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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

The following text is encoded in base 64. Ik5ldmVyIHRydXN0IGEgY29tcHV0ZXIgeW91IGNhbid0IHRocm93IG91dCBhIHdpbmRvdyIgLSBTdGV2ZSBXb3puaWFr Decode it, and paste the decoded text here
Julian Reply
what to do you mean
Vincent
What is the command to list the contents of a directory in Unix and Unix-like operating systems
George Reply
how can i make my own software free of cost
Faizan Reply
The name of the author of our software engineering book is Ian Sommerville.
Doha Reply
what is software
Sampson Reply
the set of intruction given to the computer to perform a task
Noor
I want to know about prototype model in software engineering
Malli Reply
Prototype Model is a replica model. In this we plan and build a rough application. Further we launch it for users and if they give their feedback or need any enhancement then we add-on requested features as per the system/user requirements.
KUMAR
between JavaScript and html,which is the best to master first?
Njuguna Reply
You have to master HTML first before you do javascript. Actually Html is not a programming language it is used to make a skeleton of a webpage
Alfayo
yaah it so good to start with HTML first
Abel
what is a software
Carren Reply
I am not proficient in any programming language though I am learning python currently, is it necessary to be proficient in programming language before one can undergo this course
Israel Reply
what is software
Arwaz Reply
The reason it all exists
Ruth Reply
Hi
Md
hlo
Ajay
Hii
Biddika
hu
Ajay
what is programming
Nonny Reply
software project scheduling
DEVENDRA Reply
kis chij ka bro
shiv
Green chili
Arwaz
wellcome my friend
my
what is soft ware
my
the soft ware of education
my
hello
Hilal
I'm new here
Hilal
how to communicate with clients
adejoh Reply
hey hi good afternoon sir my name is Mohamed Kamara, I want to understand how to do it sir.
Muhammadosman
ok
Ronald
how are u sir, I want u to teach me please I want to know about softwares.
Muhammadosman
me too I need this knowledge
anthony
me too
Noor
what's up y'all..who is good at java? need help
Adrian
Is it like a unit in software engineering or what?
Njuguna
Which SDLC Model will you select to develop the system as a software engineer and why?
Subrato Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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