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Difference Between Testing and Debugging

In this section, we are going to understand the difference between Testing and Debugging. Both the terminologies are the integral parts of SDLC as both are used at the different phase of Software Development Life Cycle and gives distinct types of outcomes.

At the time of development and after the outcome of any application or the software product established in any programming language, both Testing and Debugging play a vital role in finding and removing mistakes.

Note: Both Testing and Debugging are two words that seem to share a similar meaning but intensively different from one another.

They have quite an equivalent function, but they are diverse in terms of designs, requirements, benefits, and performance.

Therefore, it is required for us to understand the differences between testing and debugging properly that will support us in receiving better software development outcomes.

Before we see the difference between testing and debugging, we will discuss the in-detail evaluation of testing and debugging, which will help us distinguish both of them appropriately.

Testing vs Debugging

What is Software Testing?

Software testing is a process of identifying defects in the software product. It is performed to validate the behavior of the software or the application compared to requirements.

In other words, we can say that the testing is a collection of techniques to determine the accuracy of the application under the predefined specification but, it cannot identify all the defects of the software.

Each software or application needs to be tested before delivering to the clients and checks whether the particular software or the application is working fine as per the given requirements.

What is Debugging?

As opposed to Testing, Debugging is the action where the development team or a developer implements after receiving the test report related to the bugs in the software from the testing team.

In the software development process, debugging includes detecting and modifying code errors in a software program.

In debugging process, the developer needs to identify the reason behind the particular bug or defect, which is carried out by analyzing the coding rigorously.

The developer changes the code and then rechecks whether the defect has been deleted whenever the bug or error is found.

Once the debugging is successfully finished, the application is again sent back to the test engineers, who remain in the process of testing.

The debugging process allows us an earlier finding of an error and makes software development stress-free and easy.

Now, based on features and technique of practice, we can distinguish between Testing and Debugging.

Testing Vs. Debugging

Testing vs Debugging

In the below table, we have listed some of the significant difference between testing and debugging:

S.NO Testing Debugging
1. It is the implementation of the software with the intent of identifying the defects The process of fixing and resolving the defects is known as debugging.
2. Testing can be performed either manually or with the help of some automation tools. The debugging process cannot be automated.
3. A group of test engineers executes testing, and sometimes it can be performed by the developers. Debugging is done by the developer or the programmer.
4. The test engineers perform manual and automated test cases on the application, and if they detect any bug or error, they can report back to the development team for fixing. The developers will find, evaluates, and removes the software errors.
5. Programming knowledge is not required to perform the testing process. Without having an understanding of the programming language, we cannot proceed with the debugging process.
6. Once the coding phase is done, we proceed with the testing process. After the implementation of the test case, we can start the Debugging process.
7. Software Testing includes two or more activities such as validation and verification of the software. Debugging tries to match indication with cause, hence leading to the error correction.
8. It is built on different testing levels such as Unit Testing, Integration Testing, System Testing, etc. It is built on different kinds of bugs because there is no such level of debugging is possible.
9. Software testing is the presentation of defects. It is a logical procedure.
10. Software testing is the vital phase of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). It is not a part of SDLC because it occurs as a subset of testing.
11. Some advantages of software testing are as below:
  • It can easily understand by the new test engineers or the beginner.
  • The test engineer can interact with software as a real end-user to check the usability and user interface issues.
  • It is used to test dynamically altering GUI designs.
  • Testing is a cost-effective and time-saving process.
  • Software testing delivers a consistence software.
  • It will help us to execute the root cause analysis that will enhance the software's productivity.
  • The testing process also helps detect and fixing the bugs before the software becomes active, which significantly reduces the risk of failure.
Some advantages of debugging process are as follows:
  • It supports the developer in minimizing the data.
  • If the perform the debugging, we can report the error condition directly.
  • During the debugging process, the developer can avoid complex one-use testing code thathelps the developer save time and energy.
  • Debugging delivers maximum useful information of data structures and allows its informal understanding.
12. Software testing contains various type of testing methods, which are as follow:
  • Black-box testing
  • White-box testing
  • Grey-box testing
And some other type of testing types is as below:
  • Unit testing
  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Stress Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Beta Testing
  • Alpha Testing
  • Smoke Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • User Acceptance Testing and so on.
Debugging involves a various type of approaches, which are as follows:
  • Induction
  • Brute Force
  • Deduction
13. The testing team can subcontract to the outside team as well. Debugging cannot be subcontracted to an outside team because the inside development team only does it.
14. We can plan, design, and implement the testing process. As compared to the testing process, the debugging process cannot be forced.


In this article, we understood that testing and debugging are the essential parts of the software testing life cycle, and both of them play a crucial role in detecting bugs and errors in the software.

After seeing the critical differences between testing and debugging, we can say that both terminologies are dependent on each other, which means that one cannot be implemented without the other one.

The outcome of implementing the debugging process is that the issue was fixed and available for re-testing. The test engineer does not fix the defects; relatively, they verify those bugs, which is resolved by the developers.

Finally, we can conclude that the developers execute the debugging, and they fix the issues reported by the test engineers in the debugging phase.

The testing and the debugging process are performed to make the particular software product better and improved way.

And it doesn't depend on which team (testing and debugging team) we belong to.

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