Script debugging: Difference between testing and debugging

Software development

Testing and debugging are two key terms that are used interchangeably because of their similarities. Nevertheless, Testing and debugging processes are used to improve the quality of software development thereby making it error-free. Testing and debugging processes are differentiated in the sense, testing seems to find the defects in the software while debugging on the other hand help identify issues in the code. Here are some nice guides on this topic: How to debug a PowerShell script, how to install and debug logs with the CMTrace Tool, how to perform PowerShell syntax check using PSScriptAnalyzer, and Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Management: Effect of renaming an MBAM or BitLocker protected Computer“.

Testing finds defects; debugging fixes them. This article explores their key distinctions.


As described previously, testing is a process of exploring the system to find defects present in the software, and also define what will happen once these defects occur. The testing team executes this process during the testing phase, then reports to the development team, enabling them to proceed with debugging.

During testing, different techniques may be used. Assess the program’s response to various situations by providing correct and incorrect inputs, intentional errors, and diverse inputs. The program may flag a bug that needs correction while testing it with various data. With this happening, I would like to throw more light on what is a bug.

A bug is a programming error that affects the execution of a program. The program may not function properly or does not execute at all. Some of the bugs may be caused by the omission of a code or the use of a wrong one.

Here are some key terms I would like to discuss before going into more detail. Automated testing categories support continuous delivery pipelines. For the purposes of Windows PowerShell code (scripts), I will be covering these various types of tests below.
– Unit tests
– Integration tests
– Acceptance tests

Unit test

Usually the fastest type of testing, unit testing runs first in your pipeline. Therefore, Unit tests are responsible for verifying the behavior of a single unit of code.

Integration test

Integrated testing encompasses testing all your codes at once. Instead of isolating code, run everything to ensure correctness and make all parts work together.

Acceptance tests

Acceptance tests mirror integration tests, but you execute them after deploying your code into production. You can use them to ensure everything is up and running correctly. Note: This is often referred to as “smoke tests.”

Benefits of Software Testing

Software testing yields several benefits.
– Helps in identifying which leads to bug fixing.
– Improves the performance of the software.
– Helps in determining the root cause analysis.
– It provides the reliability of software.


Debugging on the other hand varies in degree of complexity. There are some simple debugging such as a small program designed for in-house use etc. Due to the relatively short length of the program, the debugging done by a programmer will be relatively simple.

Once the development team received the report from the testing team as discussed above, they will swing into action and start debugging. The purpose of this phase is to locate the bug and get rid of it. Usually, people perform this step manually. Most tools can debug using a ‘debugger’ to find bugs in various programming environments.

When an error or bug is detected in a program, it must be corrected. Otherwise, the objective of developing the program is defeated. You cannot work when a system (software is not running correctly or it is flawed). This can raise one's eyebrow and can put your data at risk as the case maybe.

Debugging involves removing or correcting errors. Check out this article on performing PowerShell script debugging. See also how to pause a PowerShell script.

Benefits of Debugging
- It reports an error condition immediately.
- In addition to this, it provides a maximum of useful information.
- Debugging allows straightforward interpretation.
- Minimizing useless and also distracting information.
- Avoids complex one-use testing code.
- Saves time and likewise energy in software development.
- Finally, it will enable early detection of an error.

Now that we have discussed some key terms above, it is time to

Performed by testersPerformed by developer or development (system admin) team
Can be done manually or automaticallyCan only be done manually
Can be predefined when starting testing. The test result could be predictedStart with unknown conditions and it is hard to predict the result
Find the programming failureDemonstrate that it’s only an unattended small mistake
Could be done automatically by using automation testing toolsAutomatic debugging of software is still a dream of programmers
The purpose is to find the bugThe purpose is to find the cause of a bug
Testing starts with known conditions, uses predefined procedures and has predictable outcomesDebugging starts from possibly unknown initial conditions and the end can not be predicted except statistically
Testing can and should be planned, designed and scheduledProcedure and duration of debugging cannot be so constrained
Testing is a demonstration of error or apparent correctnessDebugging is deductive process
Testing proves a programmers failureDebugging is the programmers  vindication(Justification)
Much testing can be done without design knowledgeDebugging is impossible without detailed design knowledge
Testing can often be done by an outsiderDebugging must be done by an insider
Most of the test execution and design can be automatedAutomated debugging is still a dream.

Difference between testing and debugging

Here is a very good article that covers testing vs debugging, functions vs structure, designer vs tester, modularity vs efficiency, and Builder vs Buyer, see the following link. For more information on testing and debugging, see the following article.

These are the main Differences between Testing and Debugging. The key difference is that developers perform debugging and sometimes system administrators and they fix the issues filed by testers in debugging phase. Debugging typically resolves the issue and enables retesting.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. Please let me know in the comment session if you have any questions.

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