<< Chapter < Page
  Software engineering     Page 9 / 15
Chapter >> Page >

Alternatives to testing

Software testing is more and more considered a problematic method toward better quality. Using testing to locate and correct software defects can be an endless process. Bugs cannot be completely ruled out. Just as the complexity barrier indicates: chances are testing and fixing problems may not necessarily improve the quality and reliability of the software. Sometimes fixing a problem may introduce much more severe problems into the system, happened after bug fixes.

Using formal methods to "prove" the correctness of software is also an attracting research direction. But this method can not surmount the complexity barrier either. For relatively simple software, this method works well. It does not scale well to those complex, full-fledged large software systems, which are more error-prone.

In a broader view, we may start to question the utmost purpose of testing. Why do we need more effective testing methods anyway, since finding defects and removing them does not necessarily lead to better quality. An analogy of the problem is like the car manufacturing process. In the craftsmanship epoch, we make cars and hack away the problems and defects. But such methods were washed away by the tide of pipelined manufacturing and good quality engineering process, which makes the car defect-free in the manufacturing phase. This indicates that engineering the design process (such as clean-room software engineering) to make the product have less defects may be more effective than engineering the testing process. Testing is used solely for quality monitoring and management, or, "design for testability". This is the leap for software from craftsmanship to engineering.

Test techniques

One of the aims of testing is to reveal as much potential for failure as possible, and many techniques have been developed to do this, which attempt to “break” the program, by running one or more tests drawn from identified classes of executions deemed equivalent. The leading principle underlying such techniques is to be as systematic as possible in identifying a representative set of program behaviors; for instance, considering subclasses of the input domain, scenarios, states, and dataflow.

It is difficult to find a homogeneous basis for classifying all techniques, and the one used here must be seen as a compromise. The classification is based on how tests are generated from the software engineer’s intuition and experience, the specifications, the code structure, the (real or artificial) faults to be discovered, the field usage, or, finally, the nature of the application. Sometimes these techniques are classified as white-box, also called glassbox, if the tests rely on information about how the software has been designed or coded, or as black-box if the test cases rely only on the input/output behavior. One last category deals with combined use of two or more techniques. Obviously, these techniques are not used equally often by all practitioners. Included in the list are those that a software engineer should know.

Questions & Answers

how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
configration management
Ravi Reply
what is a computer software
Chinaza Reply
Computer software is programming code executed on a computer processor at either the machine-level or the level of the operating system. ... The physical components of a computer are the hardware, and the digital programs running on the hardware are the software.
SATYAM
9292
Saeed
what is sofftware
Mohammed Reply
Software, in its most general sense, is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is a generic term used to describe computer programs. Scripts, applications, programs and a set of instructions are all terms often used to describe software.
SATYAM
how to open a software company
SATYAM Reply
draw context model for a patient information system in a hospital
shruti Reply
how to activate Microsoft word
Matthew Reply
To activate Microsoft word, please follow these steps below: 1. On windows 8.1 or Windows 10, choose start. 2. Scroll down through your apps and choose Microsoft office- the tile with the Office logo. 3. In the windows that open, choose Activate. 4. Do one of the following:
Abdul
. If you are asked to sign in with your Microsoft account, that means you do not need a product key. proceed to the next step below and enter your Microsoft account. OR . If you are asked to enter a product key, this means a key was included with your purchase.
Abdul
Look for it on your Certificate of Authenticity or a card in the packaging. If you cannot find it, contact your reseller. The key uses a combination of 25 letters and numbers and looks this: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx. Enter your key in the space provided. 5. Sign in with your Microsoft account
Abdul
to activate the Office product that came with your device.
Abdul
What can we do with cmd
Ibrahim Reply
what is software
Igho Reply
is set of instructions (generally referred to as code), that is positioned between you and the device hardware, enable you to use it .
Abdul
that's what a software can be defined as.
Abdul
what is white box testing
MUNEIAH Reply
What is software life cycle model? Why is it important during the development of a large softwre products
ramsahay Reply
explain About various types of software quality metrics
vijay Reply
I study software assignment course
Raza Reply
what is re process
naveen Reply
how to make software development projects
suresh Reply

Get the best Software engineering course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Software engineering' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask