5 Types of Software Testing You Need to Know

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What is software testing?

Software testing is the process of checking whether a product or system works effectively and without fault. 

For example, if a company is developing a ticketing app, they will want to ensure that a user can search for their ticket, fill in their details, and purchase a ticket seamlessly. If a user can't complete this process without encountering bugs, they might go elsewhere. Software testing is, therefore, crucial to your business. By testing effectively, you can discover bugs before your customers do. 

This guide will take you through 5 commonly used types of software testing, explaining what they are, their benefits, and what potential drawbacks may be. Let's dive straight in.

1. Localisation Testing

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What is localisation testing?

Localisation testing ensures that your product works as expected in global markets. When an application is customised or presented in a different language, localisation testing guarantees that this is accurate. 

It predominantly tests in three areas: linguistic, cosmetic and functional. Localisation testing answers these three main questions:

  1. Does the translation negatively affect a brand or messaging? 
  2. Do the customisation changes create any alignment or spacing problems for the user interface? 
  3. Is functionality affected by regional preferences?

You can find out more about the potential challenges presented by localisation here.

What are the benefits of localisation testing?

  • Localisation testing allows you to expand to new, global markets with confidence.
  • By using real-world testers in local markets, you can recieve vital local insights.
  • This technique ensures your application works across global networks.
  • Localisation also ensures that language in your app is relevant to the users in their specific local market.
  • You can avoid costly errors that could harm brand identity, or act as a bottleneck to global expansion.

What are the potential drawbacks?

  • Localisation testing is not a simple translation exercise. It requires expert knowledge of the local culture, linguistics, and preferences. 
  • Depending on the location and local time differences, coordinating localisation testing can be challenging and time-consuming.

2. Regression Testing

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What is regression testing?

Regression testing is a method of verification. It is used to confirm that an update, bug fix or code change has not negatively affected existing features. Regression testing involves re-executing test cases to ensure functionality works correctly, and there are no new bugs. By nature, regression testing requires constant repetition because it has to keep up with your product updates. Ideally, you should regression test after every single code commit. This ensures the need only to go back one commit to fix a problem, but this is not always practical. 

You can find out more about regression testing here.

What are the benefits of regression testing?

  • Regression testing improves and maintains product quality.
  • It is possible to automate regression testing, which can be useful when you simply want to re-execute a test you have run before.
  • Regression testing will allow you to detect any side effects of updates or code changes before your users do!

What are the potential drawbacks?

  • Manual regression testing is time-consuming. You should use automated regression testing wherever possible, to save time.
  • Setting up automated regression tests can sometimes be expensive.

3. Automated Testing

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What is automated testing?

Automated testing is a process in which an automation tool is used to execute pre-scripted test cases. This technique enables you to run thousands of test cases at once, increasing the speed of test cycles. If you want to test a specific outcome, you can do so quickly and efficiently with automated testing.

Repetitive tasks such as testing login processes or registration forms are good examples of when to use automated testing. This method is not about exploring an app, but about ensuring it delivers expected results time and time again.

Find out how to implement test automation for the first time here.

What are the benefits of automated testing

  • Repetitive tasks are inefficient when done manually. Running test cases like this is quicker with automated testing.
  • Automated testing can increase productivity and reduce testing time for the majority of apps and websites.
  • Even though set up costs are high, automated testing can save you money in the long-term.
  • Automated testing can eradicate the chance of human error, depending on the quality and scope of the test cases.

What are the potential drawbacks?

  • There are specific test situations where automated testing won't work, such as user interface, documentation, installation, compatibility, and recovery. 
  • Even if you choose to automate, some form of manual testing will be needed. Find out why here.
  • Initial set up costs (automation tool purchase, training, maintenance of test scripts) can be expensive. 

4. Crowdsourced Testing

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What is crowdsourced testing?

Crowdsourced testing uses a crowd of expert testers to conduct manual tests. The testers aim to find bugs, document reproducible steps and provide bug reports. The concept is simple: the collective power of more heads are better than one.

Crowdsourced testing companies, like Global App Testing, offer a community of 20,000 professional testers in 105 countries with access to multiple device, operating system and network combinations. By using these companies, you have access to a crowd of testers across the world. Think of it as a global QA team for a fraction of the price.

What are the benefits of crowdsourced testing?

  • Crowdsourced testing is a cost-effective option when compared to in-house QA.
  • Crowdsourced testing can scale with your company as you grow, due to the number of testers available. 
  • Results can be of higher quality due to the use of vetted testers.
  • The collective power and diversity of the crowd offer a different perspective, which leads to better results.

Find out more about the benefits of crowdsourced testing here

What are the potential drawbacks?

  • If you are performing repetitive tests, like regression testing, it can be more efficient to use automation.

5. Exploratory Testing

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What is exploratory testing?

Exploratory testing gives testers the freedom to test an application in the way they deem fit. Exploratory testers use simultaneous test design and execution to explore an app and discover potential bugs. Proper exploratory testing is a planned activity, but not scripted. To maximise the results of exploratory testing, specific parameters must be given to the testers. For example, outlining which parts of an application to test and what the length of test cycle should be. 

Find out the best practices for exploratory testing here.

What are the benefits of exploratory testing?

  • Preparation doesn't have to be exhaustive, although it is still needed. 
  • Exploratory testing is fluid and can adapt and develop with your product
  • This can help you find unique bugs and verify functionality.
  • Exploratory testing is useful in complex testing situations. For example, when your developers aren’t sure of the type of bugs they may come across.

What are the potential drawbacks?

  • Exploratory testing relies heavily on the skill and mindset of the testers. An excellent exploratory tester requires lateral thinking, critical thinking, investigation skills, storytelling skills, communication and technical skills. This can be a lot to find! That’s why using a company that provides a vetted crowd of testers is useful.

Which software testing method is right for you?

With so many software testing options available, it can be challenging to know which technique is best suited to your business. But the answer is often not as simple as choosing one testing path.

Effective QA strategy uses a blend of testing techniques that change and develop with your product. By using a context-specific approach to testing, and utilising several methods in your testing tool kit, you can ensure that you deliver a high-quality product for your customers, every time.

Speak to us today to find out what software testing method is right for you.

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