Software testing is an essential part of the Software Development Life Cycle that aims to ensure that the system or application is error-free. It is under the premise that the program is working seamlessly with its other components.

QA testing is conducted by different teams and software testing companies to ensure a well-rounded program is launched to the public at par quality. This can be done via an automated testing software accompanied by a manual process. Specific units may be dedicated to such processes but the main goal is to produce a high-level working system according to the business needs.

Categorized into functional and non-functional testing, it both circumspect the entirety of the program. Functional focuses on the business requirements while non-functional involves all other aspects including system-related concerns.

Unit testing

Unit testing is usually performed by developer before they pass it for integration testing. After he’s done with the actual programming, he tests it in his own PC, his own environment to check for any errors he may find internally.

Integration testing

Integration testing is covered by another team, usually a Quality assurance analyst, to further check the same program is working fine in his environment. After each unit is tested, it is combined together with other units to form a module and then tested for errors.

System testing

System testing focuses on the application’s compatibility as a whole. The integrated system is tested by a dedicated unit in the IT team before the product is deployed to the User Acceptance Testing environment. It deals with network and admin-related issues, like operating system compatibility. It can check where the system can run given a set of minimum requirements.

User Acceptance testing

User Acceptance testing is conducted by the actual users, or their representatives. This is the final round of functional testing by end users to signal for a go or no-go signal for production. In this phase, users can opt for several cycles to get down to the most detailed aspects of the requirements.

Performance testing

Performance testing is a non-functional testing that checks if the system can handle a large volume of data. It will undergo stress testing to fully capture the load it can take for enormous information that can pass through the application. Testers can check on the database capacity, its ability to retrieve data with the lease amount of buffering. They can also monitor the latency of the system and its speed in responding to requests submitted simultaneously. Worst case scenario, these ‘crash testers’ will push for loads of data, valid or invalid, to be entered into the system to determine how the program will respond to these bursts of data.

Security testing

Security testing will monitor the stability of the system from cyber breach. With cloud-based technology in the upraise, it helps certify that information and personal data is protected at all costs. Usually, a third party vendor is hired for this task, especially if the program is web-based. Security testing also involves several cycles in itself as it is scanned by security software and then certified by a governing body, at some point.

Usability testing

Usability testing is concerned with the aesthetics of the application from and end-to-end user perspective. It includes user-friendliness, if the screens are easy to navigate even by a new user or if the labels, buttons or textboxes are clear and concise enough to give a descriptive meaning. It tests if the system process flow is easy enough to understand and follow without too much analysis from the user. It should be streamlined to enable a total user experience.

Computers and technology have long been so revolutionized yet there are still a lot of room for improvement. It is with continued and sound testing that we hope to achieve a seamless and stable user experience with the aid of different software testing methodologies. It is recommended that a system undergoes these varied testing processes to provide least amount of downtime for a software already in production. Companies nowadays invest in their testing resources to be able to cater to high-availability production system. A lot of thought process – automation and manual – is adapted by these firms so that a viable, bug-free program is made to meet the business needs.

A quality-tested system means more time for the system to run, more uptime for the service to cater to its customers. Bottomline, it helps increase revenue and avoid operational losses down the road.