Test Data, Testing and Test Plans
Why Bother Testing?
An implemented system needs to be tested – it is essential. It is done to ensure that the system can be as free from errors as possible. End users will trust a system a lot more if it has been tested properly. Testing is about ensuring that the system will be reliable.
How Should Testing Be Done?
The whole point of testing is to find the faults in the system so that you can fix them. It is really important to do this as the more you do it, the more reliable and dependable your system will be.
Testing needs to ensure that:
- The system will meet the design specifications that were created during the design stage of the systems life cycle
- The system actually works
- The system gives the right results
- The end users will gain confidence in the system by being thorough
- Legal and contractual factors that may impact the system are considered
The amount of testing that will need to be done on a system will depend on the risks that are involved. For example, a system that is safety critical would need more thorough testing than a system that wouldn’t end up causing more risk if it failed.
Errors & Faults
There is a difference between an error and a fault.
- An error is where a wrong result is produced because of a human error. Errors occur because people are not perfect – it is normal to make mistakes, especially when working under constraints like deadlines because of the stress and pressure that may be felt.
- A fault is also known as a defect or a bug. It’s when there is an indication that there is an error in the system. A fault is something that may cause a software failure. A software failure is when there is divergence from what the software is expected to do.
Despite doing lots of testing, it isn’t likely that every single error or fault in the system will be found. Larger software vendors release patches after the software has been released in order to fix any further errors or bugs that may have been found.
It is important to consider the type of data that you use when testing. There are three types of test data, they are:
- Normal Data: This is correct data that shouldn’t be causing any errors…