Skip to main content

Differences Between Testing and Checking

Testing is a group of activities which aim to make an application better by finding drawbacks. This explanation is not enough for successful testing result because every activities like checking, control, inspection, supervision or something apparently seen as testing activity do not fully accomplish what testing can do. In this post, I want to give some informations about the differences between testing and something such as checking which non-testing-knowledge people may see them as same. 

First of all, let's look at the definition of testing by IEEE standard documentation IEEE - 829.1983, this documentation sets the basics of testing and thereafter ISEB and ISTQB have used this standard for improving their software testing base. Definition of the software testing by IEEE is as follows, as you can see it in this reference :
"Software testing is the process of analyzing a software item to detect the differences between existing and required conditions (that is, bugs) and to evaluate the features of the software item"
ISTQB and ISEB explain the testing by help of driving analogy which says that if a car drives through the route and during the travel it makes maneuvering and if it reaches to the final with or without minor accident then driving is said to be successful but making and major accident makes it fail. This explanation is used in the software testing which means that if the software doesn't have any major/priority one defect it can be assumed that the software is pass the testing. However, risk levels of the minor defects are still needed to be discussed, this depends on the your risk level and a minor defect may fail your exist criteria. Therefore ISTQB uses; process, SDLC, static-dynamic testing, planing, preparation, evaluation terms for explanation of the software testing. Also, Glenford Mayer explains the software testing in his book The Art of Software Testing as "Testing is the process of executing a program with the intent of finding errors".

When we define the technical explanation of the software testing then meaning of the checking can be easily understood. Checking is about to control if pre-defined items are the same as the described or not. Therefore by the checking, we can sure that the items in the list are controlled and evaluated by a human or machines control. This procedure is suitable for machine checking because the asserting variables are already known and we know what values they can be taken in to account.

The differences between testing and checking are explained by James Bach and Michael Bolton, depends on the Jame's blog after a long discussion they deduced as the following summary:

"Testing is the process of evaluating a product by learning about it through experimentation, which includes to some degree: questioning, study, modeling, observation and inference. (A test is an instance of testing.)

Checking is the process of making evaluations by applying algorithmic decision rules to specific observations of a product. (A check is an instance of checking.)"
I understand from this explanation that testing is about "process, evaluation, learning, questioning, study, modeling, observation and inference" and checking is about "process, rules and observation". Therefore we can summarize as checking is a process and it depends on the rules and the result of checking can be given by observation of the rules; however the testing is a process and it depends on the experimentation and knowledge and result can be produced by learning the system under test. As a result it can be say that testing can cover the checking but reverse is not possible. Checking can be an item in testing process and it can be the base of test automation. We may find new thing by the testing but checking is only about the items we have. Checking can be finished by completing all the checklist items but testing can not finish if we want an exhaustive testing, remember 7 testing principles.

Popular posts for software testing and automation

Selenium Error "Element is not currently interactable and may not be manipulated"

Selenium webdriver can drive different browsers like as Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer. These browsers actually cover the majority of internet users, so testing these browsers possibly covers the 90% of the internet users. However, there is no guaranty that the same automation scripts can work without a failure on these three browsers. For this reason, automation code should be error-prone for the browsers you want to cover. The following error is caught when the test script run for Chrome and Internet Explorer, but surprisingly there is no error for the Firefox. Selenium gives an error like below: Traceback (most recent call last):   File "D:\workspace\sample_project\", line 10, in <module>     m.login()   File "D:\workspace\ sample_project \", line 335, in login     driver.find_element_by_id("id_username").clear()   File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\selenium-2.35.0-py2.7.egg\selenium\webdriver\r

Change Default Timeout and Wait Time of Capybara

One of the biggest challenge for automation is handling timeout problem. Most of the time, timeout is 60 seconds but it may sometimes not enough if you have badly designed asynchronous calls or the third party ajax calls. This makes handling timeout more complex. set large enough to tolerate network related problems. For Selenium based automation frameworks, like Capybara, default Webdriver timeout is set to Net::ReadTimeout (Net::ReadTimeout) Changing ReadTimeout If you have timeout problem for Capybara, it gives an error like above. This means that the page is not fully loaded in given timeout period. Even you can see that page is loaded correctly but webdriver wait until the Ajax calls finish. class BufferedIO #:nodoc: internal use only def initialize (io) @io = io @read_timeout = 60 @continue_timeout = nil @debug_output = nil @rbuf = '' end . . . . . def rbuf_fill beg

Create an Alias for Interactive Console Work: Selenium and Capybara

If you are working on shell most of the time Aliases are very helpfull and time saving. For testing purposes you can use Alias for getting ready your test suites. In this post, I want to explain both running Selenium and Capybara on console and creating aliases for each.  This post is for Windows machines, if you are using Unix-like see   this post . Creating Scripts for Selenium and Capybara First of all, it is assumed that you have installed Selenium and Capybara correctly and they work on your machines. If you haven't installed, you can see my previous posts. I am using the Selenium with Python and the Capybara with Ruby. You can use several different language for Selenium but Capybara works only with Ruby.  Create scripts in a directory called scripts (in your home folder, like as  ~/scripts ) for your automation tool as following, save them as capybara.rb, :  Creating Aliases Depends on your favourite shell, you need to add the alias to .bashrc bash

Page-Object Pattern for Selenium Test Automation with Python

Page-object model is a pattern that you can apply it to develop efficient automation framework. With the page-model, it is possible to minimize maintenance cost. Basically page-object means that your every page is inherited from a base class which includes basic functionalities for every page. If you have some new functionalities that every page should have, you can simple add it to the base class. Base class is like the following: In this part we are creating pages which are inherited from base page. Every page has its own functionalities written as python functions. Some functions return to a new page, it means that these functions leave the current page and produce a new page. You should write as much as functions you need in the assertion part because this is the only part you can use the webdriver functions to interact with web pages . This part can be evaluate as providing data to assertion part.   The last part is related to asserting your test cases against to the

Performance Testing on CI: Locust is running on Jenkins

For a successful Continuous Integration pipeline, there should be jobs for testing the performance of the application. It is necessary if the application is still performing well. Generally performance testing is thought as kinds of activities performed one step before going to live. In general approach it is true but don't forget to test your application's performance as soon as there is an testable software, such as an api end point, functions, and etc. For CI it is a good approach to testing performance after functional testing and just before the deployment of next stage. In this post, I want to share some info about Jenkins and Locust. In my previous post you can find some information about Locust and Jenkins. Jenkins operates the CI environment and Locust is a tool for performance testing. To run the Locust on Jenkins you need command line arguments which control the number of clients ,   hatch rate,  running locust without web interface and there should be so