The Importance of Software Testing in 2019 [Challenges, Benefits, and Mistakes of Quality Assurance in Software Development]

When we hear "software testing" - many people think of it as an external review of a site or application and believe that surface test is sufficient. However, it is a much more complex and in-depth process that involves verifying the interaction of all system elements that acts as a single coherent mechanism.

What is Software Testing?

It is a process of exploring and reliability testing, a quality control technique, and an integral stage of software development.

Usually, when we prepare food, we taste it, test for enough salt and spices. The same is with the product - it needs testing during development. Unfortunately, in some projects, the customer or developer doesn't include this requirement and sacrifice product quality to save money or time.

There is no need to ignore it, and mistakenly believe that the expenses for the testing are unnecessary. Imagine rocket launch into space without testing or production of airbags that have not been tested for saving money. Releasing a product without QA testing is a significant risk that can lead to the most unexpected results.

That is why in our company we pay special attention to testing and always emphasize its importance.

Benefits of Software Testing

QA software testing importace

What is the importance of software testing? What does a good-tested product give us?

  • Significant money savings

Investment in testing saves resources needed to support the product in the future: bugs that are passed on the production environment will be much more expensive than the product immediately tested.

  • Company's reputation

A company whose product or service has a good quality, whose site or application works well, is positioned in the market as reliable and well-respected. This is more appealing to customers and partners so that you can get even more revenue from your product.

  • Reducing time for fixing bugs

If you estimate testing at the concept development stage, then at the post-release, you will spend less time fixing bugs or supporting customers who have to manage a service that does not work correctly or smoothly.

  • Advantage over competitors

With a better product, you increase your rankings and popularity compared to competitors in your industry.

  • The decrease in Churn rate (percentage of users who unsubscribe over a specific period of time)

The outflow of customers is influenced not only by the level of service. It's also determined by the quality of service or product they have purchased and decided to buy again.

According to a survey by Compuware, only 16% of users will try a failing app more than twice.

While 79% of users will give apps a second chance after it failed or didn't impress them on the first go, that number plummets to just 16% that will go back for a third attempt.

Software Testing Life Cycle

We are used to considering testing as the primary product quality improvement tool. By the way, it's another method of saving money and a significant investment in the future.

Regardless of the size of your project, you insure yourself and have a minimum cost of product support.

Sacrificing the quality of the product is a bad case, as sooner or later the 'saved' time can make a bad joke - instead of getting profit for the first-rate product, you lose money on bug-fixing. Besides, there may be cases of refunds where the customer is so dissatisfied with the product that they want to get the money back.

Now, to stay on the market with your product, you need to monitor its quality regularly. If you have frequent updates, you need to continually check that other functionality has not been broken (to perform regression testing).

Again, in many industries, your product will not be released if it does not meet the quality standards.

Common Mistakes in Software Development Testing

the importance of software testing

  • Unclear product requirements

With no specific product requirements, no functional specifications, neither developers nor testers will have an idea of the overall picture, how your application or site should work. And as time goes on, the more functionality you add to your product, the more blurred it is, and as a result, you and your client may not get the expected outcome.

  • Starting QA stage too late

The test process is the responsibility of each team member. QA has to be performed after each stage of the product life cycle.

After the birth of the idea, you gather information about the market, conduct market research, and investigate your niche.

Next, you create designs, demonstrate a prototype to a focus group. An MVP has to be rated with "likes" or "dislikes." In the following steps, you can also perform A / B interface testing.

Before writing the code, developers should pay attention to TDD (writing and fixing the failed tests before building up a new code before development).

The next steps are: writing the code and covering the system with tests.

Sometimes, it results in the following common mistakes.

  • Not covering the code with tests

It's always essential to check that each line has been completed. Check whether each branch of execution and path has been completed and tested.

  • Underestimation of risks

An essential element in the product development process is risk assessment, consideration of potential conflicts in program logic, load testing, and application or site security.

You need to be sure that your system is protected from unauthorized intrusion and is not vulnerable to hacking and virus attacks.

It is also a mistake to miss testing in stressful conditions: it assesses the reliability and stability of the system in terms of exceeding the limits of normal functioning.

  • Considering only "positive" cases during testing

You should always remember that users will not only use the product in a single, favorable scenario. All people are different, and someone mistakenly enters the wrong login information, and someone clicks the wrong button, which can crash the application. The best case is to take into account the maximum possible number of such negative examples in the testing process.

How to Improve Your Testing Process

Always remember that the product owner, developer, and tester are responsible for the quality.

The developer frequently focuses only on the part of the functionality, or only on the development of one function. To see the product more broadly, it's needed to take into account the smooth interaction of each feature in your code.

At this stage the developers should include the following:

  • Unit tests (module) - a method of testing the software, which consists of the separate testing of each module of the program code. The module is called the smallest part of the program that can be tested;

  • An integration test is a phase of software testing during which individual application modules are combined and tested together in interaction;

  • end-2-end testing - involves validating the software system under test and also checks its integration with external interfaces.

What does our developer, Oleg Drozd, say about the advantages of integration tests:

“Generally, writing tests is important because they give you
confidence that the application is working as expected.

But they need to be written correctly to be easy to maintain, and
after the code refactoring, you do not have to rewrite the tests, so
the unit tests are a little expensive to maintain.

And integrative ones are the perfect blend between the cost of support
and the cost of writing. They habitually cover common usage scenarios
by the user, and this scenario won't change often, so you don't have
to rewrite the tests yourself every time you change the
implementation."

Integration tests also assume that you are testing real unit interaction in an isolated environment, not moving dependencies, and checking the expected result, as in unit tests. So most developers prefer integration tests because they give the highest confidence that the program works as needed.

From tester's point of view, it is necessary to organize:

  • Manual testing

Because of the involvement of the human element, we get accurate user interface feedback in testing.

The standard testing approach is better than handling automated testing.

  • Automated testing

Running automated tests takes a while, but it's still faster than manually passing tests by testers, especially when it comes to regression. When auto-tests are running, testers can perform non-automated tests. By completing a regression test, we can quickly catch bugs introduced by the new functionality, which will quickly identify the problem module.

Let's talk more about what kind of testing is right for your product

It doesn't matter if you have the minimum product requirements or are you developing a massive product.

It is not enough to pass critical test cases once, and be sure that everything is working "perfectly." The product lifecycle requires a complete analysis of the processes and interdependencies of the product.

The quality and reliability of your product depend not only on the developer but also on the whole team, and the tester is an integral part of it.

No matter what development methodology you use, testing should be a must. This is part of the product life cycle. The price of an error passed to the production is very high.

If you need an MVP

To successfully enter the market with your "minimal" product, you need to make an excellent first impression. The product should be remembered - and remembered for its proper functioning as expected by the user.

What you should bear in mind when developing this product:

  • Create a checklist to test existing and desired functionality

  • Give a release with a product of the highest quality, which will not require additional money to support it.

If you plan on long-term development and support (Large scale, fully-featured apps can take years to develop and launch)

  • It is necessary to ensure that the test cases are written and supplemented when new functionality emerges

  • Writing automated tests and adding them with the advent of new features. This will simplify regular regression testing.

For any product

  • The more clients you have, the more you need to pay attention to performance and performance tests;

  • With more user reach, don't forget about security testing and penetration testing;

  • Usability testing - ease of use, navigation, the comfort of use;

  • Compatibility testing and cross-browser testing. The more customers you have, the more extensive the range of devices, OSes, and browsers from which they will attempt to access your product or service.

The Importance of QA Testing: Closing Remarks

Software testing is an essential process in the software lifecycle.

When ignoring it or allocating insufficient resources to check the product, you can’t de-risk your software development. Investing in software testing is a good habit for you to get a quality product that meets your expectations on the way out!

The role of software testing cannot be missed out when you’re launching a web & mobile app development. So if you’re going to create something that will be associated with the highest quality - don’t forget to perform QA testing carefully.