Testing is the most crucial process in software development. It is a method that helps companies comprehensively assess their software. Also, through testing, they ensure that their product meets the client’s needs. Since businesses have grown exceptionally in the past few years, testing has become more competent. 

Testers need to be more technical and process-oriented. Currently, testing isn’t limited to finding bugs; it’s more extensive and is needed at the start of a project. Therefore, multiple testing methods are being introduced for the software development process.

One such testing is called Software Testing Life Cycle. In this blog, we will discuss the software testing life cycle. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in straight to know about it.

What is the Software Testing Life Cycle?

Software Testing Life Cycle(STLC) is a series of testing processes performed to meet software quality objectives. It ensures that standard software is released.  

STLC consists of a sequence of methodological phases that focuses on testing. It is a process that is repeated until the product is suitable enough to be released. Each phase or stage is carried out systematically and has different goals and deliverables.


Phases of STLC:

There are six phases of STLC. Each phase has its defined entry and exit criteria, associated activities, and deliverables. 

You must be wondering what an entry or exit criteria is?

  • Entry Criteria: It refers to when a phase can start and end. Also, it refers to the items that must be completed before testing starts.
  • Exit Criteria: It refers to the tasks performed and the results expected. It defines the items that must be completed before testing ends. 

 On the contrary, activities and deliverables are related to the tasks performed and the results expected. 

The six phases of STLC are:

Phase 1: Requirement Analysis

This phase evaluates the feature requirements gathered in the software developmental stage. During this evaluation, testers identify what to test in the software. They analyze and study the business needs, architectural and system requirements. It caters to them in knowing how to design and build software. 

Testers work within their teams and other teams to determine how to test the software. After a brainstorming session, requirement analysis is done to figure blindspots in the requirements. 

In short, the requirement analysis phase helps identify the testing scope. Also, it ensures that every software feature is testable.

Phase 2: Test Planning

Test planning draws information from requirements and product analysis. Later, the information is documented as a QA strategy.   

In this phase, the QA manager estimates the project’s cost and determines the testing strategy. Also, testing limitations, resources, and test environment are determined. All of them help to meet the testing objectives. 

The test planning activities include:

  • Planning the testing strategy and documenting it.
  • Identifying the metrics and tracking them.
  • Selecting testing tools.
  • Estimating the testing cost or effort.
  • Planning resources and determining roles and responsibilities.
  • Analyzing risks

Phase 3: Test Case Development

Test cases or scripts are created, verified, and altered in this phase. Then, the QA team starts the development process of test cases for individual units. 

Test case development activities include:

  • Creating test cases and automation scripts.
  • Reviewing test cases and scripts
  • creating testing data

Phase 4: Test Environment Setup

Test environment setup ensures that software and hardware conditions are good enough to test the work product. Test environment setup and test case development phase can run parallelly. 

Test setup activities include:

  • understanding the required architecture and environment setup
  • preparing software and hardware list for the test environment
  • performing the smoke test on the product

Phase 5: Test Execution

In this phase, all the test plans and cases are executed as software is tested. If the testing results identify bugs in the system, the entire software is sent back to the development team. Software bugs are removed, and software is tested again.  

Test defect activities include:

  • executing tests according to plans
  • documenting test results and log defects
  • fixing the defects
  • retesting the software
  • tracking the defects to closure

Phase 6: Test cycle closure

Test cycle closure is the completion of the test execution. In this phase, testing members meet and discuss bottlenecks of testing. Also, they discuss how to prevent these bottlenecks.

Test cycle closure activities include:

  • checking whether testing is completed or not
  • preparing test metrics based on testing results
  • preparing the test closure reports
  • drawing out learning objectives from this project
  • analyzing the defect distribution by type and severity

Take away:

Since many companies test their products before release, STLC has become highly important. It identifies all the errors and bugs before the product or software is released. In this way, there’s no adverse effect on the client’s business. Everything runs smoothly.

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