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General Principles of Testing

April 25, 2011

Here are some principles of software testing and i have tried to explain in brief about these

Testing can find  defects but cant guarantee no defects

Testing can show that defects are present, but cannot prove that there are no defects. Testing reduces the probability of undiscovered defects remaining in the software but, even if no defects are found, it is not a proof of correctness.

Clear understanding of product

Every product undergoing test should be understood clearly like what the product is, what purpose is it developed  for , dependencies, risk level etc so that  a best test case could be written for it so that testing can be conducted in best possible way.

 Define expected results and obtained results

Every test case prepared should have expected result and obtained result so that it is always easy to find the difference between them if exists and can find what is wrong with the  function.

Exhaustive testing is impossible
Testing everything (all combinations of inputs and preconditions) is not feasible except for trivial cases. Instead of exhaustive testing, risk analysis and priorities should be used to focus testing efforts.

Early testing
To find defects early, testing activities shall be started as early as possible in the software or system development life cycle, and shall be focused on defined objectives.

Pesticide paradox
If the same tests are repeated over and over again, eventually the same set of test cases will no longer find any new defects. To overcome this “pesticide paradox”, test cases need to be regularly reviewed and revised, and new and different tests need to be written to exercise different parts of the software or system to find potentially more defects.

Testing is context dependent
Testing is done differently in different contexts. For example, safety-critical software is tested differently from an e-commerce site.

Absence-of-errors fallacy
Finding and fixing defects does not help if the system built is unusable and does not fulfill the users’ needs and expectations.

Don’t Test your own product

If you have developed a software product, then it is highly suggested to let others to test it  for better testing results

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