3 Best Practices to Consider While Running White Box Tests
Software engineers are often required to write tests to assess the functionality and internal working of their software systems. There’s a whole paradigm of development called Test-Driven Development. It shows the importance of testing for the software applications’ proper functioning.
There are many testing software techniques: Black Box Testing, Static Code Analysis, Functional Testing, among others. Some of them might overlap, but their ultimate goal is to make software applications more secure and predictable. In this article, we’ll look at White Box Testing, also known as SAST.
White Box testing focuses on checking whether the software works as intended. It examines the structure of the program line by line and flags faulty implementation and errors.
Here are three essential practices to follow while White Box testing:
- Start with a specific component.
Often, young developers mistakenly test everything at once. Due to this, they miss essential flows, and in the end, the software system is left with a lot of untested code.
Another vital point to keep in mind is that you cannot have 100% test coverage. So, you should always have a checklist of essential parts, components, and features vital to your business. After you have battle-tested your tests at those flows, you can expand them to other factors too.
Therefore, you should examine and select which part, component, or feature will be tested first. It helps with the separation of concerns and focuses on a particular area instead of starting with no clear goal.
- Use diagrams and flowgraphs
Most of the developers usually don’t like making diagrams and figures to document their processes. Instead, they want to directly jump into the implementation and finish the assigned task as soon as possible.
The main disadvantage of this approach is that most developers deal with clients or project managers who are not coders. So, ultimately something that has been not documented and properly understood leaves many misconceptions.
When writing tests, it’s important to have straightforward documentation so that your tests can be as efficient as possible. Good documentation also helps when the software is updated and the scope of a feature increases or decreases, changing its implementation and thus its tests.
- Implementation of Test Cases.
A common problem that engineers have is being unclear about how to implement their test cases. So, experienced software engineers have laid out a few principles for that. If you follow these tips, you’ll cover everything and have a better testing strategy.
As mentioned earlier, the first step is to have precise requirements for your strategy. You should know which parts of the particular software system you need to test and what to cover.
The second important thing is to outline the approach which you’ll take to implement the tests. Are you going to use specific frameworks or tools for that? Would you be using libraries that have some dependencies? Which language will you be using for writing the test cases?
The third most important thing is to prioritize critical flows. Critical flows need to be given preference because they have a direct impact on your software. If these flows don’t work, it will hamper user experience, which is detrimental to any consumer-driven software.
The final step is to iterate, improve, and repeat the above steps with the actual implementation. There’s always room for improvement in any strategy. You should always look into ways to improve your process and come up with better ones.
There are a lot of best practices to write tests and make them more useful. It’s always helpful for a developer to look into the latest developments and best practices to stay up-to-date with the new trends.