Why is Test Coverage an Important Part of Software Testing?

There is no second opinion in acknowledging the importance of software testing. We all know it is crucial to test the software to verify whether it meets the requirements and ensures it is error-free.

Yes, when you develop software, errors may appear in any phase of the life cycle. So, software testing comes in place to identify bugs, gaps, or any missing requirements compared to the actual needs.

However, one of the challenging decisions is knowing when to stop testing? How much is good testing? Do you need to test 100% of your application? Or do you need to focus on the areas that have more problems? Is it wise to allocate your resources uniformly throughout the application or focus only on those most critical modules?

Is there any metric for that? There comes the need for test coverage. Test coverage is an essential indicator of software quality and an inevitable part of software maintenance.

This blog will give you insights into test coverage and its techniques and why you should leverage them to make the most out of your testing approach. Let’s get started.

What is Test Coverage?

Ultimately, test coverage is a beneficial tool in identifying the untested parts of a codebase. It allows test generators to monitor the testing quality and directs them to create test cases to cover the untested areas.

Test Coverage Techniques:

1) Product Coverage

Let’s assume that you have to test a simple application like a calculator. Though you must check the essential functions like four arithmetic operations, that is not enough. You have to consider other factors also while testing the calculator app.

You have to go the extra mile in testing various scenarios, like how well the calculator handles large numbers. Or, what if the user did something unusual like pasting special characters into the text field?

You have to test your product for multiple scenarios else you can’t claim your application has complete product coverage.

2) Risk Coverage

For example, let’s assume you have to test a food-delivery app. The user chooses the restaurant and food preferences in the app and pays via the payment gateway integrated with the app. One default risk here is that the users go offline when they are in the payment process.

In that scenario, how will your application behave? Likewise, you have to ask yourself the relevant risk factors involved in the application and check them.

3) Boundary Value Coverage

So, you can test the application by giving numbers less than 0 like negatives and higher numbers above 50. That way, you can reduce the errors in your application precisely. Boundary coverage ensures testing such boundaries across the application.

4) Requirements Coverage

Consider, you market your app with specific features. But, your app did not have those features. That way, no one will prefer the app. So, it is highly crucial to create a requirement list when creating the test plans. Thus, you can test whether your app meets all requirements.

Nevertheless, requirements coverage is the most fundamental and essential technique. It makes sure your app fulfills all requirements. After all, that is the whole logic behind software development.

5) AI- Aided Test Automation

These AI-aided tools come with test suites that apply machine learning to learn with each execution. AI even enables self-correcting test cases, easing the burden of test maintenance. Thus, you can have a robust test suite that provides your app with premium test coverage.

Why is Test Coverage an Important Part of Software Testing?

1) Find Bugs and Rectify them at Early Stages

2) Create more Test Cases to Ensure Better Coverage

3) Remove Unwanted Test Cases

4) Own Better Control over Your Project

5) Efficient Testing Cycles

6) Higher ROI

How to Calculate Test Coverage?

Test Coverage = (No of lines that have been tested/Total No of lines of code) x 100

So, your app has 1000000 lines of code, and 400000 of those are exercised by at least one test case; your test case is 40%.

Though it sounds trivial, figuring out the number of lines in the app currently under test can be challenging.

Wrapping Up

One of the prime challenges most professionals face is how to decide what and how much to test. However, test coverage techniques are here for your rescue to help you make the most out of your tests.

Test coverage techniques help you constantly track the quality of your tests and cover areas that are not validated. You can choose to test your application depending on risk, product, requirements, etc, and refine your end product efficiently. Additionally, with AI and self-correcting test cases, you can handle test maintenance even more at ease.

Ultimately, test coverage allows you to do software testing effectively, encouraging you to offer high-quality applications, increased customer satisfaction, and a high ROI.

Entrepreneur, Founder @Cypherox Technologies.