Introduction and action research on software testing methodology

Posted by Winniem on October 3rd, 2018

Software testing refers to all the procedures and practices involved in the execution of software with the intention to find software errors or bugs. It is also the procedure for validation and verification of whether a software product meets all the requirements for which it was designed, works as intended and can be implemented as such (Hamlet, 1988).

Software testing is grouped into two basic classes, i.e. black-box testing and white-box testing.  Black-box testing involves overlooking the internal mechanization of the system and concentrates on the output given by the system after some inputs have been fed to it and how it executes the input. It is sometimes known as functional testing. White-box testing focuses on the internal mechanization of the system. This technique of testing is also called glass box testing or structural testing. Black box testing is normally used in validation while white box testing mostly used during verification.

Under the two broad categories of testing described above, there are many testing types which include unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, system testing, stress testing, performance testing, usability testing, acceptance testing, regression testing and beta testing. These types of testing can either be categorized as black box or white box testing (Changhai& Leung, 2011).

Software Testing Life Cycle

Software test cycle is a combination of activities being done methodologically to help in the certification of a software product. These stages make up the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). There are eight comprehensive software testing phases that a good software product has to be put through. They include Requirement Analysis, Test Planning, Test Analysis, Test Design, Test Construction and Verification, Test Execution and Bug Reporting, Final Testing and Implementation and Post Implementation (Kim, Kim, Lee,  Bae& Lee, 2013).

Requirements Analysis

At the requirements analysis, requirements and studied and analyzed. The team brainstorms to establish whether the system requirements are viable. The scope of testing can be identified at this stage. Any feature that cannot be tested can be communicated at this stage to help in the planning on a mitigation strategy.

Planning

    Practically, test planning is often the first step in the process of testing. Resources sand activities required for the testing process to meet its objectives are identified. When planning, it is also a requirement to identify the metrics, tracking and gathering the identified metrics.

Analysis Phase

    This is the stage where the aspect of the system to be tested is identified. This is often done from the document of requirements. The factors that affect the choosing of the conditions for test may include the level and depth of testing, how complex the product is, project and product risks, management of the test, knowledge and the skills the team has and the presence of the stakeholders

Design Phase.

    This stage defines what the test is. It entails the following tasks; identification and getting the tests data, identification and setting up the environment for the test, creation of metrics that are traceable and a creation of the metrics for coverage and detailing the conditions for testing.

Implementation Stage

Detailed cases of the test are created at this stage of STLC. Before conclusion, the correctness level of the cases of tests must be established.

Execution Phase

This is the phase of software testing where actual execution is happening.

Final Testing and Implementation

    Final testing of the software is done at this stage, testing that is not- functional testing such as load, stress, performance. Verification of the software that has been tested in an environment like that of production is done in this phase. The final results for tests

Methodology

History of Action Research

Action Research methodology has the roots from the German psychologist Lewin Kurt. It is defined as his art with his efforts of using the methodology to respond to several challenges that the community faced. Kurt was a social and experimental psychologist who founded the Gestalt school that facilitated the growth of Action Research technique. Kurt was able to characterize Action Research as comparative research model based on the different conditions of the social action and the researches undertaken to get the foundation of social action (Lewin, 1946). There is the argument that understanding a concept or rather introducing change requires the direct interaction with the phenomenon as defined by McKernan (1991). The Action Research methodology has been adopted by other social reformists such as the Corey in 1953 and Collier 1945. McTaggert outlines the different efforts of appreciating and applying the Action Research technique.

Types of Action Research

Action Research methodology has been evolving, and this outlines the changing in the categorization of eth activities associated with the technique. According to Lewin, the Action Research methodology was defined within three types of scientific-technical view of solving an issue, the practical deliberative, and the critical emancipator Action Research. However, as the Action Research technique has been used it has been further and currently defined into several types of the traditional Action Research, Action Learning/ contextual Action Research, Education Action Research and the Radical Action Research. Empirical Action Research was developed by Lewin as the founder of the methodology which outlines the adoption of iterations.

Action Research steps

The methodology of Action Research is defined by being participatory and cyclic. The technique is outlined with the principle of the researcher/ practitioner being in direct contact with the phenomenon that is under study or the action that is in development. The actions are repetitive such that same steps are followed in the implementation of the follow-up action (Burgess, 2006). Action Research methodology is described with the power of getting the practitioner undertakes a task and provides a reflection that describes the progress and the extendability of the task. Action Research is defined with four steps that are repeated to implement several actions. The steps consist of planning, action, observation, and reflection as far as empirical Action Research is concerned.

The process begins with a reconnaissance that is outlined with the clear studying and examining of the underlying problem/ available task with the immediate follow of planning. The planning step provides the mentioning of all activities that are intended to be undertaken for the success of the project. The activities are just mentioned. The action step outlines the implementation of the steps using different preferred techniques and procedures. Observation defines the clear examination and viewing of all happening and outlining the possible knowledge acquired and achievements in the reflection step. The last step describes the overall researcher opinion on the entire process.

Action Research application and justification

Action Research methodology has been adopted and applied in different fields such that the education sector has been the greatest beneficiary. This has been influential in the improving of teaching as a service. The arrangement of the classroom has also depended on the Action Research methodology. Ideally, the reformists’ and socialists have adopted the Action Research technique to provide counseling and solving issues that are underlying within a person/ organization. This technique has been used by the researcher in understanding some concepts and implementing projects (Friedman & Rogers, 2009). The software testing procedure understanding requires the step by step undertaking of activities which can be developed in some steps of iterations. The methodology is ideal for the project of understanding the software testing.

References

Burgess, J. (2006). Participatory action research. Action Research, 4(4), 419-437. doi:10.1177/1476750306070104

Changhai, N., & Leung, H. (2011). A Survey of Combinatorial Testing. ACM Computing Surveys, 43(2), 11:1-11:29. doi:10.1145/1883612.1883618

Friedman, V. J., & Rogers, T. (2009). There is nothing so theoretical as good action research. Action Research, 7(1), 31-47. doi:10.1177/1476750308099596

Hamlet, R. (1988). SPECIAL SECTION ON SOFTWARE TESTING. Communications Of The ACM, 31(6), 662-667.

Kim, B., Kim, W., Lee, S., Bae, S., & Lee, Y. (2013). Developement and verification of a performance based optimal design software for wind turbine blades. Renewable Energy: An International Journal, 54166-172. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2012.08.029

Lewin, K. (1946). Action Research and Minority Problems.  Journal of Social Issues 2 34-46

McKernan,J., (1991). Curriculum Action Research. A Handbook of Methods and Resources for the Reflective Practitioner London: Kogan Page

McTaggert,R., (1992). Action Research: Issues in Theory and Practice Keynote address to the Methodological Issues in Qualitative Health Research Conference, Friday November 27th, 1992, Geelong: Deakin University

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in nursing writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for already written essay.




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Also See: Software Testing, Action Research, Box Testing, Research Methodology, Testing, Software, Research

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