QA Testing Overview

Every software project should have some good old-fashioned quality assurance (QA). Testing software is incredibly important, even when you have the best developers. QA is instrumental to the longevity and sustainability of your product, so take your QA testing seriously. Read on to learn about the different types of QA testing.

Types of QA Testing

Testing your system means you are looking to find bugs or problems with the code base. Thorough testing is key because if you miss critical bugs, it can lead to major issues with your product and affect your customers or end users. We'll discuss three major types of QA testing: functional, non-functional, and maintenance.

Functional Testing

The premise of functional testing is to walk through the product as a real end-user would. You create user stories to give you a script to follow. This way, your tests are based on the end-user specifications or requirements of the piece being tested. You are making sure the system functions as it should, hence the name. As you walk through each script, you're simulating every possible action a user might make.

The steps and process for functional testing are very methodical. They follow a guide that is fairly intuitive. As the tester, it is your role to first understand and identify what the functions of the software are. The tester will then create input data, analyze the output, and compare the results to what the predicted or anticipated outcome is.

There are many different types of functional testing. Unit, integration, system, sanity, smoke, interface, etc. are all different types of functional testing that can be performed. We'll define all of these subtypes in a future series, so stay posted!

Non-Functional Testing

As you may guess, in contrast to functional testing, non-functional testing is focused on the testing of a system based on its non-functional specifications. In other words, we are looking to test the way a system operates behind the scenes as opposed to a specific action or behavior that is being observed on the surface.

In looking at the general operations of the system, the tester is looking at things such as usability, reliability, speed, flow, scalability, etc. Where functional testing is looking at the behavior of the specific action, non-functional testing would be looking at something like how many users can simultaneously create an account without crashing the server. Non-functional testing often involves writing code to simulate different inputs and see how the system handles unexpected inputs or edge cases.

There are also many types of non-functional testing. Some types of non-functional testing include: performance, failover, stress, scalability, etc. To learn more about the specifics of each, stay tuned for our follow-up series on different types of non-functional testing!


The overall goal of maintenance testing is to ensure that bug-fixing measures are adequate, as well as identify areas of the system that need to be repaired or updated regularly. Maintenance testing is like putting in the light in your car that shines when you need an oil change.

Maintenance testing is less complex than functional and non-functional testing, and thus, has fewer types. There are four types of maintenance testing: adaptive, predictive, preventative, and corrective. As stated before, we'll be exploring these types of testing in a future series, so let us know if you want to see them!

QA Testing Conclusion

All of these different types of testing fall under the QA testing process. As you can tell, QA testing is quite a lot of responsibility both in terms of effort and value.

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