<< 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

define system ,concepts of system and types of system?
Gurmeet Reply
iom
ADNAN
hello
arsh
is very important software engineer or not.
Riyanshu Reply
very important
arsh
2d
Dv
what is software engineering
Ravindra Reply
Software engineering is a detailed study of engineering to the design, development and maintenance of software
arsh
what is salary of software engineer
Akash Reply
it depend on organization's and quality
josephat
I think average salary 80000us dollars per year
arsh
what are naturs of software Engineering
BANDARU Reply
what is the nature of saftware
BANDARU Reply
what is nature of sotfware
BANDARU
hi
khushboo
can anyone help me I need to learn
khushboo
code debug
khushboo
in eclipse java
khushboo
@janak can u suggest
khushboo
what is the salary of software engineer
Akash
per month
Akash
please tell me what is the salary of software engineer per monthe
Akash
which sdlc mode l is suitable for atm banking system
Rakesh Reply
how can I create my own software?
David
HUAWEI.ABBULLAG.45720891
Abdula Reply
how to build apps
Andreas Reply
what is memory?
Hausa Reply
memory is billions of consecutive data storage cell where each of the cell has its own particular address of identification.
Shariful
is software engineering important or not.
Riyanshu
what are the major difference in the external environment of an office automation system and that of an embedded systems
juma Reply
What is software engineering
Zohaib Reply
what is salary of a software engineer
Akash Reply
tell me what is salary of a software engineer.
Riyanshu
understand wllhi 😭am language somali bro 😇😣😣😣
what is agile
Qais 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