If you’re in the business of application and software development, whether it be for mobile devices, computer systems, or even web applications – delivering high quality, functional, bug-free, and intuitive software is likely your ultimate goal. You want people to enjoy using your software and not turn away from it because it’s not easy to use, crashes often, or is just not a functional piece of software. There are many elements that are going to contribute to your application being of a high standard and successful, starting with talented designers, well thought out user interfaces, and, of course, robust and thorough software testing. We’ll go ahead and answer the question posed in the title right away. Yes, software testing is essential, and here’s why.
The Basics of Software Testing
Think about some of the biggest software glitches in recent times. There were two Boeing 737MAX aircraft that crashed because of a software system that wasn’t rigorous enough to prevent these crashes. There have been countless software vulnerabilities found in large applications and even operating systems like Microsoft Windows. These are all things that could have been avoided with more rigorous or comprehensive software testing.
Let’s start at the very beginning for the uninitiated. The process of software testing is a comprehensive and holistic check that the software product you’re creating is actually what the specifications demanded. A good and rigorous software testing process checks everything about the software application and modern application development aims to introduce software testing early on in the development process.
Software testing is important for some more obvious reasons like finding and squashing coding bugs and software errors, leading to enhanced performance and fewer errors during operation, but there are less obvious things software testing will be able to tell you too.
It Will Actually Save You Money
The cost of software errors or bugs caused by bad software can be immeasurable. Think of the cost of both the human lives and the impact on the reputation of the safety of their aircraft in the example of the Boeing MAX aircraft. Had that system been better tested, it might have been avoided. Your software errors might not cost lives, but they’ll almost surely cost you revenue. If you’re designing point of sales software that isn’t calculating properly or falls victim to vulnerabilities that cause it to not function properly, your customers are going to suffer for it and ultimately, it’s going to affect your bottom line. While software QA and application testing can add a sizable expense to your budget, testing everything constantly and thoroughly will save you money in the long run.
It Will Enhance Your Security
Online security and cybersecurity are big buzzwords right now. The internet is awash with bad actors looking to exploit holes and bugs in software for profit or personal and social gain, and you don’t want your software to fall victim to it. Your users want to know that they can trust your software to be installed and run on their mobile device or computer and that it’s going to keep their data safe. This is where software testing is an option and plays a big part because part of the strategy and planning around the testing methodology should include very broad and well-defined security testing. Global App Testing provides an end-to-end functional testing solution. This is designed to help solve your QA challenges.
Particularly if your software is dealing with personal information and with the advent of policies like the GDPR, you’ll want to make very sure that your software is secure.
It Will Ensure You Comply with Policies
Just like the GDPR policy mentioned above, many other policies around your software application are going to have to be adhered to, particularly if you’re going to be publishing it to a digital distribution channel like those you’ll find on Apple products in the form of the Apple App Store or Android products in the Google Play Store. Software testing and QA will cover these policies and ensure your app or software application is compliant and avoids either rejection from inclusion or delisting from these stores. Adhering to policy and having your applications reviewed to ensure compliance will save you many headaches in the future.
It Will Greatly Improve Product Quality
This one will happen naturally if your product testing process is robust, and particularly if product testing is included early on in your product’s development. If you’re practicing good testing strategies and constantly feeding the testing results back to the development and user interface and design teams, you’ll benefit greatly from an improved product.
Expanding this product quality testing to include a wide range of things, like installation and uninstallation testing, device compatibility testing, and just a general sense of product quality. If your product is being used on a mobile device but drains the device battery from full to empty in an hour, you’ll certainly want to know about it and correct it before you release it into the market.
Your Customers Are Going to Have a Better Experience
Not just your customers, but the customers of your customer are going to have a better experience if your software is of a higher quality and doesn’t suffer from unexpected behavior and software bugs. Software testing is essential to give your customers this better experience. You ultimately want your users to have the best possible experience from your software and your customers to trust you. If your customers are looking forward to updates and new features from your software releases, then you can be sure you’re doing something right because they’ve come to trust your company’s products.
The Advantages of Testing Beyond Alpha
There are a few phases of testing in the traditional development cycle, and to an extent, these translate to more agile frameworks. The alpha test is your internal testing, where your QA teams or development team test their software to ensure it functions well and meets all requirements and features are included and working correctly. From there a beta test with your strategic clients and partners might take place where you give builds of your software to them to test in their real environments. All through these phases you should be testing and running your standard QA strategies as you normally would. Once your software is ready to be released, some development calls for QA to be increased and others start to slow it down while you head to release, Continuing to test and improve usability and product intuitiveness even after release is a function of your QA and it has big benefits for the next iterations, feature packs and full software version releases in the future. Feedback, data, and user experience should be the number one factor driving your company to improve and do better and software testing is essential for that.
With all the reasons given here, it should be very apparent that software testing is absolutely crucial to ensure your customers love using the software applications you’re producing. It’s only natural for us to make mistakes, and software testing will help eliminate these, as well as providing some really great feedback on things like user experience and interface design considerations throughout the testing process. Making use of agile design ideas means that every step you make will be tested and feedback will be constant and shape the end product throughout its creation.