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7 Principles of Software Testing With Examples

12th Sep, 2023
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    7 Principles of Software Testing With Examples

    Today, machines are dominating the technological world and the software that powers them governs their behavior. The answer to our concerns about machines acting exactly how we want them to is found in software testing.  Software testing is the process of confirming and validating whether a piece of software or application is bug-free, complies with all technical specifications established during its design and development, and effectively and efficiently satisfies user requirements while handling all exceptional and boundary cases. 

    It is important to follow certain testing principles in software engineering and programming. Program testing attempts to not only identify flaws in the current software but also to identify ways to increase the software's effectiveness, accuracy, and usability. Software Testing principles and practices primarily seek to gauge a software program or application's specification, functionality, and performance. This article discusses in depth the 7 principles of software engineering and testing. 

    What Is Software Testing?

    Software testing is the process of verifying and validating the results and actions of the program that is being tested. Software testing is a technique for determining whether the actual software product complies with expectations and is error-free.  

    Testing principles in software testing entail the human or automatic execution of software/system components in order to evaluate one or more interesting properties. Software testing's goal is to find flaws, gaps, or missing requirements compared to the requirements as specified. When evaluating software; 

    • Verify and confirm that the prototype is free of bugs.  
    • Examines the product to see if it conforms with the technical requirements as stated in the design and development.  
    • Make sure the final product efficiently and effectively satisfies the client's needs.  
    • Analyze the performance and usability of the product.  
    • Look for methods to enhance the productivity, accuracy, and usefulness of the software.  

    After testing, any faults or mistakes in the program may be quickly identified and repaired before it is released. Software solutions that have undergone adequate testing provide great performance, dependable security, and cost efficiency, eventually increasing customer satisfaction.  

    Software testers use manual testing or automated devices to study, analyze, observe and assess many components of a product during this procedure. Once the testing is complete, the testers communicate the findings to the developers. Ultimately, delivering great quality to the consumer is what matters, which is why software testing is crucial.   

    Becoming familiar with different testing methods will help you create better software by catching bugs and breaking them. Unit testing  is a software testing technique that follows unit testing principles to test computer program modules, usage, and operating procedures to determine whether they if are usable. Check out Software Testing courses online to learn more about various software testing principles, and techniques and master fundamental software testing tools, methods, and techniques. 

    Why Software Testing is Important?

    The rate of software application success determines how quickly the business expands, which is crucial to creating software programs and other products.  The following justifies the necessity for software testing:  

    • Cost-Effective: Businesses may save money by testing the project on schedule. There are several phases to developing software, and it is considerably less expensive to address issues if they are found early.  
    • Security: This is the most vulnerable and sensitive aspect of software testing. Customers are constantly seeking reliable items. It aids in removing issues and dangers in advance.  
    • Product Quality: The product must function as intended in order for its vision to become a reality. Because it enables one to achieve the desired outcomes, it is crucial to adhere to the product criteria and performance.  
    • Customer Satisfaction: A product owner's ultimate objective is to provide the highest level of client fulfillment. The program must be tested to provide the greatest user experience possible.  

    What are the 7 Principles of Software Testing?

    The creation of software must include testing. Correctly structuring the task in a way that promotes optimum efficiency might sometimes be challenging. Due to this complexity, it's often beneficial to evaluate procedures and standards to make sure developers are adhering to best practices and following the 7 principles of testing programs.  

    The ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualification Board) lists seven core principles of software testing with examples: 

    1. Testing Shows the Presence of Defects, Not Their Absence 

    Engineers test software to find bugs so they can be repaired before they are released to live environments. By doing this, we can be sure that our systems are operating as intended. However, this testing procedure does not certify that a program is 100% error-free and accurate.  

    Program flaws that go undetected during testing are considerably reduced, but even if they are found and fixed, the software or network is not guaranteed to be fault-free. Teams should consistently embrace this idea, and efforts have to be made to regulate customer expectations.  

    However, it is crucial to remember that rigorous testing will reassure everyone that the program won't malfunction, even though testing only reveals the presence of flaws, not their absence.  

    This may be accomplished by having a complete testing strategy that involves detailed test plans, reporting, analytics, and testing release schedules. This will reassure clients about the testing process's status and assure them an evaluation of appropriate areas.  After systems are put into production, continuous testing and supervision are also essential.  

    Another effective strategy to prevent future complications is to anticipate them. For instance, if a website is starting a new marketing strategy, load testing can be an option to ensure the software can survive any expected higher levels of traffic.  

    2. Exhaustive Testing is Impossible 

    It is practically impossible to test everything, including all potential combinations of variables and preconditions, despite how much we may want to think or wish it were true. One might also say that trying to do so is not really effective use of time and resources.  

    Nevertheless, one of the testing abilities is risk assessment and test planning. Doing this may test a wide range of locations while ensuring that the most crucial features are tested. Without testing every piece of code, the test coverage may continue to be effective and give the essential trust in your program with diligent planning and review.  

    3. Early Testing Saves Time and Money 

    Early software testing is crucial to the application lifecycle. This may even entail testing the specifications prior to the start of the coding process; for instance, fixing problems in this phase is much simpler and less expensive than waiting until the very end of the product's lifecycle, when it may be necessary to rewrite entire functionalities, resulting in delays and cost overruns.  

    Testing is viewed as an ongoing activity instead of a phase (which is a typical waterfall model would be towards the end) since early involvement in testing allows for rapid and efficient ongoing feedback loops. This is another basic Agile concept. Early feedback has been one of the finest methods for a team to overcome obstacles as they arise, and testers are crucial for this. As an important duty to perform, think of the testers as the "information supplier."  

    In essence, testing early can assist you in avoiding errors altogether. 

    4. Defects Cluster Together  

    According to this theory, specific software units or components frequently have the most bugs and cause the majority of operational errors. Due to the predicted and subsequently observed defect prevalence in certain places, testing should thus concentrate on these areas. It is feasible to use the 80:20 Pareto principle, which states that 20% of code is to be blamed for 80% of problems.  

    Large and sophisticated systems are more prone to this, but error frequency can fluctuate for a number of reasons. The likelihood of errors increases with component complexity or the number of external dependencies, as problems are not uniformly distributed throughout the entire system. Defect clustering can also result from importing legacy code and adding new functionality to some components that go through frequent modifications and are consequently more volatile.  

    Knowing this might be very helpful for the testing since there is a good possibility that if we identify one problem in a certain module or region, we will find many more in that same area. We may focus the testing on all these essential risk areas by recognizing the most complicated elements, sections that have more dependencies, or places that are altering the most, for instance.  

    5. Beware of Pesticide Paradox 

    This is predicated on the idea that if pesticides are applied to crops frequently enough, insects will ultimately develop an immunity to them, and the pesticide will no longer work. Similarly, if the same procedures are performed repeatedly in testing, they will ultimately stop finding new problems even if they may validate that the product is working.  

    To help avoid the pesticide paradox, it is crucial to continue to examine the tests and revise or expand existing scenarios. We may accomplish this by running several concurrent testing methodologies, procedures, and approaches concurrently.  

    6. Testing is Context-dependent 

    Testing is ENTIRELY context-dependent. The procedures and types of testing used might range greatly depending on the environment in which the software or systems are being used. For instance, an e-commerce site may need a different kind of testing than an API service or a database monitoring application. The strategy will always depend on what you are testing.  

    7. Absence-of-errors is a Fallacy 

    No matter how many flaws are uncovered and patched, if the program or system is impractical (or does not satisfy users' needs), it still isn't useable. Therefore, it makes no difference how problem- or error-free the software is; if the usability is so bad people cannot traverse it, or/and it does not meet business objectives, then it has failed, despite possessing fewer problems. 

    Principals of software testing

    Testing Best Practice 

    Running tests that are pertinent to the needs of the system is crucial. As part of the usability testing process, you should also test the software with actual users in order to get input that will ensure and improve usability. Note that fulfilling customer expectations and needs are just as essential as ensuring quality. Just because there are not many bugs doesn't mean the product can be delivered.  


    Applying these analytical test automation principles to test programs may increase your productivity and clarity and enhance the testing plan's overall effectiveness, especially with the use of modern testing principles. Furthermore, you may discover that by putting one idea into practice, others will often follow.  

    For instance, when testers are engaged at specifications level, you may guarantee the software will meet customer needs and expectations. This can assist avoid the "lack of defects" fallacy, for instance.  When you consider all of these factors, you can maximize efficiency by efficiently using your time and efforts.  

    Being a software tester can be highly rewarding if you are dedicated and willing to learn. Gradually becoming an expert in software testing can help a person grow in their career. Check out KnowledgeHut’s Software Testing courses online to get hands-on learning experience from industry experts in software testing. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What are the 5 basic principles of software testing?
    • Testing should show the presence of defects
    • Early testing
    • Exhaustive testing
    • Testing is context-dependent
    • Defect clustering
    2What are the principles of API test design?
    • The function of a user 
    • Verification 
    • Expected result 
    • Planned time interval 
    • Status of a test 
    • Date of a test 
    • Revision, a test board 
    • Client for testing
    3What is the difference between software testing and testing principles? 

    According to the testing principle, testing only acknowledges the presence of defects—never their absence. Software testing, on the other extreme, lowers the likelihood of undetected flaws still being in the program, but even the absence of defects is not evidence of accuracy.  


    Mohan Jayabal


    Mohan Jayabal is a highly experienced senior corporate trainer and consultant with a strong background in software testing. With over 17 years of professional experience, he specializes in testing consultation and training, delivering comprehensive solutions to clients worldwide. Mohan has conducted testing training programs in various countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Vietnam, UK, and USA, covering both manual and test automation techniques. He has also served as a performance testing consultant for esteemed organizations such as City Union Bank and the Government of Tamilnadu's Public Distribution System. As an official accredited trainer for renowned companies like Accenture, Cognizant, Microsoft, IBM, and Deloitte, Mohan has successfully streamlined training processes and developed training materials for testing-related domains.

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