Today computer programs are involved in many critical activities of business and research work. Such software suites as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or Supply Chain Management System need to be reliable, stable, scalable, and should work as expected without many errors. Software testing ensures that any software intended for usage goes through rigorous testing before it is released in the market.
Testing is a comprehensive process that check out many things: if the objectives of the program have been met; if the program is complete and works as expected; if there are any bugs that cause erratic behavior, etc. Since software creation is conducted through various approaches, software testing cannot take place through a rote procedure. Software testing is a scientific process wherein one attacks a problem from multiple angles much like a detective does – it is a creative process of deconstruction wherein one tries to read the mind of the user and the creator. Not all programs are equal in terms of quality – which may be measured in terms of reliability, stability, portability, maintainability and usability – but software testing tries to get an appraisal of that quality.
The testing process might include what are called ‘white box’, ‘black box’ or ‘grey box’ techniques. Like the software, the testing process too goes through alpha, beta and gamma testing stages. Apart from that there are the system testing and regressive testing. In everything, the objective is always to find faults, and its eventual eradication. Software testing may be done by an in-house team, but usually a third-party firm is recruited to provide an objective analysis.
Software testing requires a deep knowledge of computer hardware and software, system capabilities, user sensibilities and usage conditions. The tester should have objective scrutinizing prowess as well. These specialized attributes are usually combined in a team which offer their services for testing to software firms.
In this section we provide a list of such firms, guides to software testing, and many more related resources.