Get started Bring yourself up to speed with our introductory content.

What are the top software testing methods?

I'm a beginner in need of some advice to choose a software testing methodology. What testing strategies do you consider successful? Can you share your perspective on the most common testing types and explain the differences between them?

The software testing methods that QA teams use always change because of business requirements or constraints. Agile...

processes, for instance, enable better responsiveness to customer demand and meet the need for speed at every level.

QA testing is not exempt from change, nor should it be. Software testing methods need to modernize in several key ways.

The popular testing types detailed below are either new takes on a traditional test strategy or an improved process that takes less time than before. And due to the interconnectedness of applications and data, there's one test method you can simply never skip.

Feature equals function

Feature testing, also called story testing, has replaced -- and reimagined -- functional testing. Functional testing verifies that applications function as designed, despite additions or other changes.

Feature testing incorporates the idea of Agile story testing and changes the focus to be less on function and more on proving that the feature works when integrated with the full application. Because features can be broken into multiple stories in the kanban or Scrum development model, a full feature is tested in small pieces over a shorter period of time but against the full application code. Testers concentrate on the feature over the course of a release cycle to ensure the final product performs as expected.

Regression switches to smoke and release

Regression testing has changed exponentially within the past five years. It no longer takes a matter of weeks, where every conceivable test is executed. It is now a smoke test that ensures the basics function as expected.

Modern regression testing includes automated unit tests at the code level and perhaps a set of back-end automated tests to check anything from API connectivity to data exchange success. Manual smoke tests evaluate if the software's most critical capacities work -- the name comes from whether a product catches fire when it is turned on. Regression testing in this manner occurs in a matter of days, most frequently as a continuous testing process.

Modern regression testing includes release testing, wherein the QA tester confirms all the items that make up a release are present in the code. Release testing is similar to a second round of traditional regression testing, which ensures that released features exist in the code and that they function together as expected.

Integration is everything

Integration testing has become a widely prioritized software testing method. Testers can no longer skip or ignore the process, because every application shares data with multiple partners across secured API structures. In modern dev-test practices, integration testing is continuous. It's built automatically into feature testing and occurs as well during smoke and release testing. To many modern software teams, the process might not even go by the name integration testing anymore. Teams rely on multiple apps working seamlessly at the same time, so every little thing is integrated.

Modern testing is good news for QA teams, because it provides an opportunity to grow and expand skill sets, while moving at a much faster pace with leaner practices. Modern software testing methods can keep up with the business realities of application software development.

This was last published in August 2018

Dig Deeper on Agile DevOps

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Are we missing any of the common testing methodologies on this list? Do you agree with these definitions?
If I were to recommend any one item to be added to this list, even though it seems to be fundamental, it's that we emphasize the scientific method and its importance in helping us construct tests. I found several years ago that taking a step backwards and focusing on the scientific method, and keeping it at the forefront of my efforts, genuinely added a lot of focus to my testing. It's the best methodology out there; all others stem from it ;).
The most commonly used test technique seems to be missing from this list. That is domain testing, sometimes called boundary testing or equivalence class testing. 

Cem Kaner wrote a fantastic workbook dedicated to this technique.
You can find that workbook at the following link:
What other testing methodologies do you think deserve to be on this list?
How are testing methodologies the same as testing approaches?
I give up, how?
Hey John, I really enjoyed reading your article. A lot of useful info in there. My company recently published an article focused on "functional testing best practices". Maybe you would like to take a look? - http://howwedostartups.com/articles/functional-testing-best-practices
Tell me what you think pls.
How can we write testcases based on Boundary values Analysis and Equivalence partitioning?
What are performance testing best practices?  Are they any SOP documents to establish processes?
The above provided is the best software testing methods. If you are looking for tutorials then hackr.io is the best programming and design community as per my opinion.

Keep Learning!!