Testing in isolation

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Testing in isolation

No! not the kind of testing in isolation that you’re thinking despite the fact that we are all in quarantine this period.

There is a term in Software Testing coined Isolation Testing. It is the process of breaking down a system into various modules so that defects can be spotted easily in isolation. Like the word “isolation” this testing involves separating a software module from other components or integrations so that hidden bugs can be easily detected as thorough testing is being carried out.

This testing is usually done when a bug is difficult to locate and resolve by the development team. It is also done to fish out hidden and unprecedented bugs in the system before the module of software is added to the system. 

In isolation testing, testers ensure that the module of software being tested is not integrated with other systems. Like unit testing where the smallest unit of the code is tested, isolation testing requires a standalone/individual type of testing.

Depending on the testing technique adopted for the SDLC, isolation testing should be done after unit testing before integration testing. It is like a two-way verification before integration. 

Stages of Isolation testin

  1. Isolation testing carried out before integration testing: It is expected that after developers unit testing, a build is released to the testing team to ensure that each object and sub-component(s) of the module is working effectively.
  2. Isolation testing carried out to detect uneasily detectable defects: It is expected that the architecture of the system is broken into separate modules, each without external integration, while extreme and thorough testing is done to detect the bug source.

Pros and Cons of isolation Testing

  • Isolation testing is best done at the beginning of the software testing life cycle, this will expose design and performance mistakes early enough.
  • Havings to breakdown the architecture of a system in extreme cases is expensive
  • Isolation testing provides accurate results and offers precise verification of outputs of each interface and subsystems.
  • Based on the ambiguity of the system and the number of testers involved, Isolation testing is time-consuming.
  • It gives testers more in-depth about the system.
  • It helps to improve the overall performance of the system

Testers often test in isolation in other to find more bugs and uncovered edge cases in the system. Isolation testing when properly done is highly effective in ensuring an almost bug-free system because it provides accurate outputs of each interface and subsystems precisely.

 As software testers, we have a type of testing that illustrates, how to test effectively even in self-isolation, quarantine, or as we work from home. Perhaps this time can be used to gain more insights on our system or fish out that unusual bug(s) in the system.

Happy testing!

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