the following stages: [cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]

* Until 1956 - Debugging oriented ["until 1956 it was the debugging oriented period, when testing was often associated to debugging: there was no clear difference between testing and debugging." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]
* 1957-1978 - Demonstration oriented ["From 1957-1978 there was the demonstration oriented period where debugging and testing was distinguished now - in this period it was shown, that software satisfies the requirements." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]
* 1979-1982 - Destruction oriented ["The time between 1979-1982 is announced as the destruction oriented period, where the goal was to find errors." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]
* 1983-1987 - Evaluation oriented ["1983-1987 is classified as the evaluation oriented period: intention here is that during the software lifecycle a product evaluation is provided and measuring quality." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]
* 1988-2000 - Prevention oriented ["From 1988 on it was seen as prevention oriented period where tests were to demonstrate that software satisfies its specification, to detect faults and to prevent faults." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782]

Software testing topics


A primary purpose for testing is to detect software failures so that defects may be uncovered and corrected. This is a non-trivial pursuit. Testing cannot establish that a product functions properly under all conditions but can only establish that it does not function properly under specific conditions.cite book | last = Kaner | first = Cem | authorlink = Cem Kaner | coauthors =Falk, Jack and Nguyen, Hung Quoc | title = Testing Computer Software, 2nd Ed. | publisher = John Wiley and Sons, Inc. | date = 1999 | location = New York, et al | pages = 480 pages | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0-471-35846-0] The scope of software testing often includes examination of code as well as execution of that code in various environments and conditions as well as examining the quality aspects of code: does it do what it is supposed to do and do what it needs to do. In the current culture of software development, a testing organization may be separate from the development team. There are various roles for testing team members. Information derived from software testing may be used to correct the process by which software is developed.

Defects and failures

Not all software defects are caused by coding errors. One common source of expensive defects is caused by requirements gaps, e.g., unrecognized requirements, that result in errors of omission by the program designer. A common source of requirements gaps is non-functional requirements such as testability, scalability, maintainability, usability, performance, and security.

Software faults occur through the following process. A programmer makes an error (mistake), which results in a defect (fault, bug) in the software source code. If this defect is executed, in certain situations the system will produce wrong results, causing a failure.Section 1.1.2, [ Certified Tester Foundation Level Syllabus] , International Software Testing Qualifications Board] Not all defects will necessarily result in failures. For example, defects in dead code will never result in failures. A defect can turn into a failure when the environment is changed. Examples of these changes in environment include the software being run on a new hardware platform, alterations in source data or interacting with different software. A single defect may result in a wide range of failure symptoms.


A frequent cause of software failure is compatibility with another application or new operating system (or, increasingly web browser version). In the case of lack of backward compatibility this can occur because the programmers have only considered coding the programs for, or testing the software, on the latest operating system they have access to or else, in isolation (no other conflicting applications running at the same time) or under 'ideal' conditions ('unlimited' memory; 'superfast' processor; latest operating system incorporating all updates, etc). In effect, everything is running "as intended" but only when executing at the same time on the same machine with the particular combination of software and/or hardware. These are some of the hardest failures to predict, detect and test for and many are therefore discovered only after release into the larger world with its largely unknown mix of applications, software and hardware.It is likely that an experienced programmer will have had exposure to these factors through "co-evolution" with several older systems and be much more aware of potential future compatibility problems and therefore tend to use tried and tested functions or instructions rather than always the latest available which may not be fully compatible with earlier mixtures of software/hardware. This could be considered a prevention oriented strategy that fits well with the latest testing phase suggested by Dr. Dave Gelperin and Dr. William C. Hetzel cited below ["From 1988 on it was seen as prevention oriented period where tests were to demonstrate that software satisfies its specification, to detect faults and to prevent faults." cite journal|first=D.|last=Gelperin|coauthors=B. Hetzel|title=The Growth of Software Testing|journal=CACM|volume=31|issue=6|year=1988|id=ISSN 0001-0782] .

Input combinations and preconditions

A problem with software testing is that testing under all combinations of inputs and preconditions (initial state) is not feasible, even with a simple product.pp 17-18] [Principle 2, Section 1.3, [ Certified Tester Foundation Level Syllabus] , International Software Testing Qualifications Board] This means that the number of defects in a software product can be very large and defects that occur infrequently are difficult to find in testing. More significantly, non-functional dimensions of quality (how it is supposed to "be" versus what it is supposed to "do") -- for example, usability, scalability, performance, compatibility, reliability -- can be highly subjective; something that constitutes sufficient value to one person may be intolerable to another.

tatic vs. dynamic testing

There are many approaches to software testing. Reviews, walkthroughs or inspections are considered as static testing, whereas actually executing programmed code with a given set of test cases is referred to as dynamic testing. The former can be, and unfortunately in practice often is, omitted, whereas the latter takes place when programs begin to be used for the first time - which is normally considered the beginning of the testing stage. This may actually begin before the program is 100% complete in order to test particular sections of code (modules or discrete functions). For example, Spreadsheet programs are, by their very nature, tested to a large extent "on the fly" during the build process as the result of some calculation or text manipulation is shown interactively immediately after each formula is entered.

oftware verification and validation

Software testing is used in association with verification and validation:cite book
last=Tran | first=Eushiuan | editor=Koopman, P. | title=Topics in Dependable Embedded Systems | location=USA | publisher=Carnegie Mellon University | year=1999 | chapter=Verification/Validation/Certification |chapterurl= | accessdate=2008-01-13
* Verification: Have we built the software right (i.e., does it match the specification)?. It's process based.
* Validation: Have we built the right software (i.e., is this what the customer wants)?. It's product based.

The software testing team

Software testing can be done by "software testers". Until the 1950s the term "software tester" was used generally, but later it was also seen as a separate profession. Regarding the periods and the different goals in software testing [see D. Gelperin and W.C. Hetzel] there have been established different roles: test lead/manager, test designer, tester, test automater/automation developer, and test administrator.

Software Quality Assurance (SQA)

Though controversialp 347] , software testing may be viewed as an important part of the software quality assurance (SQA) process.Fact|date=December 2007 In SQA, software process specialists and auditors take a broader view on software and its development. They examine and change the software engineering process itself to reduce the amount of faults that end up in defect rate. What constitutes an acceptable defect rate depends on the nature of the software. An arcade video game designed to simulate flying an airplane would presumably have a much higher tolerance for defects than mission critical software such as that used to control the functions of an airliner. Although there are close links with SQA, testing departments often exist independently, and there may be no SQA function in some companies.

Software Testing is a task intended to detect defects in software by contrasting a computer program's expected results with its actual results for a given set of inputs. By contrast, QA is the implementation of policies and procedures intended to prevent defects from occurring in the first place.

Testing methods

Software testing methods are traditionally divided into black box testing and white box testing. These two approaches are used to describe the point of view that a test engineer takes when designing test cases.

Black box testing

Black box testing treats the software as a black box without any knowledge of internal implementation. Black box testing methods include equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, all-pairs testing, fuzz testing, model-based testing, traceability matrix, exploratory testing and specification-based testing.

;Specification-based testing : Specification-based testing aims to test the functionality according to the requirements. [cite paper | last = Laycock | first = G. T. | title = The Theory and Practice of Specification Based Software Testing | publisher = Dept of Computer Science, Sheffield University, UK | date = 1993 | url = | format = PostScript| accessdate = 2008-02-13 ] Thus, the tester inputs data and only sees the output from the test object. This level of testing usually requires thorough test cases to be provided to the tester who then can simply verify that for a given input, the output value (or behavior), is the same as the expected value specified in the test case.

:Specification-based testing is necessary but insufficient to guard against certain risks. [cite journal
last = Bach
first = James
authorlink = James Bach
coauthors =
title = Risk and Requirements-Based Testing
journal = Computer
volume = 32
issue = 6
pages = pp. 113-114
date = June 1999
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate = 2008-08-19

White box testing

White box testing, by contrast to black box testing, is when the tester has access to the internal data structures and algorithms (and the code that implement these)

;Types of white box testing:The following types of white box testing exist::* code coverage - creating tests to satisfy some criteria of code coverage. For example, the test designer can create tests to cause all statements in the program to be executed at least once.:* mutation testing methods.:* fault injection methods.:* static testing - White box testing includes all static testing.

;Code completeness evaluation:White box testing methods can also be used to evaluate the completeness of a test suite that was created with black box testing methods. This allows the software team to examine parts of a system that are rarely tested and ensures that the most important function points have been tested. [ [ Introduction] , Code Coverage Analysis, Steve Cornett]

:Two common forms of code coverage are::* "function coverage", which reports on functions executed :* and "statement coverage", which reports on the number of lines executed to complete the test. They both return a coverage metric, measured as a percentage.

Grey Box Testing

In recent years the term grey box testing has come into common usage. This involves having access to internal data structures and algorithms for purposes of designing the test cases, but testing at the user, or black-box level.

Manipulating input data and formatting output do not qualify as grey-box because the input and output are clearly outside of the black-box we are calling the software under test. This is particularly important when conducting integration testing between two modules of code written by two different developers, where only the interfaces are exposed for test. Grey box testing may also include reverse engineering to determine, for instance, boundary values or error messages.

Non Functional Software Testing

Special methods exist to test non-functional aspects of software.
* Performance testing checks to see if the software can handle large quantities of data or users. This is generally referred to as software scalability.
* Usability testing is needed to check if the user interface is easy to use and understand.
* Security testing is essential for software which processes confidential data and to prevent system intrusion by hackers.
* Internationalization and localization is needed to test these aspects of software, for which a pseudolocalization method can be used.

Testing process

A common practice of software testing is performed by an independent group of testers after the functionality is developed before it is shipped to the customer. [ [ e)Testing Phase in Software Testing:-] ] This practice often results in the testing phase being used as project buffer to compensate for project delays, thereby compromising the time devoted to testing. [cite book|first=Glenford J.|last=Myers|title=The Art of Software Testing|publisher=John Wiley and Sons|year=1979|id=ISBN 0-471-04328-1|page=145-146] Another practice is to start software testing at the same moment the project starts and it is a continuous process until the project finishes. [cite book | last = Dustin | first = Elfriede | title=Effective Software Testing|publisher=Addison Wesley|year=2002|isbn = 0-20179-429-2|page=3]

In counterpoint, some emerging software disciplines such as extreme programming and the agile software development movement, adhere to a "test-driven software development" model. In this process unit tests are written first, by the software engineers (often with pair programming in the extreme programming methodology). Of course these tests fail initially; as they are expected to. Then as code is written it passes incrementally larger portions of the test suites. The test suites are continuously updated as new failure conditions and corner cases are discovered, and they are integrated with any regression tests that are developed. Unit tests are maintained along with the rest of the software source code and generally integrated into the build process (with inherently interactive tests being relegated to a partially manual build acceptance process).

Testing can be done on the following levels:
* Unit testing tests the minimal software component, or module. Each unit (basic component) of the software is tested to verify that the detailed design for the unit has been correctly implemented. In an object-oriented environment, this is usually at the class level, and the minimal unit tests include the constructors and destructors. [cite book|last=Binder | first = Robert V.|title=Testing Object-Oriented Systems: Objects, Patterns, and Tools|publisher=Addison-Wesley Professional|date=1999|isbn= 0-201-80938-9|page=45]
* Integration testing exposes defects in the interfaces and interaction between integrated components (modules). Progressively larger groups of tested software components corresponding to elements of the architectural design are integrated and tested until the software works as a system. [cite book|first=Boris|last=Beizer|title=Software Testing Techniques|date=1990|edition=Second Edition|isbn=0-442-20672-0|pages=pp.21,430]
* System testing tests a completely integrated system to verify that it meets its requirements.cite book|author=IEEE|title=IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries|publisher=IEEE|location=New York|date=1990|isbn= 1559370793|]
* System integration testing verifies that a system is integrated to any external or third party systems defined in the system requirements.Fact|date=January 2008

Before shipping the final version of software, "alpha" and "beta" testing are often done additionally:
* "Alpha testing" is simulated or actual operational testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers' site. Alpha testing is often employed for off-the-shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing, before the software goes to beta testing.Fact|date=March 2008
* "Beta testing" comes after alpha testing. Versions of the software, known as beta versions, are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team. The software is released to groups of people so that further testing can ensure the product has few faults or bugs. Sometimes, beta versions are made available to the open public to increase the feedback field to a maximal number of future users.Fact|date=March 2008

Finally, acceptance testing can be conducted by the end-user, customer, or client to validate whether or not to accept the product. Acceptance testing may be performed as part of the hand-off process between any two phases of development. Fact|date=January 2008

Regression testing

After modifying software, either for a change in functionality or to fix defects, a regression test re-runs previously passing tests on the modified software to ensure that the modifications haven't unintentionally caused a "regression" of previous functionality. Regression testing can be performed at any or all of the above test levels. These regression tests are often automated.

More specific forms of regression testing are known as sanity testing, when quickly checking for bizarre behavior, and smoke testing when testing for basic functionality.

Benchmarks may be employed during regression testing to ensure that the performance of the newly modified software will be at least as acceptable as the earlier version or, in the case of code optimization, that some real improvement has been achieved.

Finding faults

Finding faults early

It is commonly believed that the earlier a defect is found the cheaper it is to fix it. [cite book | last = Kaner | first = Cem | authorlink = Cem_Kaner | coauthors = James Bach, Bret Pettichord | title=Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach | publisher= Wiley |year=2001 | isbn = 0-471-08112-4 | page=4 ] The following table shows the cost of fixing the defect depending on the stage it was found. [cite book
last = McConnell
first = Steve
title = Code Complete
edition = 2nd edition
publisher = Microsoft Press |date=2004
pages = 960
isbn = 0-7356-1967-0
] For example, if a problem in the requirements is found only post-release, then it would cost 10–100 times more to fix than if it had already been found by the requirements review.


Testing Tools

Program testing and fault detection can be aided significantly by testing tools and debuggers.Types of testing/debug tools include features such as:
* Program monitors, permitting full or partial monitoring of program code including:
** Instruction Set Simulator, permitting complete instruction level monitoring and trace facilities
** Program animation, permitting step-by-step execution and conditional breakpoint at source level or in machine code
** code coverage reports
* Formatted dump or Symbolic debugging, tools allowing inspection of program variables on error or at chosen points
* Benchmarks, allowing run-time performance comparisons to be made
* Performance analysis, or profiling tools that can help to highlight hot spots and resource usage

Some of these features may be incorporated into an Integrated development environment (IDE).

Measuring software testing

Usually, quality is constrained to such topics as correctness, completeness, security,Fact|date=January 2008 but can also include more technical requirements as described under the ISO standard ISO 9126, such as capability, reliability, efficiency, portability, maintainability, compatibility, and usability.

There are a number of common software measures, often called "metrics", which are used to measure the state of the software or the adequacy of the testing.

Testing artifacts

Software testing process can produce several artifacts.

;Test case : A test case in software engineering normally consists of a unique identifier, requirement references from a design specification, preconditions, events, a series of steps (also known as actions) to follow, input, output, expected result, and actual result. Clinically defined a test case is an input and an expected result. [cite book|author=IEEE|title=IEEE standard for software test documentation|publisher=IEEE|location=New York|date=1998|isbn= 0-7381-1443-X] This can be as pragmatic as 'for condition x your derived result is y', whereas other test cases described in more detail the input scenario and what results might be expected. It can occasionally be a series of steps (but often steps are contained in a separate test procedure that can be exercised against multiple test cases, as a matter of economy) but with one expected result or expected outcome. The optional fields are a test case ID, test step or order of execution number, related requirement(s), depth, test category, author, and check boxes for whether the test is automatable and has been automated. Larger test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions. A test case should also contain a place for the actual result. These steps can be stored in a word processor document, spreadsheet, database, or other common repository. In a database system, you may also be able to see past test results and who generated the results and the system configuration used to generate those results. These past results would usually be stored in a separate table.

;Test script : The test script is the combination of a test case, test procedure, and test data. Initially the term was derived from the product of work created by automated regression test tools. Today, test scripts can be manual, automated, or a combination of both.

;Test suite : The most common term for a collection of test cases is a test suite. The test suite often also contains more detailed instructions or goals for each collection of test cases. It definitely contains a section where the tester identifies the system configuration used during testing. A group of test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions of the following tests.

;Test plan : A test specification is called a test plan. The developers are well aware what test plans will be executed and this information is made available to the developers. This makes the developers more cautious when developing their code. This ensures that the developers code is not passed through any surprise test case or test plans.

;Test harness : The software, tools, samples of data input and output, and configurations are all referred to collectively as a test harness.

A sample testing cycle

Although variations exist between organizations, there is a typical cycle for testing [citation
contribution=Software Testing (18-849b Dependable Embedded Systems)
title=Topics in Dependable Embedded Systems
last= Pan
date=Spring 1999
publisher=Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon University
] :
* Requirements analysis: Testing should begin in the requirements phase of the software development life cycle. During the design phase, testers work with developers in determining what aspects of a design are testable and with what parameters those tests work.
* Test planning: Test strategy, test plan, testbed creation. A lot of activities will be carried out during testing, so that a plan is needed.
* Test development: Test procedures, test scenarios, test cases, test scripts to use in testing software.
* Test execution: Testers execute the software based on the plans and tests and report any errors found to the development team.
* Test reporting: Once testing is completed, testers generate metrics and make final reports on their test effort and whether or not the software tested is ready for release.
* Test result analysis: Or Defect Analysis, is done by the development team usually along with the client, in order to decide what defects should be treated, fixed, rejected (i.e. found software working properly) or deferred to be dealt with at a later time.
* Retesting the resolved defects. Once a defect has been dealt with by the development team, it is retested by the testing team.
* Regression testing: It is common to have a small test program built of a subset of tests, for each integration of new, modified or fixed software, in order to ensure that the latest delivery has not ruined anything, and that the software product as a whole is still working correctly.
* Test Closure:Once the test meets the exit criteria, the activities such as capturing the key outputs, lessons learned, results, logs, documents related to the project are archived and used as a reference for future projects.


Several certification programs exist to support the professional aspirations of software testers and quality assurance specialists. No certification currently offered actually requires the applicant to demonstrate the ability to test software. No certification is based on a widely accepted body of knowledge. This has led some to declare that the testing field is not ready for certification. [cite web|first=Cem|last=Kaner|year=2001|url=|format=pdf|title=NSF grant proposal to "lay a foundation for significant improvements in the quality of academic and commercial courses in software testing"] Certification itself cannot measure an individual's productivity, their skill, or practical knowledge, and cannot guarantee their competence, or professionalism as a tester. [cite web|url=|format=pdf|first=Cem|last=Kaner|title=Measuring the Effectiveness of Software Testers|year=2003]

;Software testing certification types:Certifications can be grouped into: exam-based and education-based. :* Exam-based certifications: For these there is the need to pass an exam, which can also be learned by self-study: e.g. for ISTQB or QAI. :* Education-based certifications: Education based software testing certifications are instructor-led sessions, where each course has to be passed, e.g. IIST (International Institute for Software Testing).

;Testing certifications :* Certified Software Tester (CSTE) offered by the "Quality Assurance Institute" (QAI) [ [ Quality Assurance Institute] ] :* Certified Software Test Professional (CSTP) offered by the "International Institute for Software Testing" [ [ International Institute for Software Testing] ] :* CSTP (TM) (Australian Version) offered by "K. J. Ross & Associates" [ [ K. J. Ross & Associates] ] :* CATe offered by the "International Institute for Software Testing" [ [ International Institute for Software Testing] ] :* ISEB offered by the Information Systems Examinations Board:* ISTQB Certified Tester, Foundation Level (CTFL) offered by the International Software Testing Qualification Board cite web |url= |title=ISTQB] cite web |url= |title=ISTQB in the U.S.] :* ISTQB Certified Tester, Advanced Level (CTAL) offered by the International Software Testing Qualification Board :* CBTS offered by the "Brazilian Certification of Software Testing" (ALATS) [ [http://www.ALATS.ORG.BR/ ALATS] ]

;Quality assurance certifications:* CSQE offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) [ [ American Society for Quality] ] :* CSQA offered by the "Quality Assurance Institute" (QAI) [ [ Quality Assurance Institute] ] :* CQIA offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) [ [ American Society for Quality] ]


Some of the major software testing controversies include:

;What constitutes responsible software testing : Members of the "context-driven" school of testing [ [] ] believe that there are no "best practices" of testing, but rather that testing is a set of skills that allow the tester to select or invent testing practices to suit each unique situation. [ [ Article on taking agile traits without the agile method.]

; Agile vs. traditional : Should testers learn to work under conditions of uncertainty and constant change or should they aim at process "maturity"? The agile testing movement has received growing popularity since 2006 mainly in commercial circles [ [ IEEE article about differences in adoption of agile trends between experienced managers vs. young students of the Project Management Institute] . See also [ Agile adoption study from 2007] ] , whereas government and military software providers are slow to embrace this methodology, and mostly still hold to CMMI. [ [ Agile software development practices slowly entering the military] ]

; Exploratory test vs. scripted [ [ IEEE article on Exploratory vs. Non Exploratory testing] ] : Should tests be designed at the same time as they are executed or should they be designed beforehand?

; Manual testing vs. automated : Some writers believe that test automation is so expensive relative to its value that it should be used sparingly. [An example is Mark Fewster, Dorothy Graham: "Software Test Automation." Addison Wesley, 1999, ISBN 0-201-33140-3. See also [,294698,sid92_gci1297737,00.html Studies on automatic vs. manual testing] ] Others, such as advocates of agile development, recommend automating 100% of all tests. More in particular, test-driven development states that developers should write unit-tests of the x-unit type before coding the functionality. The tests then can be considered as a way to capture and implement the requirements.

; Software design vs. software implementation [ [ Article referring to other links questioning the necessity of unit testing] ] : Should testing be carried out only at the end or throughout the whole process?

;Who watches the watchmen? : The idea is that any form of observation is also an interaction, that the act of testing can also affect that which is being tested [ [ Microsoft Development Network Discussion on exactly this topic] ] .

See also

* Dynamic program analysis
* Formal verification
* Reverse Semantic Traceability
* Static code analysis
* GUI software testing
* Web testing


External links

*dmoz|Computers/Programming/Software_Testing/Products_and_Tools|Software testing tools and products
* [ "Software that makes Software better"]

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