Home » Technology » Software Testing – Types

Software Testing – Types

There are many (a lot!) different types of software testing.  I won’t go into any of them in detail, but just wanted to familiarize myself with some of the terms and the basics.

  1. Installation testing – this ensures that the system is installed correctly and working properly at the user’s hardware location.
  2. Compatibility testing – this checks for correct operation between application software when systems or environments are upgraded from the original, possibly causing other pieces to not work correctly.
  3. Smoke testing – this is a minimal attempt to operate the software and is used to determine if there are any basic problems.
  4. Sanity testing – this determines if it is reasonable to go ahead with further (more in-depth) testing.
  5. Regression testing – this focuses on finding defects after a major code change has happened.
  6. Acceptance testing – this may be performed by the customer and is part of the hand-off process between phases of development.
  7. Alpha testing – this is a simulated or actual operational test by potential users
  8. Beta testing – this comes after alpha testing and may be a form of external user acceptance testing.
  9. Functional vs. non-functional testing – this is an activity to verify a specific action or function of the code (does this particular feature work?).
  10. Destructive testing – this attempts to force the software to fail and verifies that the software functions properly even when receiving unexpected inputs.
  11. Performance testing – this is used to determine how a system performs under specific workloads (responsiveness, large quantities of data, large number of users, etc), and there’s a whole set of sub-tests (load, volume, stress, stability – and sometimes these terms are used interchangeably).
  12. Usability testing – this looks at the user interface to see if it is easy to use and understand.
  13. Accessibility testing – this relates to standards associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
  14. Security testing – checking for security!
  15. Internationalization and localization – this looks at translating software into different languages, keyboards, fonts, bi-directional text, and date/time formats.
  16. Development testing – this supports QA testing and is executed to eliminate construction errors prior to code going to QA.
  17. A/B testing – this is a comparison of two outputs, usually when only one variable has changed, typically used in small-scale situations.
  18. Concurrent testing – this focuses on the performance when running continuously with normal inputs.
  19. Conformance testing – this verifies that a product performs according to its standards.

Whew – what a list!  I really didn’t realize all of the different types of testing.  I think I intuitively have done some of these things before, but didn’t know that it had a specific name.


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