In human terms, testing reflects the direct application of the level of knowledge or skill that one has acquired to address simple or complex real life scenarios. Testing, in software development terms, is an entirely different phenomenon. It is the process of validating and verifying the functionality of any program in a controlled environment to ensure it meets the mandatory criterion that went into its design & development, before it is released to the end users. This process, when followed correctly, invariably limits the errors and potential defects in a software product ahead of the product’s launch.We will be focusing on the significance of this process in this blog.
The Need For Testing And Testers
Speaking of software testing, it is critical to realize that defect prevention in quality assurance differs from defect detection. Developers can prevent the defects to an extent but cannot take on the mindset of a tester who is more adept at finding vulnerabilities in the code.These vulnerabilities, when detected and fixed timely, can prevent huge losses in monetary & other terms. For this, to set testing as a separate discipline, and to have a tester as a distinct entity is must.
Moreover, in a software development life-cycle (SDLC), it is vital to make testing a part of the process from early on right through to the completion of the project. Skipping the testing part at any stage may result in large chunks of defective data getting accumulated and entails delayed error hunting, making the process a cumbersome affair. Quoting the Y2K bug could dispel all of our doubts around what inherent testing flaws can potentially lead to. Another software blunder that may be mentioned here is the 2006 IRS software glitch that resulted in a financial loss of around $200-$300 million to the system(Smartbear).
Besides, missed or delayed testing often results in many features getting obsolete with new technological breakthroughs taking place thus leading to a complete waste of time & effort. Hence, testing when made a mandatory process at every stage of a development cycle, validates the development process and ensures that the end result is what was intended by the client.
Testing is not limited to fault finding in the coding process, rather it also ensures scalability, reliability, ease of use, and security of the product developed. It also ensures that,the product is easy to maintain and monitor in the future. Therefore, the real business value of the software development cannot be sacrificed to accommodate a faster software release and reduced cost in the short run.
Brand Value & How Testing Can Reinforce It
Delivering quality through proper testing is a powerful differentiator for any company and a prerequisite for enhancing or maintaining brand value.
For well established brands, compromising on the testing process could invariably lead to the loss of the perceived value of the brand, and may lead to a major loss in terms of customer loyalty and market standing, beside monetary losses.
Business Profitability & The Need For Testing
According to a study conducted by NIST(U.S Dept of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards & Technology), software defects result in the loss of close to $60 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The study further disclosed that almost 80 percent of the development funds went into diagnosing and correcting defects (Geoffrey Bessin, IBM). Testing, at every stage of the SDLC, is thus the cornerstone for profitable and successful business outcomes.
To wrap it up, software testing is an integral part of any SDLC, and testers are vital resources that cannot be dispensed off. Testing is mandatory for the delivery of high quality reliable software with optimum maintenance costs and ease of management,. This, in turn, trickles down to impacting customer confidence and company credibility which carry huge tangible and intangible associated costs that are non-tradable. Testing is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.