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Differences between Testing and Debugging

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Testing: Testing is the process of verifying and validating that a software or application is bug-free, meets the technical requirements as guided by its design and development, and meets the user requirements effectively and efficiently by handling all the exceptional and boundary cases. 

Debugging: Debugging is the process of fixing a bug in the software. It can be defined as identifying, analyzing, and removing errors. This activity begins after the software fails to execute properly and concludes by solving the problem and successfully testing the software. It is considered to be an extremely complex and tedious task because errors need to be resolved at all stages of debugging. 

The main differences between testing and debugging are:

  1. Purpose: The purpose of testing is to identify defects or errors in the software system, while the purpose of debugging is to fix those defects or errors.
  2. Timing: Testing is done before debugging, while debugging is done after testing.
  3. Approach: Testing involves executing the software system with test cases, while debugging involves analyzing the symptoms of a problem and identifying the root cause of the problem.
  4. Tools and techniques: Testing can involve using automated or manual testing tools, while debugging typically involves using tools and techniques such as logging, tracing, and code inspection.
Testing is the process to find bugs and errors.Debugging is the process of correcting the bugs found during testing.
It is the process to identify the failure of implemented code.It is the process to give absolution to code failure.
Testing is the display of errors.Debugging is a deductive process.
Testing is done by the tester.Debugging is done by either programmer or the developer.
There is no need of design knowledge in the testing process.Debugging can’t be done without proper design knowledge.
Testing can be done by insiders as well as outsiders.Debugging is done only by insiders. An outsider can’t do debugging.
Testing can be manual or automated.Debugging is always manual. Debugging can’t be automated.
It is based on different testing levels i.e. unit testing, integration testing, system testing, etc.Debugging is based on different types of bugs.
Testing is a stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC).Debugging is not an aspect of the software development life cycle, it occurs as a consequence of testing.
Testing is composed of the validation and verification of software.While debugging process seeks to match symptoms with cause, by that it leads to error correction.
Testing is initiated after the code is written.Debugging commences with the execution of a test case.
Testing process based on various levels of testing-system testing, integration testing, unit testing, etc.Debugging process based on various types of bugs is present in a system.

In summary, testing and debugging are two important activities in software engineering that are related but have distinct differences. Testing is the process of verifying that a software system or component meets its functional and non-functional requirements, while debugging is the process of identifying and fixing defects, errors, or issues in the software system.

Last Updated : 24 Apr, 2023
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