Software Quality Assurance and Testing Blog Post #3 (Black-Box vs. Gray-Box vs. White/Clear-Box Testing)

On the first exam for my Software Quality Assurance and Testing course, and in activities previous to it, Black-Box, Gray-Box, and White/Clear-Box Testing were important topics/definitions to thoroughly understand. Not only did we have to know the meanings of these terms, but we had to be able to compare them and know how those testing methods are used. White/Clear-Box Testing is when the tester knows the contents of a function or method. This comes with its advantages and disadvantages of course. The advantages are that it is very easy to navigate the complexity, get legible test cases, and makes debugging smoother. The disadvantages would include bias being used by the tester and possibly longer and more expensive testing in general. On the other hand, Black Box testing is quite the opposite. The tester is not able to view the inner workings of the function/method and is only able to test based on what inputs are given and what outputs are received. Although this seems counterintuitive for a testing method, it also has advantages and disadvantages that make it a viable option. The advantages would be that it would take less time and expenses to test and that it eliminates tester bias altogether. The disadvantages are that because the tester is not able to see the inner workings of the function or method, it makes it harder to debug, find complexity, and have easy to read test cases. The two methods are basically opposites. Lastly, Gray-Box Testing is somewhere in-between the two. The tester knows a little bit about the inner workings of methods and functions, but is not focused on them completely like in White/Clear-Box Testing. This makes all of the advantages and disadvantages even out more overall which could be good in some cases but could also not be a valid testing option in other cases. Before this semester, I actually had never even heard of these terms, and it was interesting to go through and research them for this post and for my course!

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