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Improving Test Effectiveness with Code Coverage Analysis

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Once developers are finished writing the code for new software, it needs to be tested so they can identify any problems or bugs. That’s where code coverage analysis comes in handy. It is generally acknowledged that the software testing phase of the maintenance life cycle is crucial for delivering a good product that works the way the client intended.

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Enhancing the softwares quality is a popular approach during the testing phase. Testers believe that increasing test case coverage can increase the quality of test cases. In software testing, the number of tests that a set of tests has passed is a crucial indicator of how well the program works.

What are Test Coverage and Code Coverage

Test coverage is a crucial technique that helps testers and coders see the code coverage metrics. It’s a type of testing methodology where test cases are written to provide maximum coverage of the requirements of the customer’s specifications, and the test coverage shows how many of these requirements are fulfilled.

What are Test Coverage and Code Coverage

Example of Code Coverage Analysis Report

Source: Atlassian.com

On the other hand, code coverage is a way to see how much of the code has been tested. It helps testers ensure all parts of the code have been checked. Code coverage also shows how a code has been executed during the testing.

What is Code Coverage Analysis

Code coverage analysis is the process of locating code in a program that isn’t utilized by test cases. The test suite may be improved to boost coverage by adding or changing new tests. The effectiveness of your unit testing is demonstrated by code coverage analysis. It allows programmers to swiftly and easily raise the caliber of their unit tests, which raises the quality of the software they are developing.

Code Coverage Calculation

The tools used while determining the code coverage have multiple criteria to see how effectively your code was executed during the test stages. The metrics that are most commonly used include:

  • Function coverage
  • Statement coverage
  • Branches coverage
  • Condition coverage
  • Line coverage

How to Improve Your Code Coverage Analysis

There are many ways in which you can improve your code coverage analysis. Getting the best possible data to enhance your code and bring its full potential to the table is important.

How to Improve Your Code Coverage Analysis

Code coverage shows you how much of the code has been tested, whereas test coverage defines whether your tests cover all sections of the code.

Source: headspin.io

Choose the Correct Tool

Many tools are available to create code coverage reports. They rely on multiple factors, such as the programming language used. These tools can be integrated with other developer tools, increasing their power and scope. If you choose an open-source code coverage tool, check the supported features and if it’s in active development.

Percentage of Coverage to Aim For

You probably think the logical answer here is “the higher, the better”. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even a high percentage of code coverage can still cause issues. The main thing here is to test the critical parts of the software and do it efficiently.

Usually, if all the tests are done right, the accepted code coverage should be above 80%.

To balance the code coverage analysis, software developers should test every line of the code, but aim to test if the application fulfills its business requirements.

Include Unit Testing

Unit tests aim to check the functionality of each method in your program’s classes and subsystems. Because they are frequently simple and affordable to implement, you may be confident that the platform’s basis is solid. Unit tests should help you ensure that your test suite covers all lines of code; thus, starting with them is a simple way to improve your code coverage quickly.

Use Coverage Reports

Once you start testing, you will have so many results you won’t be able to track them all. That’s where the coverage reports come in. Most tools allow you to dig into the coverage reports, review the actual items the tests covered and use the data to determine if the software needs further testing.

Good Coverage Doesn’t Equal a Good Test

For a software development team to have a perfect testing culture, they need to understand that an application should not work great only under normal usage, but also if someone tries to break it intentionally. That’s why using different software code testing and analysis types is important. Testing different parts of the code in different ways will increase the test’s effectiveness and the application’s overall reliability.

We suggest creating hard enough tests focusing on key points in the software and testing other parts of the code in ways that aren’t usually under normal load. This will help you see how the code operates under more stress.

Use Automation

A code coverage test can only be 100% efficient with an automation process incorporated into the test plan. Using automation tools in code coverage is an essential part of the process. You can’t go through all of the process with manual testing. It’s not time efficient, and you might lose track of the data. These tools can work non-stop, keep the data in reports and send it directly to your computer for manual analysis later.

Pros and Cons of Code Coverage

A question that often arises is, “what are the benefits of code coverage testing?”. To answer this, we must recognize that code coverage is not a flawless system. Many code coverage tools test the software’s code differently, giving different results and reports. This means you might get a different result if you use two or three different tools.

This means searching for the best tool for your needs might be hard and lengthy. You would have to try out different programs to see which ones can test the required areas of your code. This tool should also support the programming language that your software is written in. You can’t test C# software with a tool for JavaScript code testing.

On the other hand, code coverage is an excellent way to test your software code’s effectiveness; if used correctly, the reports could help you increase your code coverage score. The time spent searching for the perfect tool is worth it because most testing software applications are fast to set up. Moreover, the code coverage helps improve the quality of your code by finding bugs and errors.

How Much Coverage Testing Is Enough

Depending on the project, different amounts of time should be spent on code testing. In most scenarios, the more tests you can do, the better. The designers, developers and test teams should cooperate, fixing errors as the code is written, and then work together to test the code, removing any bad sectors.

Before beginning the testing, The testers should spend a good amount of time learning the requirements the code needs to fulfil. This will help them prioritize important areas and track the progress made. The testers and QA teams should be in close connection to ensure the code meets the target code coverage before the final product is sent to the client.

Conclusion

Test coverage is a black-box technique, whereas code coverage is a white-box strategy for testing. You should choose test coverage and code coverage tools based on the needs and specifications of the project. The test activities must be prioritized according to the client’s requirements, each requiring a rough schedule. Regardless of the technique used, a higher level of coverage is critical since it demonstrates that the code and product features have been properly tested.

What is Code Coverage?

Code coverage is the percentage of code run during a test. It helps analyze how much of the client’s requirements have been implemented into the code.

Can a Code be Submitted to a Client Without Code Coverage Testing?

Software developers must test their code coverage before submitting their final product to the client. This is needed to see if the code has all the important features and requirements.

Are There Free Code Coverage Tools?

Yes, while you can find a lot of excellent code coverage tools, there are certainly good free ones that you can use. They might have certain drawbacks that you should always check for, but you should be able to find the one that checks your boxes.

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