What is Software Testing Principle?

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Principles of Software Testing:     
      Purpose of Software Testing

      Testing Defined

      Testing Concepts:


      Test Scenarios

      Test cases

      Test scripts/procedures

      Strategies for Software Testing

      Black box/Glass box/Gray box testing

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  • Feb 23rd, 2008

*General testing principles:

Principle 1 - Testing shows presence of defects
Testing can show that defects are present, but cannot prove that there are no defects.

Principle 2 - Exhaustive testing is impossible
Testing everything (all combinations of inputs and preconditions) is not feasible except for trivial cases.

Principle 3 - Early testing
Testing activities should start as early as possible in the SDLC.

Principle 4 - Defect clustering
A small number of modules contain most of the defects discovered during pre-release testing.

Principle 5 - Pesticide paradox
The test cases need to be regularly reviewed and revised

Principle 6 - Testing is context dependent

Testing is done differently in different contexts (safety-critical software is tested differently from e-commerce site)

Principle 7 - Absence-of errors fallacy

Finding and fixing defects does not help if the system built is unusable and does not fulfill the users' need and expectations.

* - from Syllabus for Cerified Tester

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  • Mar 4th, 2008

there are 3 main testing principles.

1. custormer satisfaction
2. bug free and easily understanding
3. start from small and proceed to large.

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Besides the more fundamental principles supplied by AN_QA from the syllabus for Certified Tester (which are darn good principles, by the way), many testing principles depend on the software development methodology that is being employed in an organization.  For example, the testing principles associated with the waterfall approach are significantly different than those associated with agile development.

I like the context-driven principles offered presented by Kaner, Bach, and Pettichord in the book entitled, "Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach.


- The value of any practice depends on its context.
- There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.
- People, working together, are the most important part of any project’s context.
- Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable.
- The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work.
- Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.
- Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products.

I also like the following principles described in The Agile Manifesto.


- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan

While there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

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