Difference between Testing and Debugging

Often, in interviews for software testing, candidates are asked to explain the difference between Software Testing and Debugging. For a layman, they may seem to be the same but they are as different as chalk and cheese.

Testing activity is carried down by a team of testers, in order to find the defect in the software. Test engineers run their tests on the piece of software and if they encounter any defect (i.e. actual results don't match expected results), they report it to the development team. Along with the nature of defect, testers also have to report at what point the defect occurred and what happened due the occurrence of that defect. All this information will be used by development team to DEBUG the defect. (Read more about Defect Life Cycle)

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Testing V/s Debugging

Debugging is the activity which is carried out by the development team (or developer), after getting the test report from the testing team about defect(s) (you may note defects can also be reports by the client). The developer then tries to find the cause of the defect, in this quest he may need to go through lines of code and find which part of code in causing that defect. After finding out the bug, he tries to modify that portion of code and then he rechecks if the defect has been finally removed. After fixing the bug, developers send the software back to testers.

Hope now you are clear on how debugging is different from testing.

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