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Different types of software errors and handling them properly

Errors are a major headache to software programmers, developers as well as testers. They cause the whole software system or application to falter, produce unexpected results and cause the software to behave abnormally. Some errors cause more harm while some cause less, some of them are easy to discover whereas some are hideous and cause huge frustration to developers and testers. Some errors are as active and disruptive like a volcano and others are dormant. Every software system or application suffers from many errors, and it is now seen as impossible to remove all the errors from a software system.
Therefore error handling becomes an important factor in deciding the success of a program. Error handling is the way a program is built to handle the errors that disturb its functioning.
– The error handling procedure should be very strong and smart.
– Error handling requires a lot decision making.
– The error handling process, like other processes, is also a victim of defects and can sometimes not work properly.
The main steps involved in an Error handling process are detection, anticipation and resolution of the errors that occur during the execution of the software program or application. Some applications even employ programs called “error handlers” developed specifically for handling the errors. A software system or application is said to have good error handling capabilities if it is able to recover from errors without causing the whole program to terminate, or if it is not able to handle that error, properly terminate the program without causing any data loss. Such forceful termination is nothing but an error handling mechanism.
The basic factors causing the run time errors are invalid input data and adverse function parameters.
Lack of memory is another defect causing factor.
A Software application comprises of various small programs. These programs may conflict with each other during the run time. Similarly web applications also experience errors due to electrical noise and malware or other undue pressure on the server.
A software system or application can overcome these errors by its error handling process. Thus we can define the error handling defects as the defects that reduce the efficiency of the error handling process.
On the initiation of the error handling process, the discrepancy between the expected behavior and actual behavior is identified. Whenever there is some discrepancy in the behavior of the program, a defect is created. The test script that was being executed at the time of encounter of the defect is tested. This process is called defect creation. After this, the discovered defect is verified i.e., whether or not the defect is valid. A severity level is assigned to the defect. This severity level indicates the impact and visibility of the defect on the program. The defect can cause the core functionality to go out of order or stop working. It can affect the operational environment. Such defects prevent the user from accessing the features and functionalities of the software system or application.
Incorrect navigation links are also a defect.
According to the level of severity of the encountered errors and the problems they can cause, they are assigned priorities. This process is defect prioritization. Several priority codes have been defined. For example, there are some defects that do not even allow the testing to take place. Defects causing such errors are given the highest priority. The defect is once again confirmed and this process is called defect confirmation. After the defect confirmation the defect is analyzed, the affected code is redesigned, developed and tested again for any shortcomings. This process following the defect confirmation is called defect resolution. The defects after being resolved are once again reviewed by the developer and certain test scripts are run to confirm that the defect has been resolved. After the verification the defect is closed.

Lessons Learned in Software Testing Software Testing: An ISTQB-ISEB Foundation Guide Software Testing (2nd Edition)

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