Difference Between Testing And Debugging

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What is Testing?

Software testing is the process of evaluating and verifying that a software product or application does what it is supposed to do. In other words, testing is executing a system in order to identify any gaps, errors, or missing requirements in contrary to the actual requirements.

The process of software testing aims not only at finding faults in the existing software but also at finding measures to improve the software in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and usability. It mainly aims at measuring the specification, functionality, and performance of a software program or application. Software testing is broadly categorised into two types – functional testing and non-functional testing.

Testing should be started as early as possible to reduce the cost and time to rework and produce software that is bug-free so that it can be delivered to the client. However, in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), testing can be started from the Requirements Gathering phase and continued till the software is out there in productions. 

There are many different types of software tests, each with specific objectives and strategies:

  • Acceptance testing: Verifying whether the whole system works as intended.
  • Integration testing: Ensuring that software components or functions operate together.
  • Unit testing: Validating that each software unit performs as expected. A unit is the smallest testable component of an application.
  • Functional testing: Checking functions by emulating business scenarios, based on functional requirements. Black-box testing is a common way to verify functions.
  • Performance testing: Testing how the software performs under different workloads. Load testing, for example, is used to evaluate performance under real-life load conditions.
  • Regression testing: Checking whether new features break or degrade functionality. Sanity testing can be used to verify menus, functions and commands at the surface level, when there is no time for a full regression test.
  • Stress testing: Testing how much strain the system can take before it fails. Considered to be a type of non-functional testing.
  • Usability testing: Validating how well a customer can use a system or web application to complete a task.

What you need to know about testing

  • Testing is the implementation of the software with the intent of identifying the defects.
  • Testing can either be performed manually or with the help of some automation tools.
  • Testing can be done by software engineers or developers as well. 
  • Software testing is vital phase of SLDC (Software Development Lifecycle).
  •  Programming knowledge is not required to perform the testing process.
  • Testing can be predefined at the begging of testing. The test result could be predicted.
  • The objective of testing is to identify or find the bug.
  • Testing is defined on the basis of requirements and design.
  • Testing covers positive as well as negative cases.
  • Various types of software testing include unit, integration, system, black box etc.
  • Testing must be planned, designed and scheduled.

What is Debugging?

Debugging can be defined as the process of finding the root of a problem in a code base and fixing it. Debugging tactics can involve interactive debugging, control flow analysis, unit testing, integration testing, log file analysis, monitoring at the application or system level, memory dumps and profiling.

To debug a program, user has to start with a problem, isolate the source code of the problem, and then fix it. A user of a program must know how to fix the problem as knowledge about problem analysis is expected. When the bug is fixed, then the software is ready to use. Debugging tools (called debuggers) are used to identify coding errors at various development stages. They are used to reproduce the conditions in which error has occurred, then examine the program state at that time and locate the cause.

Programmers can trace the program execution step-by-step by evaluating the value of variables and stop the execution wherever required to get the value of variables or reset the program variables. Some programming language packages provide a debugger for checking the code for errors while it is being written at run time.

When various subsystems or modules are tightly coupled, debugging becomes harder as any change in one module may cause more bugs to appear in another. Sometimes it takes more time to debug a program than to code it.

What you need to know about debugging

  • Debugging is a step by step process of correcting the bugs found during testing.
  • The debugging process cannot be automated.  
  • Debugging is done by the developer or the programmer.
  • Debugging is not a part of SDLC because it occurs as a subset of testing.  
  • Debugging process requires knowledge and understanding of programming language.
  • Debugging start from unknown conditions and it is hard to predict the results.
  • The purpose of debugging is to find or identify the cause of the bug.
  • There are no test cases designed for debugging.  
  • Debugging only covers positive cases.
  • Debugging is neither planned, designed nor scheduled.

Difference Between Testing And Debugging In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON TESTING DEBUGGING
Description Testing is the implementation of the software with the intent of identifying the defects.   Debugging is a step by step process of correcting the bugs found during testing.  
Automation Testing can either be performed manually or with the help of some automation tools.   The debugging process cannot be automated.   
Experts Testing can be done by software engineers or developers as well.    Debugging is done by the developer or the programmer.  
Nature Software testing is vital phase of SLDC (Software Development Lifecycle).   Debugging is not a part of SDLC because it occurs as a subset of testing.   
Programming Knowledge Programming knowledge is not required to perform the testing process.   Debugging process requires knowledge and understanding of programming language.  
Process Testing can be predefined at the begging of testing. The test result could be predicted.   Debugging start from unknown conditions and it is hard to predict the results.  
Objective The objective of testing is to identify or find the bug.   The purpose of debugging is to find or identify the cause of the bug.  
Test Cases Testing is defined on the basis of requirements and design.   There are no test cases designed for debugging.   
Types Various types of software testing include unit, integration, system, black box etc.   There is only one known way of debugging which is not in any way categorized in different types.   
Execution Testing must be planned, designed and scheduled.   Debugging is neither planned, designed nor scheduled.