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Difference between Testing and Debugging

Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Prepbytes

Software Development Life Cycle is defined as the stepwise procedure of developing software. It is a complex process involving several stages. Out of these multiple stages, the two most important stages are Testing and Debugging. Both of these steps are crucial in the process of Software Development. While Testing helps in ensuring that the software is of high quality and does not contain any bugs, debugging is the process of finding and fixing the probable bugs which can cause the software to behave abnormally. Although the terms testing and debugging are often used interchangeably, they are much different from each other as they are two different processes as evident from the image given below.

For a better understanding of the difference between testing and debugging, let us take a closer look at both processes (i.e., testing and debugging) one by one.

What is Testing?

Software testing is the process of detecting errors in a software product. It is used to validate the behavior of software or applications in comparison to requirements.

In other words, testing is a collection of procedures used to verify the correctness of an application against a predetermined specification,

Any program or application must be tested before being delivered to clients to ensure that it functions properly in accordance with the specifications.

Software Testing is of various different types. Following are the different types of testing:

  • Unit testing: Unit Testing is the process of testing individual units or components of the software to ensure that they are functioning as per the laid plan.
  • Integration testing: This is the process of testing how different components of the software work together to ensure that they function as intended.
  • System testing: System Testing is defined as the process of testing the entire system (in simpler terms, the entire software system) to ensure that it meets the requirements of the client.
  • Acceptance testing: Acceptance Testing is the process of testing the software with end-users to ensure that it meets their requirements and expectations.

Testing is a vital element of the software development lifecycle since it identifies bugs and errors in the product before it is distributed to end users. Testing helps in the improvement of software quality and the elimination of errors. Testing can be performed manually as well as with the help of various Testing Tools present in the market.

What is Debugging?

Debugging is the process of finding and fixings the bugs or defects in code which can cause errors and cause the software to malfunction. Debugging is usually done after the testing when the tester has identified the problem in the software code.

Debugging is a time-consuming and complex process. It comes under the category of the skill set of the developer.

The following steps that are involved in debugging are listed below in a stepwise manner.

  • Step 1: Identifying the error in the code is the first step of debugging.
  • Step 2: After the identification of the error in the code, we need to review the code thoroughly many times to locate the exact location of the error.
  • Step 3: Now, the Error Analysis is carried out. The goal of this step is to reevaluate errors for the identification of existing bugs.
  • Step 4: The fourth step is to prove the analysis and to develop automated tests for such domains by the integration of the test framework.
  • Step 5: Next step is known as Cover Collateral Damage. This phase involves the collection of all modified code and on running the unit test, this code must pass.
  • Step 6: The last step includes validation that the modified code does not have any bugs or errors.

Debugging is a critical part of the software development process as it helps to ensure that software products are free from errors and function as intended.

Difference Between Testing and Debugging

Now, we are well equipped with the pre-requisite knowledge, so let us discuss the Difference between Testing and Debugging.

S.No. Testing Debugging
1 Testing is the process of verification and validation of the software code so that the code is functioning as per the requirements of the client. The process of debugging involves the identification of bugs and fixing the identified bugs in the code.
2 Testing is performed at every vital step of the Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC), from the step of Requirement Gathering to the Release of the product in the market. Debugging is generally carried out after the tester has raised some errors or bugs in the code, usually in the development phase or maintenance phase.
3 The goal of testing is to ensure that the software product is of high quality, performs as expected, and meets the needs of end users. The goal of debugging is to eliminate errors or defects in the software code and ensure that the software functions as intended.
4 The process of testing involves the development of test cases, execution of programs on these cases, and analyzing the results to identify any issues or defects. Debugging involves the identification of bugs and errors manually or with the help of automated tools. It also involves location the exact location of the code and fixing the code.
5 Testing covers all possible real-life scenarios that might cause the software to cause errors. It mainly focuses on the errors and bugs that have been raised by the tester or by feedback given by the end user.
6 Testing can be performed manually or automated using testing frameworks, test management software, and automation tools. Debugging often involves using debuggers, memory analyzers, and code profilers to locate and fix errors in the code.
7 Testing gives out a detailed report as an output. The report contains the issues or defects that are present in the software. The output of the process of debugging is the correct version of the software in which the raised bugs or defects have been eliminated.
8 It requires a good understanding of the testing principles, test case development, and also the knowledge of automation testing. It requires an understanding of programming languages and problem-solving skills for fixing bugs.
9 In comparison, testing is less expensive and it involves fewer resources and timing. Debugging is more time-consuming and expensive. The reason for this is that it is generally performed at later stages.
10 It mainly focuses on the fact that the developed software is in alignment with the required specifications provided by the client. It only focuses on the identification and fixing of bugs.

Both testing and debugging are crucial components of the software development process. Testing ensures that software products are of high quality and error-free, whereas debugging identifies and fixes bugs or errors in software code. Although testing and debugging are distinct processes with distinct goals, both are essential for ensuring that software products are reliable, efficient, and suit the objectives of end users. By understanding the Difference between Testing and Debugging, software developers can effectively and efficiently implement both of these steps and deliver software products of high quality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions related to the Difference between Testing and Debugging.

Ques 1. Why is testing important?
Ans. Testing is important because it helps ensure that software products are of high quality, function as intended, and meet user requirements.

Ques 2. What are some of the benefits of automated testing?
Ans. Automated testing is faster, more reliable, and more efficient when compared to manual testing. Automated testing helps in reducing the probability of error which might be there if performed by a human.

Ques 3. What do mean by a debugger?
Ans. A debugger is a software tool that helps programmers in the identification and correction of errors or bugs in software.

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