Software Testing has been a consistent brace for applications and software ever since the first software was developed, what seems like eons ago. The primary objective of removing bugs and defects before the product is shipped out has remained the same too – albeit with a few additions. The point is, ever since there was a product to sell and market, quality assurance – being the ingenious scheme that it is – followed. Perhaps to add to overhead costs, or perhaps to actually ensure the product works as intended. Guess we’ll never know.
What we do know is that software testing and quality assurance today are the mainstays for any development lifecycle. And for good reason too. The sheer volume of bugs that need to be weeded out is immense. For instance, the average developer creates 70 bugs per every 1000 lines of code, of which 15 find their way to customers. Not to mention that bugs typically take 30 times longer to fix than writing a line of code and the scope of the task unravels into one that could rival superclusters. Thankfully, modern technology is at hand and the code we need to ensure has no defects can be checked and rechecked with testing tools. But software testing tools can often give off the impression of being an umbrella term – one that encompasses multiple applications required in testing. Some might even use it synonymously for automation testing tools.
But what exactly are they? How many are employed by a software testing business at any given point? Let’s get right down to it.
The Types of Testing Software
Based on what you choose to accomplish, testing tools can vary a great deal. Today, testing software can handle everything from preliminary planning, requirements generation, and build creation, all the way up to test execution, defect logging, and test analysis. Depending on the scope of your operations, you might want a careful selection of them or the entire lot.
The different types of testing software are:
- Test Management Tools: Test case management tools are used to save information on how testing is to be done, plan and schedule testing activities, and then report the status of these activities. Notable examples include Zephyr Scale, PractiTest, and Kualitee.
- Bug Tracking Tools: A bug/defect tracking tool is a software testing tool that keeps track of reported software bugs in software development projects. These may also be called issue tracking tools.
- Automation Testing Tool: This tool is primarily used to improve the productivity of the product and improve the accuracy of tests. It can also be used to reduce the time and cost of the application by writing test scripts in any programming language.
- Performance Testing Tool: Performance or Load testing tools are used to check the load, stability, and scalability of the application.
- Cross-Browser Testing Tool: This tool is used when comparing a web application in the various web browser platforms. With this, you can ensure the consistent behavior of an application on multiple devices, browsers, and platforms.
- Integration Testing Tool: This tool is used to test the interface between modules and find any critical bugs.
- Unit testing tool: This tool is used to help programmers improve their code quality.
- Mobile/Android Testing Tool: This tool is used when testing any mobile application. They may be open-sourced or licensed.
- GUI Testing Tool: GUI testing tool is used to test the User interface of an application.
- Security Testing Tool: This tool is used to ensure the security of the software and check for any security leakages.
The Future of Software Testing Tools
Despite the plethora of testing tools available to us today, it’s no secret that like every other area of software and tech, these undergo constant changes and modifications too. Take automation testing tools for instance. You only need to go as far back as a decade to realize that these tools simply didn’t exist in mainstream testing circles and only came to prominence (and widespread adoption) because of the sheer number of advantages they bring. The biggest being moving testers away from the painstakingly arduous task of manual testing.
Today, automation testing tools accomplish a lot and make software testing less of a daunting job than it once was. But there’s always room for streamlining. Better integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with wider data sets will improve the accuracy exponentially for starters. Complete implementation with Agile and cloud-based alternatives could benefit smaller businesses too. And codeless automation might just be worth holding out for.
Presently, cross-browser testing and mobile/Android testing have separate platforms which could also amalgamate into automation testing tools themselves. Similarly, test case management tools could be on their way to absorb the functionalities presented by the bug/defect/issue tracking tools – providing a single outlet for multiple jobs. These tools, in particular, could become sophisticated enough to leverage a lot more features than they presently can. And the same applies to every testing tool mentioned earlier.
Cybersecurity testing could also become much more advanced as the need for better and more reliable tools emerge. With malicious hacking attempts rising each year, coupled with the ushering in of blockchain currencies and the digitalization of financial companies, the need for better-equipped security testing tools is going to skyrocket in the coming years.
Evolution in the software will continue exponentially that might make current testing practices of today, entirely obsolete.
Does This Spell Trouble for Manual Testing?
Before we get out tinfoil hats and start claiming the end of manual testing, it’s imperative to keep expectations in check in terms of testing tools and their future. Oftentimes, talk of better automation tools inevitably leads to ideas surrounding its replacement as an alternative for manual testing, but the reality is entirely different.
What’s important is to understand that automation or artificial intelligence can perhaps never replace manual testing. In fact, automation has already failed to do so. This is due to the fact that manual testing is deployed when you are trying to recreate the steps to detect a bug or error. A second reason for this is that automation testing just doesn’t work well with progression or exploratory testing. And since AI’s reliance on learning through repetition and large data sets is always going to remain, it is next to useless for one-off testing. So, apologies for bursting any preconceived bubbles, but manual testing is here to stay. You can read more on when to deploy manual and automated testing here.
Despite what people may think, manual testing is here to stay. And to accompany it, automation testing tools, test case management tools, and the rest in the list are going to stand the test of time favorably. As software development becomes an increasingly complex endeavor, these testing tools will evolve to handle all scenarios in the best way for that time.