Types of Software Testing


Learn more about all the different types of software testing methodologies from our list below.

There are many different types of software testing. Each method has a different purpose and provides a unique value to the software development process. Not every type of software testing is always used. The type of software testing you do depends on your team, the complexity and functionality of your software, and the overall objective.

Types of software testing

Software testing is the process of validating an application and it’s components function as required. This process involves making sure the system does not contain bugs, and that it works as expected. Here are some of the most common types of software testing used today. While this is far from a complete list, hopefully it provides a clearer understanding of the differences in some of the most common types of software testing methods.

The Different Types of Software Testing

A/B Testing

A/B Testing, sometimes referred to as split testing, is the act of comparing two variables against each other and observing which of the two performs better.

Read more about A/B testing »

Beta Testing

A type of User Acceptance Testing, Beta Testing, also known as “field testing”, is done in the customer’s environment. Beta testing is commonly used for brand new features and products. The purpose of beta testing is to provide access to users who then provide feedback, which helps improve the application. Beta testing often involves a limited number of users.

Black Box Testing

The purpose of black box testing is to validate the behavior of the software from an end-user perspective. Inputs and outputs are compared to the expected output. Detailed knowledge of the internal workings, architecture, and code are not necessary.

Read more about black box testing »

Cross Browser Testing

Cross browser testing is the process of comparing a website or web application’s functionality and design across multiple web browsers and platforms to ensure consistent behavior and functionality for the end-user.

Read more about cross browser testing »

Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing combines elements of learning and testing into a single initiative. Exploratory testing is often done by QA testers, but it’s not uncommon for other roles to be involved with this type of testing including developers, end users, and customer support representatives.

Read more about exploratory testing »

Functional Testing

Functional testing is a type of black box testing where the tester validates the functionalities of the software system work as required and expected. This type of testing is based on the user’s perspective. Functional testing focuses on what the software does, not how it does it.

Read more about functional testing »

Load Testing

Often automated, load testing tests the response to high demand on the software. In other words; what happens when a significant number of people login to your application at the same time? Load testing ensures your software is ready for prime time.

Read more about load testing »

Negative Testing

The purpose of negative testing is to make sure your application can gracefully handle the input of invalid data and unexpected user behavior. This type of software testing helps improve overall quality of the software application by uncovering weak points and missed scenarios. Negative testing can also be considered positive testing for error conditions.

Read more about negative testing »

Nonfunctional Testing

Testing is typically broken up into two types; functional testing and nonfunctional testing. Nonfunctional testing tests non-functional requirements… How does the system perform? How secure is it? How user-friendly is it? All of these things contribute to the overall quality of the software application.

Pair Testing

Sometimes, two is better than one. Pair testing is when two people are paired together to conduct a test. One person should be running the mouse and keyboard, and the other should be taking notes and recording different scenarios. Pair testing can often uncover issues/questions that wouldn’t typically be discovered with a single tester.

Read more about pair testing »

Performance Testing

Performance Testing evaluates how fast a system responds to a specific scenario. This type of testing, similar to Load Testing, helps determine the responsiveness, reliability, and scalability of a certain are of the application.

Read more about performance testing »

Recovery Testing

Recovery testing is checking that a application or software behaves and recovers correctly when there is a failure.

Read more about recovery testing »

Regression Testing

The purpose of regression testing is to ensure new features or other code changes have not introduced any bugs. Many teams tend to automate regression tests to save time.

Read more about regression testing »

Sanity Testing

The purpose of Sanity Testing is to quickly validate a system is up and running. These tests are typically very minimal and basic.

Security Testing

Security testing is often conducted by a team of experienced testers specializing in networking and technology systems. The main purpose of security testing is to test for holes in authentication, confidentiality of data, and how the system will react to a malicious attack.

Smoke Testing

The term “smoke testing” was being used long before the software industry adopted it. Plumbers used to use smoke to test for leaks and cracks in pipe systems. In software, smoke testing is a high-level test that validates the basic functions of an application. The purpose of smoke testing is to expose failures critical enough to halt the release of software.

Read more about smoke testing »

Stress Testing

Stress testing is about pushing a system to its absolute limits to see how long it can remain usable and stable without crashing when under extreme load.

Read more about stress testing »

UAT Testing

Unit testing is often automated and involves testing single functions (units) of the code in order to help identify failures or weaknesses in algorithms. The nature of unit testing helps promote writing code that is easy to test.

Read more about unit testing »

Usability Testing

Usability testing tests the “user-friendliness” of the software. Usability testing involves observing the behavior and emotional reaction of the user. Do they like using the software? Are they frustrated? Confused? The feedback from these tests is then used to make changes and improvements to the usability of the application.

Read more about usability testing »

White Box Testing

The opposite of black box testing, white box testing is a method of testing where the tester knows the internal workings of the system. This approach to testing often focuses primarily on improving security and optimizing input/output flows.

Read more about white box testing »

Our 'Types of Software Testing' articles

End to End Testing – What is it?

End to End Testing

End to End testing ensures that all applications with complex sub-sections are thoroughly tested before launch. This post discusses this testing method.

Types of Manual Testing

Types of manual testing

Which types of manual testing are the best? They all have different roles, so our post will help you to choose the right ones to use for your next project.

What is Adhoc Testing?

what is adhoc testing

Adhoc testing is a type of unstructured testing meant to find defects and performance issues not found in more traditional approaches to testing.

What is Beta Testing? – A Short Introduction

What is beta testing

What is beta testing? This post explains how beta testing is used for discovering a product’s overlooked flaws and glitches in a real-world environment.

Service Oriented Architecture Testing (SOA Test)

Service oriented architecture testing

Service oriented architecture testing assesses the software architecture (SOA) used for building business application using third-party services.

The Difference Between UAT and Beta Testing

Difference between UAT and Beta testing

UAT and Beta Testing involve end-users providing feedback to the product team. They are often done just before the public release of a software product.

What is API Testing, and how best to Test an API?

API testing

API Testing to checking that an intermediate layer in a software system that is responsible for data communication between the data source and the Graphical User Interface works correctly.

What is Grey Box Testing?

Grey box testing

Grey box testing is a blend of both white box testing and black box testing. This type of testing is best for feature complete applications.

What’s the Difference Between Alpha and Beta Testing?

alpha and beta testing

We look at the difference between Alpha and Beta testing along with briefly discussing where both alpha and beta testing are useful.

What is Stress Testing?

what is stress testing

What is stress testing? Stress testing lets you find out about the reliability of a software system. Stress testing reveals how long the system can remain stable without crashing under a variety of heavy, stressful loads.

Back to top

30-day free trial - no credit card required

Pay monthly, no long-term contracts & cancel at any time.

See Pricing & Sign Up