What is Software Testing?
Software testing is a process of checking software applications and products for bugs and errors to ensure their performance is efficient. Testing in software engineering is a fundamental process of creating reliable – and usable – software products.
That’s what makes it necessary in guiding effective software development. Understanding the different types of software testing is what the need for Quality Assurance in software development stems from.
Usually, companies that attempt to create software have dedicated software testers – an in-house means of software testing help. By detecting errors and mistakes that affect the quality of software, these testers can ensure that software products are worthy of being sold in the market. Thus, they guarantee a software’s usefulness, and help turning software applications into end-products that perform the way their designers intended them to.
Although the various types of software application testing can be more than a little long-drawn to fully appreciate, it’s important for companies to be comfortable with why software testing is so essential in the first place.
It’s also important to note that the process of software testing is generally only a company’s responsibility if they are software developers creating software for the market. If they’re purchasing off-the-shelf software, especially one that’s already been reviewed and established, software testing has already taken place. In that case, it would make repeating the software testing process redundant.
They would also need to consider the purpose of testing if they’re developing bespoke software for their specific needs. There can be various advantages for a company to invest resources in developing their own software, and that’s something every business should evaluate on its own terms.
For now, let’s list the important reasons as to why software testing must be considered mandatory:
- To gain customer confidence
- To check software adaptability
- To identify errors
- To avoid extra costs
- To accelerate software development
- To avoid risks
- To optimise business
1. To Gain Customer Confidence
Software testing makes sure that the software is user-friendly. That makes it capable of being used by the customers it is intended for. Those who specialise in software application testing are familiar with the needs of customers, and unless a software can satisfy a customer’s needs, it would be a practically useless investment.
Different kinds of software have different kinds of customers. For instance, a Human Resources department in a company that needs to track its employees and their performance would have an entirely different software package from a hospital administrator trying to evaluate which hospital departments need more resources. That’s why just like software developers, software testers also tend to specialise in certain kinds of software designs.
That’s what makes software testing all the more resourceful in gaining customer confidence. It’s a process that’s case-sensitive, and takes care to make customers happy.
2. To Check Software Adaptability
Given that there are many devices, operating systems, and browsers available today, it is necessary for software to be compatible with all platforms in order to offer users a smooth user experience.
If the functionality of software is affected by the change of devices, it can count towards a negative user experience. Testing eliminates such errors in the performance while adding to the compatibility and adaptability of the software.
Of course, one can design software that’s exclusively limited for use on a desktop, but given that so much of networking and work is now also conducted on smartphones, how useful would that software really be? Likewise, fewer customers will choose a software that only efficiently operates on an operating system such as that of the Apple Mac.
It goes without saying that only the most adaptable software can really translate into success in the market.
3. To Identify Errors
While it seems intuitive, it’s important to remember that software testing is what helps rid products of errors before the product goes into the hands of a client.
Regardless of how competent software developers and engineers may be, the possibility of glitches and bugs is always present in untested software. Testing will lead to better functioning of the product as hidden errors will be exposed and fixed.
Even a single bug can be damaging for the reputation of a software developing house. It can take a long time to regain customer confidence, so it’s much better and ultimately more convenient to ensure testing is being achieved.
The various types of software testing involved in the process ensure that the end result is software that will be valued by clientele.
4. To Avoid Extra Costs
Tied to the problem of errors is the issue of the costs of reimbursing clients who have experienced glitchy software. These additional expenses can amount to a significant amount of damages, as not only has the client been dissatisfied with the product for which they have paid, but a client’s time that they could have invested elsewhere was also rendered worthless.
That’s why it’s a misconception to believe software testing costs a lot of stress, and that testers themselves “break” software. Testers do feed large amounts of data to software applications, but that’s what is necessary in software testing: if a software cannot support large data-loads, what purpose does it achieve for businesses or individual customers?
If anything, software testing is the more cost-effective approach of handling software applications. Testing alleviates the need for a constant cycle of upgrades and fixes, as software testers identify bugs and errors before any such problems can arise.
5. To Accelerate Software Development
Some companies also neglect software testing as they have spent too much time on the software development process, and need to quickly deliver the product to the client. While this may be a problem with time-management in how a software development team is considering its work delegations, it’s also an issue of conceptualising software testing.
Software testing and software development if run in parallel, can accelerate the software development process and make it more efficient. Staging the design process in a way that makes it certain that both software testing and software development are happening simultaneously takes care to avoid such pit-falls in software development.
6. To Avoid Risks
The worst thing about bugs and glitches is that it indicates a software is not secure. Especially when it comes to software that is meant for organisations, errors or loopholes can lead to vulnerability.
This can lead to huge losses of information to competitor businesses, and can also lead to a lot of communication errors within an organisation.
Thus, besides just being about a software developer’s reputation or the annoyance of encouraging bugs in an application’s usability, bugs can also lead to privacy leaks and data gaps that can cost more than either of those things.
7. To Optimise Business
Testing allows the end-product to achieve a higher quality standard before being made live.
It also adds to the company’s brand image as well as its profitability through reduced support costs.
Essentially, every software developer’s goal is customer retention, and every customer’s goal is finding a service that’s reliable and worth their money. Providing effective software thus, allows a business to become entrenched in a software provider’s reputation.
Be Smart And Test Software
It’s perfectly ordinary to find bugs and errors in software. In the software testing stage, they harm no one. Leaving them unaddressed can however, lead to serious issues to all parties involved within the process of software design.
By taking the route of testing in software engineering, software becomes as error-free as it can be. The user-experience is enhanced, and maintenance costs are cut down as well.
What matters in software is not the beauty of clean coding that went into it, or even the flashy graphics that are part of its user experience, but just how smoothly it performs.
Ignoring the fundamental role of software testing is something that developers ignore at their own company’s peril. The earlier it is done and the more thoroughly it is performed, the better it is for developers and users alike, leading to a win-win outcome that’s smarter, and more profitable in the long-run.