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No software developer wants to launch a product that isn't ready.
Launching a problematic, unreliable product is frustrating for users and can affect the reputation of software developers, especially in a world of instant reviews.
Most software developers test their products effectively but if you haven’t considered it already, could exhaustive testing give your product more of an edge in this competitive market?
I. What is Exhaustive Testing?
Exhaustive testing is sometimes known as ‘complete testing’ and aims to reduce the chance of undiscovered faults in a software package. A team of software ‘testers’ will test as many possible input combinations and conditions, looking for bugs and glitches.
It is a time-consuming technique that looks at most eventualities in search of problematic scenarios such as the application crashing or any other functional issues that may arise.
Even with exhaustive testing, it’s not possible to test every single scenario but the testing is thorough enough that any remaining bugs will be minor and uncommon, providing the cleanest version of the product possible.
During the process of exhaustive testing, it’s vital that testing teams share up-to-the-minute findings. It may be beneficial to use a workplace communication tool that enables screen sharing and video conferencing so the team can access plans and share real-time data and findings.
II. Exhaustive testing Vs Effective testing
Effective testing (as the name suggests) tests the overall effectiveness of a software product. It tests particular functions and isn't too demanding on the testing teams’ time. The testing team will test specific, key functions of the software to ensure it is functional and meets the requirements of the development team.
Exhausting testing is a more in-depth technique that considers more conditions and eventualities. The field of testing is expanded and the team test more scenarios, going beyond the main function of the software.
Because of the time-consuming nature of exhaustive testing, it is usually better suited to smaller software projects rather than larger ones.
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III. What are the key benefits of Exhaustive Testing?
Exhaustive testing in software development has several benefits when done well. Making sure testing is thorough and well-managed will ensure the best possible version of the product. Test management software can help the testing team to organize the process to make sure the process has the following advantages.
1. A bug-free product
The final version of the software will be as free from bugs and glitches as possible. This can save time and money in the future as it reduces the need for patches and updates.
2. A quality product
The end product should be efficient, robust, sturdy, and reliable and will cope in extreme situations. Launching high-quality products helps to build a strong reputation for the brand.
3. High customer satisfaction
If an application is well-tested, then it should mean a good-quality product will be launched.
Happy customers are more likely to recommend a software product that runs smoothly and this in turn will help you build a brand with strong customer confidence.
Whilst much of exhaustive testing is manual, some aspects of the testing can be automated, such as repetitive tests on data input conditions. This improves efficiency and makes exhaustive testing more practical. Some automated testing tools can also be used for other functions such as web scraping.
IV. What are the problems with Exhaustive Testing?
It’s actually unfeasible to test every eventuality but testers try their best to cover as many scenarios as possible.
Unlike tasks such as Python web scraping, exhaustive testing is not a wholly automated process, meaning there’s a large cost involved in employing a testing team to complete the complex process. Because it’s such a repetitive and laborious process, the testing team can become fatigued.
Another problem is exhaustive testing finds the presence of faults but not the absence of faults so no matter how many problems are discovered, it doesn't mean the software is completely bug-free.
It’s time-consuming and therefore not a cost-effective strategy.
V. How to implement Exhaustive testing
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When attempting exhaustive testing, there are a few strategies that can help a team to achieve as close a result as possible to complete testing.
Planning the testing strategy as a team before the testing begins can help to ensure the testing runs as efficiently as possible.
Using one of the best whiteboard apps can help you brainstorm and plan your project and the "sharing" facility means everyone in the team can have access.
- Focus testing. Define the goals of the testing in advance so that specific, crucial scenarios can be prioritized. Some elements of a focussed test may be tested with automation. Functional testing software can help the team with this phase.
- Chance of failure. This parameter decides which areas of the software are most likely to fail. Testers can then prioritize these areas for testing.
- Regression testing. When a bug is corrected, it’s important to test any other areas of the software that may be linked to that function. For example on a shoe website, the drop-down menu to select size will be a well-used function but when the correct size is selected, it’s important to check this correctly transfers to the checkout screen.
- Recovery rate. Note the recovery rate after a system error or failure. Prioritize testing of the functions with a lower recovery rate.
- Review and update test cases. Because the same test cases cannot be used for every scenario, the team will need to continuously come up with new test cases to ensure they look at as many eventualities as possible.
- AdHoc testing. This is randomized, unstructured testing, usually carried out at the end of the formal testing process.
It’s important that test scenarios represent the real world and are tracked effectively by the team. Using development team collaboration software can help manage the testing phase efficiently.
VI. The means of Exhaustive Testing for Software Developers
It’s important to remember that exhaustive testing doesn’t mean you’ll find all the problems in your software program. It’s better to think of it as an aim or goal to get as close as possible to, that will ensure that the main functionality of the software works as it should.
Experience in testing software also plays a key role in testing as each product will require a different approach using the strategies above as a benchmark. Software testers who know what they’re doing will need to adapt and make judgments on the best strategy to move forward.
Exhaustive testing gives developers a software product their customers will love.
Need more help? Check out the Zentao blog. They have more articles on project management, software management, building cross-functional teams, and so much more.
Author bio :
Jenna Bunnell - Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, a cross-team collaboration and AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has also written for other domains such as Codemotion and Freelance Writing Gigs. Check out her LinkedIn profile.