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Why its worth investing in software testing

In today's dynamic business environment, software testing is a strategic investment that can help you avoid many potential troubles. Learn more about why it's worth investing in this practice!

What is software testing and what are its main objectives?

Software testing is a comprehensive process designed to verify whether a given product meets specified requirements and functions as expected. It consists of:

  • Dynamic testing, which involves actively running the program;
  • Static testing, focused on analyzing code and documentation without actually executing it.

Tests are not only meant to detect errors but also to check the quality of the software itself. Through effective testing, you can avoid serious problems in the later stages of the project. Complications could expose you to reputational and financial costs. Discover why investing in software testing will bring real benefits to your business.

The role of testing in the software development and deployment process

There are many testing techniques that can be applied depending on the purpose, scope, and type of software. What does each of them entail?

  • UX (user experience) tests - check whether the software is intuitive and user-friendly. They assess aspects such as aesthetics, navigation, interaction, accessibility, and user satisfaction.
  • Usability tests - verify whether the software fulfills its basic functions. Their goal is to check correct operation, compliance with specifications, performance, and reliability.
  • Exploratory tests - involve creative and spontaneous searching for bugs and problems in the software. They are not based on pre-planned scenarios and test cases, but rather on the experience, intuition, and creativity of testers.
  • Integration tests - check the interactions between software modules, detecting errors in interfaces and interactions. The testing involves integrating components and assessing the system as a whole.
  • Security tests - ensure the protection of software and user data.

In some cases, we may also encounter other types of tests, such as compliance tests or smoke tests.

The collaboration between a tester and a developer plays an important role in the entire software development process. Generally, the developer is responsible for the quality of the project at the coding stage, and the tester at the verification stage. However, ultimately, they both form one team whose goal is to deliver a high-quality product to the client.

It is beneficial for the tester and developer to maintain constant contact and inform each other about progress, problems, and changes in the software. Communication should be clear, specific, and polite. A good practice is to use common systems for project management, version control, or bug reporting. Proper cooperation between the tester and developer ensures that many potential errors are already resolved at the stage of the programmer's work (as they are more attuned to potential errors).

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What are the benefits of software testing for users?

Not only the authors of the software benefit from testing, but also its future users. Here are some key aspects.

  1. Better functionality: Tests help identify and fix bugs and performance issues before the product is released to the market. As a result, the software operates as expected, which is crucial for user satisfaction and the overall usefulness of the product.
  2. Reliability: You have probably been frustrated by an error message or non-functioning software. Comprehensive testing aims to prevent such situations. Performance tests allow for the preparation of the application's operation on a larger scale.
  3. Intuitiveness: UX tests allow for adapting the interface to the needs of users, making the software easy to use and intuitive. This makes using the application enjoyable and doesn't require extra effort from you.
  4. Security: Security tests aim to identify potential threats, protecting users from attacks and data loss. Thanks to these tests, software more effectively protects your privacy.
  5. Satisfaction: The absence of errors leads to greater user satisfaction. Say goodbye to frustration related to software malfunction!

Investing in software testing translates into real benefits for users. It creates products that not only meet their expectations but often exceed them.

Benefits of conducting tests for companies

Conducting software testing brings a range of significant benefits that are crucial for the project.

  1. High quality: By eliminating errors and shortcomings in the earlier stages of the project, tests allow for the creation of reliable software that meets all user requirements and expectations, is free from errors, operates smoothly and efficiently, and is easy to maintain and expand.
  2. Reduced costs: Identifying and fixing errors during the testing phase limits the costs associated with later corrections and failures. As a result, you save part of the company budget that would have been spent on fixing the application.
  3. Avoidance of failures: Testing reduces the risk of failure after implementation, making the software more stable and less prone to failure. This means that it rarely breaks down and can quickly return to normal operation after a problem occurs.
  4. Lower technical debt: Thanks to testing, the code is more understandable and easier to maintain, which in turn minimizes the risk associated with future software investments, for example, refactoring or rewriting code.
  5. Customer satisfaction: Faultless and efficient products also mean satisfied users who are more likely to use the software.
  6. Company image: High-quality and error-free products positively impact the image of your company as one that cares about quality and the flawless operation of its services.

Investing in software testing is a strategic decision that has a real impact on the efficiency of the project and customer satisfaction.

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How can regular testing lead to savings?

Regular software testing helps to avoid costly problems in the later stages of a project. During testing, you can detect and fix errors early enough. As a result, there will be no need for corrections after deployment – which is usually much more expensive and directly affects the company's image and the experience of using a given product.

Moreover, if the quality of the software is lacking, it may later turn out that it will require refactoring and rewriting. This is a much more costly endeavor than maintaining high standards from the start, so it's worth avoiding them.

Effective testing leads to faster identification of errors and their immediate repair, which shortens the time needed for development and delivery of the product.

Lack of testing – potential risks

Neglecting software testing often has serious consequences - both for the customer and the company itself.

  1. Financial losses: Errors in software that are not detected during the testing stage can lead to costly repairs after implementation. Additional expenses for corrections and maintenance often significantly burden the project's budget.
  2. Reputation loss: Non-functioning, faulty, or unsafe software can negatively affect a company's reputation. This results in loss of customer trust and a decline in consumer loyalty.
  3. Security threats: You risk the emergence of security loopholes that cybercriminals are eager to exploit. This, in turn, calls into question the confidentiality of customer data and the security of the entire system. Moreover, if the software's security is compromised, it can endanger the lives or health of its users.

In 2015, Bloomberg, a provider of information and financial services, experienced a failure of its terminal platform, which prevented access to data and transactions for thousands of clients worldwide. The failure lasted over two hours and resulted in millions of dollars in losses for companies using Bloomberg's services. The cause of the failure was a software error that had not been detected during testing.

A similar situation occurred in 2018 when data of over two million users of the online store Morele.net were leaked. The Personal Data Protection Office imposed a fine of 2.8 million PLN on the company for lack of adequate security against cyberattacks. It was the highest penalty of this type awarded in Poland up to 2018.

Meanwhile, Starbucks had to close as much as 60% of its branches in Canada and the United States due to one error. How is this possible? It was all because of a failure in the Point of Sale system, which was used to take and handle orders. As a result, the cafes were giving out products to customers without charging them, which turned out to be a huge financial blow for the entire corporation.

Need a software testing consultation? Make an appointment for a free consultation of your project.

When should testing begin?

The software development lifecycle encompasses several key stages. At what point is it worth starting testing? The earlier, the better.

  • Analysis. It's worthwhile to start thinking about a testing strategy already at the project planning stage. Defining test requirements and objectives early on will allow for better project management and avoidance of later problems.
  • Design. Testing during the design phase helps assess whether the software concept is accurate and meets the requirements. It also verifies whether earlier assumptions are correctly defined.
  • Implementation. Unit and integration tests during implementation verify whether each part of the code works correctly and integrates with the rest of the system. A good practice is to develop software using TDD or BDD methodologies, where tests are actually the first thing a developer focuses on and aims for the produced code to pass them.
  • System testing. At this stage, the functions of the software as a whole are tested. This includes e2e (end-to-end) tests, which cover testing entire scenarios from the user's perspective (e.g., the entire account creation process or creating an album and uploading files to it). System tests also include security tests and checking the performance of the entire system. Early detection of errors at this stage allows for their correction before they would reach the final product.
  • Acceptance testing. The final stage is acceptance testing, where it is checked whether the product meets the client's expectations. At this stage, the focus is not on finding errors (they should have already been eliminated in the previous stages) but on ensuring that the software operates in accordance with all assumptions.

If a company fails to conduct tests before deployment, it will have to deal with errors after the software has been made available to users. And if problems arise during the usage phase, you risk additional costs and loss of customer trust.

Therefore, early testing is not just a good practice, but also a key principle in creating solid, reliable programs.

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Manual and Automated Testing

Some functions are tested by testers themselves, while others are checked by a specially prepared program.

  • Manual testing: Manual examination of the interface, functions, usability, and performance of the software by the tester.
  • Automated testing: Checking whether each part of the code works well, whether the functions meet expectations, whether the software is efficient, and whether after updates the old functions still work as they should. All this happens automatically thanks to special tools that execute specific scenarios, without manual checking by people. Automated tests are valued mainly for their speed and guaranteed results. Unlike a human, a machine will always perform the procedure in the same way, usually without making mistakes and doing it in the fastest possible way.
  • Unit tests: Specific tests focused on the smallest, indivisible fragments of code, such as individual functions or methods. Their goal is to check whether each element works correctly and as expected. This can be compared to a mechanic checking each part of a car separately to ensure that everything works as it should. Unit tests are usually conducted by programmers who create the code and can be run every time the code is modified. This allows for quick detection and fixing of potential errors before the code is integrated with the rest of the system.

Functional and non-functional testing

Functional testing involves checking whether the software operates correctly, in accordance with the specification. Examples of functional tests include:

  • Stability tests - verify whether the software operates without crashes and errors in various conditions and scenarios;
  • Completeness tests - check whether the program contains all the required functions and elements;
  • Correctness tests - test the operation of the software according to the expectations and requirements of the client.

On the other hand, non-functional tests verify how the software operates and its qualitative characteristics. These include:

  • Performance tests - check how the software copes with different loads and conditions, e.g., load tests or stress tests;
  • Usability tests - verify how the software is used and whether it is intuitive, e.g., tests of fit, recognizability, or aesthetics of the user interface.

Invest in software testing!

Software testing is a fundamental component of every project, bringing numerous benefits to both companies and clients. Regular testing helps avoid financial losses and reputation damage, and eliminates potential security issues. Testing directly impacts the image of a given product – the fewer the errors, the less potential negative user impressions and the higher its rating.

Even the best-executed tests don't guarantee that an application will be completely error-free. However, when you weigh the balance of gains and losses, you will surely conclude that testing is worthwhile.

By testing, you save time and resources, and also minimize the need for later refactoring or rewriting of the software. It's a strategic investment that provides solid foundations for a project and significantly increases the chances of its success. Thanks to it, it becomes possible to deliver not only a functional, but also a reliable and secure product.

Start testing your software – the sooner, the better!

User Experience (UX)Software TestingSoftware QualityIT Risk ManagementSoftware SecurityTest AutomationPerformance TestingSoftware Quality ManagementIntegration Testing
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