What is Smoke Testing? Software Testing Tutorials

Updated on Wed 11 Jan, 2023 | 4 mins read | Free training, Manual testing, qa training


Smoke testing, also known as build verification testing, can be used as a verification method to ensure that the product is stable and 100% functional. In other words, it is the easiest method available to test all the functions of an app.

In order to ensure that the various software functionalities work in the intended way, it is necessary to repeatedly test them and remove any bugs. Software companies often conduct smoke tests to determine if the software is ready for consumer use, or if additional resources are needed for in-depth testing. By understanding the purpose and importance of smoke tests, you can use these processes to launch a new software program in the market. In this tutorial, we discuss smoke testing, explain why it is necessary, and discuss its types.

What is smoke testing? Explanation With Example.

Assume you order a t-shirt from an e-commerce site. When you receive a package, the first thing you do is to make sure the parcel is undamaged and not torn.

Then, you open the package and see that the t-shirt is what you ordered. Also, make sure that it is new, not old. Then, you wear the t-shirt to ensure everything is in good condition. Right? Well, in this way, you just completed the smoke testing on the package.

Similarly, You do a round of basic checks to make sure that the software or app is ready for testing when you have a software product or mobile app. Smoke Testing is a kind of testing that is done to make sure that the build is stable enough to undergo regression and functional testing.

Why do We Need Smoke Testing?

Imagine a situation where you have a testing team with 10 members.

Once the build is ready, they will all begin testing it. In some cases, the expected code changes are not present in the build or even some major functionality is broken.

Unknown to this fact, all 10 testers begin to test the application and raise defects for failures they find.

At the end of the day, the development team may come back and say, “Sorry, this is not the right build.” Or the QA team may stop the testing and say, “There are too many issues.”

However, 10 people have already wasted 8 hours on this, which means that 80 hours of productivity are lost. If the issue had been found earlier, the development team could have started working on it and resolved it earlier as well.

This is why we need to have a smoke test done before we can start a full testing cycle.

Types of smoke testing

The two types of smoke testing are:

Formal smoke testing

In this, the development team sends the application to the Test Lead for review. The test lead will then instruct the testing team to perform smoke testing and send the reports after performing smoke testing. After testing is complete, the testing team will send a smoke testing report to the test lead.

Informal smoke testing

In this case, the Test lead states that the application is ready for further testing. The test leads don’t say that they want to do smoke testing, but the testing team still starts testing the application by doing smoke testing.

Advantages of Smoke Testing

  • It is helpful to identify faults earlier in the product lifecycle.
  • It saves time for the testers by avoiding testing an unstable or wrong build.
  • It gives the tester confidence to proceed with testing.
  • It helps to resolve integration issues faster.
  • Major severity defects can be found out
  • It will be easy to find and fix the problem.
  • Security, privacy policy, performance, etc. can also be tested