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Software testing is an investigation of the code and overall product functionalities of the system done to make sure that a high quality of product is developed. There are various approaches to software development of which the most common approach is normal waterfall model or the SDLC approach.

The normal Software SDLC process includes the following process -

  1. Requirement Gathering/Planning phase - In this phase the goal and scope of the software is determined. Then as per the goals and aims of the software, requirement is gathered and well documented. It is important that testers are included in this phase itself so that critical points of the application are well understood in the begining itself.
  2. Design - In this phase the function specification created in the requirement gathering phase is converted into design of the code
  3. Implemetation - In this phase code is written using documents of requirement gathering and design phase
  4. Intergration and Testing - Once all the modules of the application are coded, they are integrated and then test is performed on the code to make sure that it is working properly. This is when issues are reported by the testers and regression testing is done.
  5. Release - This phase is final release phase of software where the final code is released after testing and debugging.
  6. Maintenance - In this phase code maintenance is done depending on enhancements.

Testing is a very critical part of the sofware development. Be it as small project like development of websites or integration of big systems involving complex datastructures and databases, improper testing or no testing can break the product.

Most of us experience use technology on a day to day basis. We experience lack of proper testing when we see bugs in our daily use of technology when we see messages like - "Link not found", "Improper input" etc when we use websites. These are all results of improper code and lack of testing. Whenever a code is developed for a non-commercial purpose it tends to become raw and untested which results in a software failure. A detailed approach and well defined SDLC cycle is very important when developing a product. There are various ways testing can be performed. Testing can be manual as well as automated.

Although crucial to software quality and widely deployed by programmers and testers, software testing still remains an art, and due to limited understanding of the principles of software. The difficulty in software testing comes from the complexity of software: we can not completely test a program with moderate complexity. Testing is more than debugging a code. The purpose of testing can be quality assurance, verification and validation, or reliability estimation or just a user perspective of usage. Be whatever the purpose of testing is, it should be taken into consideration very seriously.

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Comment by Radhika Shrivastava on November 5, 2010 at 9:09am
Thanks Dan for the input! Yes I am trying to test this in different web browsers.
Comment by Daniel Bassill on November 4, 2010 at 1:09pm
We are very lucky to have someone with this skill volunteering with us. As you look at the www.tutormentorexchange.net and www.cabriniconnections.net websites, and the program locator and conference sites, do you automatically test to see how they work on different browsers? We know some of the sites do not show as well in Internet explorer and I've had people tell me on the phone that they could not see info in a site from their browser while I was able to see it ok in mine.

I hope that people reading this will understand that without web developers and other tech talents, the problems a tester might see still cannot be fixed. If we can find the money, we could hire people to do specific projects. Since we don't have the money we need volunteers. If you want to help on a specific project just introduce yourself and describe your talents. Right now we need someone with PHP experience to fix the conference web site.

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