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.

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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.

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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.

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Destructive Testing

Destructive testing is the process of deliberately trying to make the system fail and seeing how the system responds.

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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.

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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.

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HTML Validation Testing

HTML validation testing is the process of checking that the code/markup is valid and conforms to the official guidelines.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Recovery Testing

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Our 'Types of Software Testing' articles

Compatibility Testing – An introduction

Compatibility Testing

For applications to work smoothly across various platforms they must be compatible. Here we discuss the importance of compatibility testing.

Destructive Testing – How to Tear Apart a System

Destructive Testing

Software can crash when users do something designers didn't anticipate. Destructive testing aims to break a system to learn from the results.

HTML Validation Testing: An Introduction plus Tools & Tips

HTML validation testing

HTML validation testing checks code syntax to ensure web pages appear and behave as intended. This post lists some useful tools and tips.

Automated Testing: What is the Difference Between Unit, Integration & Functional Testing?

automated testing differences

Automated testing is a big part of software development. This post looks at the differences between unit, integration and functional testing.

Penetration Testing: A Quick Guide

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a practice used to identify any vulnerabilities in the system before an attacker can find and exploit them for malicious purposes.

Risk Based Testing – An Introduction

risk based testing

Assessing risks that can cause a system to fail is essential. In this post, we discuss Risk-Based Testing, a technique for mitigating risk.

Configuration Testing – An Introduction

Configuration testing

Configuration testing is how we find out which are the best hardware and software combinations so applications can work without any defects.

What is Happy Path Testing?

happy path testing

Happy path testing is usually the first test done on a new build, and shows testers how it should perform properly, so they can then test more thoroughly.

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.

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