Software testing is an essential part of the development process and plays a critical role in ensuring quality and reliability.
One of the most important phases of the development process is the testing phase. After all, what good is an app if it doesn’t function properly or offers a poor user experience? However, testing isn’t as simple as merely ensuring that an application works and looks nice. There are many intricate quality assurance steps to perform before an app can be launched to rule out any current and future issues. This process is referred to as the software testing life cycle, yes it has its own cycle and today we will tell you in detail what it is and why it is so important.
Software testing life cyle (STLC)
A software testing life cycle or so called STLC after his initials, is a process that outlines the steps and requirements needed to test a piece of software. Testing is critical to the process of software development, as it helps to identify and fix any errors or bugs within the code prior to launch.
Today, development companies use a wide variety of technologies and processes to control their software testing lifecycle. There are many different approaches and methodologies available for software testing, depending on your needs and preferences. However, most testing life cycles generally follow the same basic steps:
- Planning and Preparation. This is the first stage of the software testing life cycle and involves creating a test plan. During the planning stage, you'll outline both the goals and the objectives of your test process, as well as any resources or tools that will be required.
- Analysis. Here, testers will analyze the software to identify any potential bugs or areas of improvement. This typically involves looking at code, as well as other aspects of the product such as design specifications & requirements, user documentation and marketing materials.
- Testing. This stage involves executing the test cases and recording any errors or issues that are discovered.
- Reporting. After testing is complete, all of the data collected during the process must be analyzed and reported on.
- Closure. It's important to note that there's no finality to closure; closure is simply what sets the stage for the next iteration of the custom software development process.
Importance of the software testing life cycle.
It is impossible for any software, no matter how meticulously built, to be entirely perfect. Even if there are no detectable bugs, there is always a chance that something minor may have been overlooked, which can end up leading the application to crash or at the very least perform subpar.
During testing, every component of the software is examined individually to ensure all parts are working properly on their own. Then, components are tested in conjunction with others to ensure they are working properly together and, will continue to do so. If any challenges or questions come up, they can be addressed with time before the application is ready for consumer use.
The software testing life cycle (STLC) is important because it helps to ensure the quality and reliability of web applications. By identifying and fixing any bugs or errors in the code, the testing process enables developers to deliver high-quality software that meets users' needs and expectations. Additionally, having a comprehensive testing life cycle in place helps to reduce costs by preventing potential problems from arising later on in the development process.
As we've mentioned before, the STLC process involves several distinct stages, but there are also different methodologies for it, each of them varies in some ways from the others but all have a common purpose: to help teams deliver high-quality software as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Here are six models to consider:
1. Agile. The Agile model first emerged in 2001 and has since become the de facto industry standard. Some businesses value the agile methodology so much that they apply it to other types of projects, including non-tech initiatives.
In the Agile model, fast failure is a good thing. This approach produces ongoing release cycles, each featuring small, incremental changes from the previous release. At each iteration, the product is tested. The Agile model helps teams identify and address small issues on projects before they evolve into more significant problems, and it engages business stakeholders to give feedback throughout the development process.
2. Lean. The Lean process is about working only on what must be worked on at the time, so there’s no room for multitasking. Project teams are also focused on finding opportunities to cut waste at every turn throughout the STLC process, from dropping unnecessary meetings to reducing documentation.
The Agile model is actually a Lean method for the STLC, but with some notable differences. One is how each prioritizes customer satisfaction: Agile makes it the top priority from the outset, creating a flexible process where project teams can respond quickly to stakeholder feedback throughout the STLC. Lean, meanwhile, emphasizes the elimination of waste as a way to create more overall value for customers — which, in turn, helps to enhance satisfaction.
3. Waterfall. Waterfall is considered the oldest of the structured STLC methodologies. It’s also a very straightforward approach: finish one phase, then move on to the next. No going back. Each stage relies on information from the previous stage and has its own project plan.
The downside of Waterfall is its rigidity. Sure, it’s easy to understand and simple to manage. But early delays can throw off the entire project timeline. With little room for revisions once a stage is completed, problems can’t be fixed until you get to the maintenance stage. This model doesn’t work well if flexibility is needed or if the project is long-term and ongoing.
4. Iterative. Instead of starting with fully known requirements, project teams implement a set of software requirements, then test, evaluate and pinpoint further requirements. A new version of the software is produced with each phase, or iteration. Rinse and repeat until the complete system is ready.
5. Spiral. One of the most flexible STLC methodologies, Spiral takes a cue from the Iterative model and its repetition. The project passes through four phases (planning, risk analysis, engineering and evaluation) over and over in a figurative spiral until completed, allowing for multiple rounds of refinement.
6. DevOps. The DevOps methodology is a relative newcomer to the STLC scene. It emerged from two trends: the application of Agile and Lean practices to operations work, and the general shift in business toward seeing the value of collaboration between development and operations staff at all stages of the STLC process.
In a DevOps model, Developers and Operations teams work together closely — and sometimes as one team — to accelerate innovation and the deployment of higher-quality and more reliable software products and functionalities. Updates to products are small but frequent. Discipline, continuous feedback and process improvement, and automation of manual development processes are all hallmarks of the DevOps model.
The software testing life cycle will help you detect issues with your product early on in the development process, helping to prevent potentially larger issues later on and saving you the cost of having to go back and correct errors post-launch. That being said, each phase of the STLC is complex and requires different skill sets in order to ensure your application is running smoothly and is free of errors. An experienced software developer can assist you with this critical aspect of the development process.
Our team of engineers is ready to take on your app. Contact e-saurio today to discuss your product and learn more about how we can help develop and assist you in launching a successful application.