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What Is Software Testing?

Software testing is a method that evaluates the functionality of a developed software before it’s launched to the market. It’s a process that involves observing and examining a product (such as a mobile or web app) to check for errors, gaps, and missing requirements and to ensure that the application matches the desired and expected results. QA testing is looking at both functionality and design to ensure a quality experience for the user.

Professional software testers–who you can hire from Guru, one of the top freelance markets online–use a mix of manual testing and automated tools to conduct their analysis of one or more properties of interest. Professional testers help developers deliver quality products to customers.

Why Is Software Testing Important?

QA testing software is an integral part of development. If a product or app is defective, it could cause several negative outcomes, including serious malfunctions, compromised security, and even personal injury. Here are some reasons why you should never overlook the software testing of your products:

Enhanced Product Quality

Software testing guarantees that a product is free of bugs and defects and that it operates in a way that’s defined and expected by users. During the process, any issues detected by a software tester, which may include any undesirable functionalities, are elevated to the developer who, in turn, addresses them with fixes or improvements. When these problems are resolved before launch, customers receive a higher-quality product later on and you are more likely to keep their business.

Improved Security

Most software requires users to input some of their data, including personal and sensitive information such as addresses, financial details, etc. Your product must be robust enough that it can protect all of this data. With software testing, you can thoroughly check that your product is safe and secure—that it’s not at all vulnerable to any cyber attacks or hacks.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

The end goal of software testing is customer satisfaction as it aims to provide people with the best user experience, not just in terms of functionalities, but in the design and use of the interface itself. Showing your customers that you’ve done everything to improve your product, especially from their comments, builds trust and satisfaction, and makes them even more excited to try your high-quality app.

Cost-Effectiveness

Software testing can get expensive, but your company can save millions as it’s much more expensive to trace and resolve issues after a product launch. It will cost less to resolve issues prelaunch than later on down the road, particularly if it involves customers who have been negatively affected. 

Better Scalability

Once your business scales, you can expect more users to engage with your products and services. Testers ensure that your app can handle increasing workloads, like higher data volumes and more transactions. It can also pinpoint where your software may stop functioning (and the reasons behind it) so that you can proactively have backups and measures to combat it should it happen.

How Does Software Testing Work?

Testing can be done manually and/or automatically. When it’s performed by a software tester, it’s called manual testing; if it’s done with automated tools, it’s called automation testing. While automation has greatly helped in making software testing more efficient and accurate, manual testing by a software tester is still crucial at different stages of the project.

The process of software testing can be divided into phases of the testing life cycle. Here’s a quick look at each one:

Planning

At the planning stage of the project, the QA testers collect all the details of the products, plus collate a list of tasks to test. Here, it’s important to note all the expected outcomes of each function and feature of the product.

Preparation

The preparation phase involves arranging the test environment, collecting test cases, and researching product features. Here, the software tester gathers and becomes familiar with all the tools and techniques needed for the tests.

Execution

The execution phase is where the tests are actually run. The software tester executes the tests, collects the results, and compares outcomes with expectations. 

Reporting

The software tester documents all of their findings and submits these to the relevant personnel, typically the developer. The tester must provide clear explanations of their tests and results; they may also introduce steps to reproduce the error, screenshots of issues, and other helpful notes for the developers.

Different Types of Software Testing

There are many different types of software tests for QA, but they can generally be divided into two major categories: functional testing and non-functional testing. These two have multiple other kinds of tests under them, each with specific objectives and strategies.

Functional Testing

Functional testing tests each function of the software. It verifies functionality based on a set of requirements, which mainly considers the behavior of the software. Here are some examples of functional testing:

  • Acceptance testing: Tests whether the whole system works as intended

  • Unit testing: Tests individual software components to check whether or not they behave according to requirements

  • Integration testing: Tests individual software components or modules when they work together

  • System testing: Executes test cases to verify the compliance of integrated and completed software along with specifications

  • Sanity testing: Tests logical reasoning related to how the program works, including verifying menus, functions, and commands at the surface level

  • Smoke testing: Tests simple and basic functionalities, such as logins

  • Interface testing: Tests communication between two software systems to see if they’re correctly carried out

  • Regression testing: Old test cases of the software are retried after a new functionality has been implemented

  • Beta/acceptance testing: A sample of intended users tries the product and reports bugs

Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional testing considers parameters such as performance, usability, and reliability of the software. Some types of non-functional testing include:

  • Performance testing: Tests the speed of the software under the required workload

  • Load testing: Tests the application’s behavior under a huge workload

  • Stress testing: Tests the software’s robustness by assessing its operation under stress (i.e. beyond regular operation), seeing how much it can take before it fails

  • Volume testing: Tests the performance of the system with an increased load of data

  • Security testing: Executes test cases to check if the system is properly safeguarded

  • Compatibility testing: Executes test cases to check the software’s compatibility with different environments (e.g. various browsers or devices)

  • Install testing: Tests if the product works as expected after installation

  • Recovery testing: Tests the software’s capacity to recover from crashes and failures

  • Reliability testing: Tests if the software can perform a particular task without failure within a specific timeframe

  • Usability testing: Tests the end user’s ease of use in terms of learning, operation, and preparing inputs and outputs

  • Compliance testing: Tests system compliance with internal and external standards

  • Localization testing: Tests the behavior of the software according to local or cultural settings

Most software, even the simplest app, may require a large number and variety of QA tests. This is why it’s important to hire a good software tester from Guru who can effectively manage and prioritize different types to provide the most value by running the fewest number of tests to find the largest number of defects.

What Does a Freelance Software Tester Do?

Testing is done professionally by software testers, but it can also be done by non-technical people (i.e. users) at later stages of development. The developer does the unit testing from the beginning. Then, testers verify the product’s functionality and performance; they are often led by test managers, leads, or architects who develop and define the test strategy. End users are the program’s intended users who test the product to ensure that it works as expected and is acceptable in real-world conditions.

Tips for Hiring Great Software QA Testers

Hiring an exceptional software tester is imperative in developing a defect-free and high-quality product. Here are some tips to help you find the best remote testers for your business:

Consider Talent and Soft Skills

While software testing requires a lot of technical know-how, it’s important that your software tester also has relevant soft skills, such as project management and a great eye for detail. These will help them perform the software test even better.

Check Previous Work and Client Reviews

You’ll want to hire a software tester that has a good track record of spotting errors and issues. Check on what they’ve worked on to see the result of their work, and ask their references for any feedback.

Hire From a Trustworthy Platform

You can find testers from various sources, but it’s best to hire one from a trustworthy platform like Guru, where all freelancers are verified to ensure that you pay fairly for high-quality work.

Hire Software Testers From Guru

Hiring a software testing freelancer is made easier on Guru. You can simply post a job with a description of what you’re looking for and wait for interested applicants to reply, or you can proactively search for a professional software testing freelancer for your project on the search page. Once you’ve found the right tester to hire, you can ask for a quote, conduct additional interviews, and agree on a contract—all right on Guru.

Find the best software QA tester for your project and hire them on Guru today!

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