This guide will help you understand the basics of software testing. Scroll through or click a topic to skip ahead:



Introduction to Software Testing

Software testing is important. It improves product quality and increases customer satisfaction.

But there are different types of software testing to meet the many different needs of testing teams.

The best way to succeed at software testing is to build your knowledge.

Understand the seven principles of software testing. And learn how to manage the software testing lifecycle.

Brush up on software testing basics


Different Types of Software Testing

There are hundreds of different types of software tests. And each test is important for a different reason.

Some tests find things that are broken. Some tests confirm requirements are fulfilled. Others ensure requirement alignment via business acceptance testing. And some tests make sure you’re producing the right product for your users.

So, there are several types of tests you can use to make sure you’re producing a high-quality product. And most types of testing can be sorted into two key areas — functional and nonfunctional testing.

Functional Testing

Functional testing verifies what the software does. This is important to ensuring you deliver the features you promise (without errors).

There are many different types of functional tests, including:

Explore different types of functional testing

Nonfunctional Testing

Nonfunctional testing verifies how the software works. This is important to ensuring you deliver a product that works well for its users.

There are many different types of non-functional tests, including:

Explore different types of nonfunctional testing


Steps in Software Testing

There are typically seven steps in software testing. How you handle these steps may vary.

  1. Set requirements.
  2. Plan your tests.
  3. Create your test cases.
  4. Set up the test environment.
  5. Run your test.
  6. Fix any issues from failed tests.
  7. Repeat testing until all tests have passed.

One of the most important steps in software testing is creating your test cases. This sets the stage for your testing efforts. It ensures that you test the right things. And it helps you fulfill requirements.

Learn the steps for successful test management


Software Testing Methods

How you test software is just as important as what you test. And you have several different software testing methods to choose from.

There’s black box testing. And white box testing. Scripted testing. And exploratory testing. Manual testing. And automated testing. Waterfall testing. And Agile testing.

Using the right software testing method(s) helps you get through the testing process faster. And it typically frees up time to test more things than you could before.

Compare software testing methods



Continuous Testing

You test early. You test often. But have you reached continuous testing yet?

Continuous testing takes automated testing to the next level. It increases test coverage while accelerating the software release process. It's not easy to achieve — but it's possible.

What is Test Automation? >

Learn how to achieve continuous testing for DevOps >


What to Look for in Software Testing Tools

There are many components and activities to software testing. That’s why you need the right software testing tools at your disposal.

Adding a complete test management tool — such as Helix ALM — will help you get better visibility and traceability across your testing efforts.

Find out how software teams use Helix ALM

Try Helix ALM for Better Testing

See for yourself why Helix ALM is the best tool for managing your tests from beginning to end.

Manage Tests in Helix ALM