Why is software testing so important?

Every digital product we build, gets extensively tested. And then tested again. At every stage its checked and double checked.

But why is testing so important? Our software tester Jo, explains all.

Most people will have heard of Software Development and Software Engineering, but less people will be aware of another part of the process involved in the creation of high-quality software products: Software Testing.

Simply put, software testing is the part of the development process that makes sure the product we have produced, works. Client’s needs and wants are sometimes complex and the creation of unique and original software can come with complications.

In the beginning

When we start working with a client, we agree on a set of requirements for the product that we are going to create. These requirements state what the product must be able to do, and how you intend your customers to use it. 

As part of the testing process, we design and carry out tasks that will enable us to ensure the product fulfils those requirements. As well as any legal and industry requirements that you may need to conform to. The intention is to ensure the product we are delivering is fit for purpose, and works in the way we and the client wants it to.

But why is it so important? It can sound a little OTT, and even like a bit of red tape to jump over. But in principle, it can be likened to a similar process in many other industries.

Quality checks are everywhere

In those other industries it can be easier to see the benefits of quality control inspectors. Building regulations and inspectors are there to make sure we don’t run the risk of an unsafe building. Similarly, our cars are put through an MOT to ensure they’re safe to drive.

We all understand the necessity of these checks, because we can see the possible outcomes if they aren’t done. Ultimately, a product with a fault gets out into the world. 

This holds true for the software industry as well. There have been occasions in the past where a software malfunction has cost companies billions in lost revenue or fines, or the calibration of the software in a medical device has been wrong and it has had harmful consequences for a patient. 

Young Asian Woman, Developer Programmer, Software Engineer, IT S

Safety

In 2015, financial software and data provider Bloomberg had to apologise for an IT meltdown. It affected its 320,000 users’ terminals around the world and delayed bond sales. Ultimately costing its customers a significant amount of money.

Software testing is included as part of the process of development and product creation to catch as many errors as possible before the launch.

This is becoming more important in a world becoming increasingly reliant on technology to function on a day-to-day basis.

In 2014 Nissan had to recall a million of its vehicles in North America after a software defect which didn’t register if there was a passenger in the car. It left the passenger airbag switched off and unable to deploy in the case of an accident.

Thankfully in most cases, an issue is as simple as a link that sends us to the wrong page (or something equally as trivial). But the need for extensive testing, as we become more dominant on a digital product is prevalent.

Think we can help with your digital development? Get in touch.

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