Software Testing Basics

Going Back to Basics: Software Testing

Software testing is really both a science and an art. For a better understanding and appreciation of its duality, let’s look into basics!

What is software testing?

It is an activity that checks if software systems work as expected based on requirements. It can sound so simple and easy to do, but believe me, it’s not. Here’s why:

The role of software testing:

Software testing is a vast field. It can range from simply comparing the alignment of web fields to checking how secure an app is. The role of software testing varies depending on what type of quality you are looking for.

  • Do you want just want to test if the functionality of your app’s registration form works based on your functional requirements? Testers can do that for you using functional testing.
  • Do you want to check if your app is easy to use by your target market users? Testers can get it done too through UX testing.
  • Do you want to check if your app processes user request quickly? Performance testing can be executed by the testers.

These are just some of the roles of testing, there are still lots of it out there. Depending on your quality needs, the role of testing adjusts.

Why do we do software testing?

With these testing activities, one can ask, what do we get from it? Is it worth the investment? The answer is yes. Many organizations have tried to cut costs on software testing during the early phase of software development. But sooner or later, repercussions caught them unguarded during the production phase.

One of the typical stories we get from the software development industry is this:

“Stakeholders decided to remove the tester from the development team to “save costs”. They immediately achieved it – no tester, lesser cost. 3 months later during the early stages of the production phase of their product, the app gets buggy.

Customers can’t properly use the app and aren’t happy. Clicks don’t convert to sales, business reputation gets damaged and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The stakeholders start to feel the sting of these bugs. They finally onboard a tester to the team and issues from prod server were discovered one by one.”

The problem with this is that bugs found in the production phase are costly!

It’s beyond the “savings” they got from cutting the tester earlier on. Not even close. Bugs need to be discovered, investigated, fixed then re-tested immediately. That process involves the entire dev team which entails a higher cost.

Software testing is one of the crucial parts of software development. Neglect quality now, and it’ll bite you fast and hard later on. Quality is simply non-negotiable.

Contributor:
Kevin Badilla
Software Quality Assurance Manager


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