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Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects), and verifying that the software product is fit for use.

Software testing involves the execution of a software component or system component to evaluate one or more properties of interest. In general, these properties indicate the extent to which the component or system under test:

  • meets the requirements that guided its design and development,
  • responds correctly to all kinds of inputs,
  • performs its functions within an acceptable time,
  • it is sufficiently usable,
  • can be installed and run in its intended environments, and
  • achieves the general result its stakeholders desire.

As the number of possible tests for even simple software components is practically infinite, all software testing uses some strategy to select tests that are feasible for the available time and resources. As a result, software testing typically (but not exclusively) attempts to execute a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects). The job of testing is an iterative process as when one bug is fixed, it can illuminate other, deeper bugs, or can even create new ones.

Software testing can provide objective, independent information about the quality of software and risk of its failure to users or sponsors.

Software testing can be conducted as soon as executable software (even if partially complete) exists. The overall approach to software development often determines when and how testing is conducted. For example, in a phased process, most testing occurs after system requirements have been defined and then implemented in testable programs. In contrast, under an agile approach, requirements, programming, and testing are often done concurrently.

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Keyword-driven testing, also known as table-driven testing or action-word testing, is a software testing methodology for automated testing that separates the test creation process into two distinct stages: a planning stage, and an implementation stage. ...More

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One of the Computer Bug

While Grace Hopper was working on the Harvard Mark II Computer at Harvard University, her associates discovered a moth stuck in a relay and thereby impeding operation, whereupon she remarked that they were "debugging" the system. Though the term computer bug cannot be definitively attributed to Admiral Hopper, she did bring the term into popularity. The remains of the moth can be found in the group's log book at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C..

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Exploratory testing: Cem Kaner, who coined the term in 1983, now defines exploratory testing as "a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the quality of his/her work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project."


  • "Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort." -- John Ruskin
  • "Program testing can be a very effective way to show the presence of bugs, but it is hopelessly inadequate for showing their absence." -- Edsger Dijkstra
  • "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have proved it correct, not tried it." -- Donald Knuth
  • "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." -- Linus's Law according to Eric S. Raymond
  • "If it ain't broke, you are not trying hard enough."
  • "Quality is free, but only to those who are willing to pay heavily for it."
  • "Garbage In -- Apology Out!"

Software testing news

United States government healthcare exchange website, suffered numerous types of technical problems from the start in October 2013. The troubles were not just an issue of volume, but involved software and systems design issues.

"We did not adequately do end-to-end testing" said the US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on October 30, 2013.


Software quality traits

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