Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include, but are not limited to, the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects).
Software testing can be stated as the process of validating and verifying that a computer program/application/product:
- meets the requirements that guided its design and development,
- works as expected,
- can be implemented with the same characteristics,
- and satisfies the needs of stakeholders.
Software testing, depending on the testing method employed, can be implemented at any time in the development process. Traditionally most of the test effort occurs after the requirements have been defined and the coding process has been completed, but in the Agile approaches most of the test effort is on-going. As such, the methodology of the test is governed by the chosen software development methodology.
Different software development models will focus the test effort at different points in the development process. Newer development models, such as Agile, often employ test-driven development and place an increased portion of the testing in the hands of the developer, before it reaches a formal team of testers. In a more traditional model, most of the test execution occurs after the requirements have been defined and the coding process has been completed.
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