The Importance of Static Testing to Efficiency

Tracking and correcting mistakes in software code has become increasingly difficult because of the growing complexity of the software being developed. As a solution, software must be tested using a variety of methods to ensure full functionality and optimal performance.

One method, proven widely effective in maintaining complex coding, is Static Testing. The test is largely performed in the software verification phases of development, ensuring that all components function the way they were designed to.

Understanding Software Verification

Software testing is a key part of the verification process that occurs throughout the lifecycle of software development. It is especially important in the early stages of development because fundamental components need to support the later stages of software development.

The process includes a series of meetings with the software development team to ensure that all components of the build are present and aligned with the requirements. To do this, the team uses the specification requirements – a document outlining system needs and client expectations – as their guide to hold discussions about how the software should work and what the critical components will be for later development.

Static Testing and Techniques

Since the source code isn’t compiled for a Static Test, the test can occur at any time throughout the software development lifecycle. There are normally two parts to a Static Test:

1. Review: This is where the source code is reviewed against a set of documents (requirement specifications, test cases, design plans) to eliminate any formatting irregularities or ambiguities. This step ensures that the source code has formatting that follows best practices and is highly important for complex software with many developers working on the same components.

2. Static Analysis: The source code is analyzed for structural defects or bugs. Developers have an arsenal of tools that help them analyze for errors quickly.

Both the Review and Static Analysis ensure that the software is being developed to the requirements with accuracy, which saves time and money when reworking the code. However, performing a Static Analysis on its own will not clear all potential problems associated with the source code.

The Power of Reviews

Performing reviews is essential for developers to create software that is clean and runs efficiently. This review done by a developer is called a Peer Review, which entails asking colleagues to review the code manually. While a Static Analysis does clean the source code of any errors, tools do not have the context to inform about the inherent severity of an error.

Logical errors in core components of the source code can lead to a lengthy fix, especially for newer or less familiar programmers. Having a colleague review the code brings additional insight for faster, more comprehensive solutions giving foresight for later development.

Static Testing in Agile Environments

In software development, teams using Agile methodologies, software testing is a continuous process that takes place at every stage of development. The collaborative nature of Agile methodologies involves a constant verification process where developers collaborate with clients to discuss requirement specifications, functionality, and later development.

To collaborate effectively, Static Testing occurs at each iteration of the software’s development for compliance verification and completion audits. Agile methodologies focus on maintaining priorities and managing risk. The product of consistent collaboration is a process that catches mistakes quickly for faster development.

Static Testing brings value to software development by reviewing code for compliance to the requirement specification and analysis for accuracy. In Agile environments, Static Testing verifies that each component is complete before merging upwards into the software. Mistakes are found and corrected by the developers proactively, allowing more time to be spent on further development and strategy instead of reworking.

Tiempo Development uses Agile methodologies to build enterprise quality software that performs well under the most strenuous workloads. We developed the Tiempo Quality System (TQS) as a method of effective collaboration with clients from all backgrounds and industries. For more information about Tiempo Development’s use of quality assurance in Agile methodologies for high-quality software, read our whitepaper about the Tiempo Quality System.