In the present day, a vast array of software options are available to customers. Making it extremely difficult to choose the right software for your company's specific needs. This blog aims to shed light on the personnel best suited to conduct software testing and highlight key advantages software testing can have for your business.
Why test software?
Software can be compared to the chariots of ancient Greece. “What do they have in common?” you might ask. Everything is simple: chariots had been used for thousands of years - first for military operations and then for entertainment at sports competitions. If warriors didn’t test their vehicles before battles, and engineers didn’t bring them to perfection, chariots would never have achieved such popularity.
The same is true for testing. Testing is critical to a successful product launch in crowded markets. The top customer will naturally choose the contractor for whose program they don't have any complaints. And this means that any developed product is subject to testing that can ensure its proper quality.
A World Without Testing
The ultimate goal of software testing is to provide the user with a useful and convenient product. With a sensible approach, it is possible to find and "neutralize" potential problem areas during the development process.
What are the consequences for a business that doesn’t take testing seriously? The answer is obvious: lowers credibility in the eyes of customers and diminishes order volumes - hence leading to lower revenue figures. History is littered with examples of successful companies that lost millions of dollars because they had failed to prioritize product quality.
According to a survey conducted by Diffblue that interviewed 300 UK and US developers and IT managers - companies are cognizant of the need to improve their testing processes but still don't allocate enough money for quality assurance services. As a result, they either shift testing to the development team or don’t conduct it altogether.
Who to assign software testing
There are several options for how companies can set up their software testing processes. Any of them can be applied. It all depends on the needs and plans of an organization, as well as on the desired result.
In-house QA department
Some companies create their own QA department and develop it. This is often a long and cumbersome process that requires a significant investment of time and money.
At the initial stages, objectively estimating all subsequent costs for testing and its effectiveness is difficult. If you are lacking in-house expertise, it is worth hiring a third-party QA company to assess and identify the team's skill set. Software testing specialists must be rather competent so that their work generates value. Moreover, it is not only about technical knowledge but also about soft skills, the ability to work in a team, ask the right questions, understand the user's key needs and business tasks.
Sometimes it is easier for companies to reach out to expert consultants for one-time help - i.e. to hire a team for a specific project or request, which provides software testing services. Such specialists work with various projects and developers and can be effective for solving specific one-time tasks.
Software testing outsourcing is a fairly effective way of organizing processes. The benefit of this option is that companies devote all their efforts to development and receive professional support in the field of testing at the same time. Outsourcing leads to cost savings, simplified operations, and a greater focus on the company's core activities.
Another important benefit of outsourcing testing is its objectivity. The company's employees have a better understanding of the product specifics and features. But at the same time, they are often prisoners of their tunnel vision and fail to think about market dynamics. External testers are usually up on the market trends. They are likely to have dealt with similar issues and are aware of a wide range of business scenarios for the development of the task assigned to them.
Finally, the benefit of outsourcing software testing is that the independent consultant can honestly and promptly talk to senior managers if they find problems, while in-house employees tend to delay or hide bad news.
advantages of software testing
Let's consider five key reasons why software testing has a positive impact on a business, its processes, and the end result of development. In fact, there are many more advantages, but we will highlight the main ones.
A tester detects bugs in the product in parallel with the development process. This makes it possible to promptly make adjustments to parts of the product on the one hand and see the whole process on the other hand. Therefore, later on, it is easier to put the whole puzzle together and get a better product at the output faster. The sooner mistakes are found and corrected, the less time is devoted to them during meetings and discussions. Hence this saves time for the whole team.
This advantage is directly associated with point number one. as the less time is spent on the project, the lower incurred business expense follows. It is also essential to mention the costs that are entailed by late detection of bugs - at the stage when the product is already launched. After all, according to the terms of most agreements between the customer and the contractor, the elimination of errors falls on the shoulders of the development company. Besides, some untimely detected bugs are so critical that they require tremendous changes in the product. This, in turn, causes the need for additional costs.
3. Product efficiency and ease-of-use
In this case, simpler is better. Sometimes a developer gets carried away in the process of creating a product and adds functions or options that the user doesn't need. This makes the product less intuitive and, what's worse, inconvenient. As a result, clients are not satisfied and the company is constantly receiving negative feedback.
For example, a company develops a mobile application for buying cinema tickets online. It’s totally cool if the program allows users to buy them quickly and easily. It’s totally bad if we complicate the app and start offering to leave reviews on movies (unless this is a potential direction for the company's development, of course). A simple and intuitive product is more effective and potentially more successful.
Providing protection against possible cyberattacks and protecting user data is the most important task that developers should not forget about. Software testing will help in ensuring security. Here it’s not only about financial losses but also about reputational risks. No company wants to lose its clients, but it is even worse to lose its image that sometimes took several years to earn.
5. structured and mature processes
The worst thing that can happen during development is chaos and inconsistency. All this can be avoided if testing is implemented early in the project. After all, well-organized and well-planned work is easy to manage and transfer to new employees.
To effectively establish the process, an experienced QA manager should be hired. The manager will select specialists depending on the requirements and complexity of the project. It should be remembered that recruiting the right employees is an important step in building a team that is driven by one goal - to provide a high-quality product.
In order to maintain its image and retain clients, as well as attract new customers and increase profits, businesses in the IT sector have to constantly improve. And the establishment of high-quality QA processes is one of the key areas that the companies need to develop. Testing both at the project level and at the global business process level is a tool that provides a means to solve many problems or avoid them altogether.
About the Author: Artsiom Balabanau has ten years of experience in the IT industry building a path from a Business Innovation Consultant to a Senior Manager. Currently, Balabanau works as a CIO at Andersen. Being a part of the IT family for years, Balabanau aims at transforming IT processes in support of business transformation.