Is software testing a waste or a benefit?

Is software testing a waste or a benefit?
December 15 11:40 2017 Print This Article

Is testing a waste or the way to guarantee a proper quality of software? Nobody wants to pay extra money for testing services that may only confirm that software operates as you planned without any critical issues. In such a case you will consider testing a waste. You have hired Middle and Senior developers with large experience and impressive CV, pay them big money to get the top-quality results. No bugs and no malfunctions. Clean and working code. Why should you allocate extra money for QA team to verify the work of your coding gurus? It is a reasonable question, isn’t it?

And what if a project budget allows you to hire only the developers whose experience and skills give rise to doubt a little bit? Your QA team will compensate the lack of required knowledge. Will you consider software testing a necessary mean in such a case? Probably, yes, because testers can discover serious system bugs that may block the product operability. And you thank Heaven that you have hired a QA team or outsourced your testing activities. So what is testing – a waste or a benefit?

Software Butterfly Effect

Probably everyone heard about a Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory. In short, a butterfly that wings in one corner of the glob may cause a tornado in totally opposite location.

If you make a small change in a user interface of your application or modify a code a little, it may break the whole system. Does it resemble Butterfly Effect? Or another example, a misunderstanding of the customer’s requirements or misconceptions at the stage of market analysis cause a wrong interpretation of the data, affect the quality of code, and cause improper functioning of the ready product. A small misunderstanding goes through the stages of analysis, development, and testing. Sometimes, it may cause huge losses and even a failure of the business. These are the examples of Software Butterfly Effect.

Similar to Butterfly Effect, there is Domino Effect in software development and testing. The mechanism is the same – you change something, for example, in the system requirements. This change triggers similar changes nearby, and everything happens in a linear sequence. Domino Effect is more scalable in comparison to Butterfly Effect. But they both affect the final return on investments and are the nightmares for every customer, developer, tester, and manager. To avoid Domino Effect, remember the saying – garbage in, garbage out.

Some people consider testing activities too expensive. They are sure that testing provides a poor contribution to the quality of a final product. When one develops a simple mobile application or when one is totally sure that users will not utilize it heavily, then I definitely agree that testing is a waste.

But if you are developing a solution for healthcare, e-commerce or banking industry, then testing can secure you from irritated users and even a court. And I do not mention the loss of reputation and users’ trust.

Why to test software?

The future of your solution fully depends on the number of end users. The bigger number of users is, the larger profit you’ll get. But at the same time, the bigger number of users your product have the more complaints you will get in case of a bug. If an error affects less than only one percent of all Google or Facebook users, it causes a media scandal. On August 23, 2017, the users were unable to launch Facebook. Probably, you remember that issue. And it is about the giant of the market. Nobody is on the safe side.

Toyota also suffered from software bug. Cars had a problem with the anti-lock-brake system. In other words, the cars had no brakes. Toyota recalled over 8 million cars and lost $3 billion.

Starbucks faced a software error during a daily system refresh. More than 13 thousands of stores were unable to proceed orders. A small software glitch remained a lot of people without a cup of tasty coffee :)

New York Stock Exchange suffered from an internal technical issue, and all open orders were canceled. The stock exchanged was not available for 4 hours.

A prestigious preparatory school in Great Britain, Eton College, had to admit only 9 boys. But because of a system error, 400 families received acceptance letters. The college had to inform these “happy” families about bad news.
There are hundreds of such examples when a software bug affected the reputation of authoritative resources and well-known companies.

Are you still sure that testing is a thing to cut corners on?

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Anastasiia Piatak
Anastasiia Piatak

has 2-year experience in management, experience in testing, project management, and presales, leads the team of more than 20 members, has 10+ active projects

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