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Top 13 Types of Testing in Software Engineering You Need to Know About

Types of testing -ACCELQ
Posted On: 29 April 2023

Software testing is a fundamental pillar of modern technology development initiatives. Did you know that there are over various types of testing categories available today for enterprises to take note of?

In simple terms, software testing can be defined as any activity that validates the functioning of an application or its component and confirms that it meets its desired purpose of creation. Of course, this is a very broad perspective of understanding. The different types of software testing options followed by enterprises worldwide today can cause quite a lot of confusion for developers and QA professionals.

Hence, we will attempt to simplify this challenge by exploring the most prominent types of testing for software applications today.

What is software testing?

We have already given a vague definition of software testing earlier. To sum up, software testing is a critical part of the software development lifecycle. It involves a range of activities that work to guarantee the successful functioning of software when deployed for a real-time use case.

In the early days, software developers in-house would manually test the code they created. This was time-consuming and also ineffective. Seldom did developers capture defects before the software made it into production.

Over time, a specialized department came into existence to enforce strict quality standards for software development, and eventually, software testing became a key pillar for every successful application development initiative.

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When to use Manual vs Automated Testing?

Manual testing involves setting up the testing environment and executing tests by hand, which can be costly and lead to human errors. Testers manually test the software by physically interacting with it or using a manual testing tool.

Automated testing, on the other hand, is performed by using a test automation tool that runs a written script. However, the quality of your automated testing depends on how well your test scripts have been developed. Automated testing is considerably more reliable and accurate than manual testing.

However, we must understand that manual testing and test automation are interdependent. Automation allows manual testers to focus on critical and creative tasks, rather than on repetitive and mundane tasks.

Principles of Software Testing

Software testing is an essential process in ensuring the quality and reliability of software applications. Understanding the principles that govern effective software testing can greatly enhance the testing process. This blog section provides a brief overview of the key principles of software testing.

1. Exhaustive Testing is Not Possible:

  • Explaining the concept that testing every possible combination and scenario is impractical and often impossible.
  • Emphasizing the need to prioritize and focus testing efforts on critical areas and high-risk functionalities.

2. Testing Shows the Presence of Defects:

  • Highlighting that the purpose of testing is not to prove the absence of defects but to reveal their presence.
  • Recognizing that finding and fixing defects improves the overall quality of the software.

3. Early Testing:

  • Advocating for testing activities to begin as early as possible in the software development lifecycle.
  • Emphasizing the benefits of early detection and resolution of defects, reducing the cost and effort of fixing them later.

4. Testing is Context-Dependent:

  • Acknowledging that testing approaches and techniques should be tailored to the specific context, project requirements, and constraints.
  • Recognizing that different software systems and industries may have unique testing needs and considerations.

5. Defect Clustering:

  • Explaining the observation that a small number of modules or functionalities tend to contain a majority of the defects.
  • Encouraging focused testing on these areas to maximize defect identification and resolution.

6. Pesticide Paradox:

  • Describing the phenomenon where repeatedly executing the same tests may lead to diminishing returns in defect detection.
  • Encouraging regular review and update of test cases to ensure their effectiveness.

7. Testing is Risk-Driven:

  • Stressing the importance of identifying and prioritizing testing activities based on risk assessment.
  • Prioritizing testing efforts on critical functionalities, areas prone to defects, or where failures could have severe consequences.

What are the top 13 different types of testing in software engineering?

Types of testing-ACCELQ

While basic software testing activities initially handled the quality requirements for enterprises, several types of testing activities became a mainstream component of software engineering activities over time.

So now, let us explore the top 13 different types of testing in software engineering that every enterprise must take note of while building applications for today’s digital-savvy market conditions:

1. Unit Testing

Unit testing is one of the most important types of testing that assures the quality of individual snippets of code or functional units. It validates the proper working of modular software units on their own. This indicates the application’s resilience and adaptation to change as different components or units work together over time to form a complete application.

2. Integration Testing

Integration testing is the process of examining how different modules or units work when integrated together. It supports the more extensive needs of the entire software suite. Integration testing checks for the workability of an integrated system. It also leverages real-life operational scenarios to ensure that different modules work together without friction.

3. System Testing

System testing is an overarching derivative of integration testing. It verifies whether the entire system, composed of modules or units, works together. It also checks if the modules or units are working together as intended.

4. Compatibility Testing

A compatibility testing strategy is one of the most significant contributors to application quality. It most importantly evaluates the performance of the software in different environments.

Some of the key examples of environments include different screen sizes and OS configurations of mobile phones, different browsers on computers and also mobile devices, cloud, and on-premises hosting compatibilities, etc.

5. Regression Testing

When a feature or change releases, regression testing ensures it doesn’t impact the application’s normal functioning. In short, it checks whether the change affects the software application or any of its modular components. In most modern development scenarios, regression testing is automated with the help of a variety of software testing tools. With this process, there is no need for manual testing.

6. Sanity Testing

QA testing is not an easy task. Testing cycles consume time and effort, similar to development efforts when the application is relatively large. Sanity testing creates a layer of a surety that announces whether a particular application is ready for a large testing effort. It checks whether a new software or any version of it or components is working sufficiently well to be considered for major testing activity.

This can help eliminate long testing cycles as developers get insights from sanity testing to improve the application’s performance before passing it onto a major testing cycle.

7. Smoke Testing

The next in the types of software testing series is the Smoke testing. Smoke testing is leveraged for software projects that run on a continuous delivery model. When a new build is ready from the development stage, smoke testing tests the build’s stability and eliminates the chances of any major defect sneaking away into production. The development team is informed about the same to make corrections.

8. Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing is a key testing strategy that determines if end users will accept your software. In short, acceptance testing validates a software by checking its usability as how an end-user would use it.

9. End-to-End Testing

End-to-End testing ensures a steady and streamlined progression of an application’s workflow in every operational scenario. From the beginning of the application or any of its functions, end-to-end type tests observe how the application progresses and whether it takes a right navigational journey to complete an assigned purpose of each functionality or the software as a whole.

10. Functional Testing

Functional testing validates whether the software performs as intended in terms of functionality.

11. Security Testing

It ensures that there is a layer of protection that guards against any possible security threats. Moreover, it also helps identify any vulnerabilities before the application goes live in production.

12. Load Testing

Load testing checks for the behavior of an application when multiple end-users simultaneously use it

13. Performance testing

It checks for the scalability, operational speed, resource utilization, and also stability of an application for specific workloads.

How can enterprises leverage maximum benefits from all types of testing?

Enterprises get overwhelmed choosing the best from the pool of different types of testing and approaches. This is where our experts can help create a difference. Get in touch with to explore how your software development ambitions can be assured of the highest level of quality through best practice adoption in different types of testing and automation via state-of-the-art test automation platforms.


Geosley Andrades

Director, Product Evangelist at ACCELQ.

Geosley is a Test Automation Evangelist and Community builder at ACCELQ. Being passionate about continuous learning, Geosley helps ACCELQ with innovative solutions to transform test automation to be simpler, more reliable, and sustainable for the real world.

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