Software Testing: How important is it?
In today's world, the connection between human beings and the use of software systems is more present than ever. Let's face it, from having to learn new business applications (such as Microsoft Office, JIRA) to downloading the latest trending apps (Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram), software systems are an integral part of our life. While I'm fortunate to be living in a time where any type of information can be found at the tip of my fingers, I'm certain that we can all relate to experiences of failure through our daily use of such software systems.
Failures in software systems can lead to problems such as financial loss, time, reputational risk, and even injury or death! This is where software testing plays such a crucial role throughout a software system's life cycle.
What is Software Testing?
Software testing is the concept of being able to evaluate the quality of a software system and reduce the risk of software failure in operation. It is the assessment of software against the requirements gathered from users and system specifications. At STS we strongly believe that testing should be conducted at every phase of a software's development life cycle (SDLC). The intention of software testing is the following:
To evaluate work products such as requirements, user stories, design, and code
To discover missing gaps in business requirements
To prevent defects found in software
To find failures and defects
To reduce the level of risk of poor software quality
To increase customer satisfaction and software reliability
The objectives listed above focus on three main categories; preciseness, quality, and performance. Precision means being able to provide a thoroughly tested software product that meets the clients' business needs and solves their problems. Quality is the degree to which a component, system, or process satisfies client requirements and/or end-users needs and expectations. Performance in software testing means bringing stability and dependability to an application. While it is highly unlikely to deliver a product that contains no defects, a quality assurance (QA) team with a proper process in place provides confidence that the quality requirements of the product will be fulfilled.
When should Software Testing start?
It is important to start software testing in the early stages of the SDLC to help reduce the risk of failures occurring during operation. In an agile company, including testers in requirement reviews or backlog grooming sessions could help detect defects before the user stories even begin development! The earlier that defects are detected, the cheaper they are to fix. Meanwhile, the later that defects are found the more expensive it will be to fix. The most expensive defects are the ones that are found in production. Not only does this increase the cost of the defect, but it also deteriorates a business's reputation and brings forth customer frustration.
The software testing methods that a team uses are based on verification and validation. A company with a strong QA team is able to verify that the requirements, user stories, and other specifications are met. At the same time, the team is able to validate whether the system will meet business and user needs in its working environment. Verification and validation of a software product are achieved when a strong foundational software testing process is in place. This process includes activities such as test planning, analysis, test case development, implementation, executing tests, and reporting test progress and results. If a company is able to implement these activities, then and only then will their business systems and product features behave as expected.
Understanding software testing and the importance it plays in software development is key in being able to provide value to clients and/or businesses. Our goal at STS is to help bring value to people through the processes and methods that we use. Next week we'll tackle how is testing done and what types of testing exist out there. Thank you for reading, goodbye for now!