CTS – Your Technology Partner

Why Test Software At All?

Written by Amber Lehmann on February 25, 2016

Bottom line, no matter how good you are, you can’t think of everything. You will also be asked to make your software do things that you never intended for it to do. You will also never have requirements that are so clear that you will be able to think of every possibility to make sure the code doesn’t break.

We all agree that software testing is an integral part of software development, but how do you convince your senior management that you need to test at all?

Here are 5 reasons you need to test software that can be very convincing and easy to explain.

5. To ensure that what you created does what it’s supposed to do.

Software testing is needed to verify that your new scheduling functionality, documentation link, or live chat widget works as intended.  A cool new feature may break a forgotten legacy feature.

Regardless of development methodology and whether or not your team refers to “requirements,” the ultimate goal of testing is the same: to make sure that what is created does what it’s supposed to do.

4. Something that works when one person is using it may not work when hundreds of people are using it.

The stress of hundreds of people hitting a website at the same time can be enough to bring it crashing down (or at the very least increase page load times annoyingly).  You want to be sure that your website is always up and running, no matter how many people are trying to log in, run a search, purchase concert tickets, book a hotel room, register for a race, etc.

Something that works when one person is using it may not work when hundreds are, and software testing is the key to discovering those issues so you can fix them.

3. There’s always a chance that a user really will do that – no matter how silly it seems.

Too often testers put a lot of effort into writing up a detailed, reproducible report on a bug we’ve discovered only to be told by management or a developer that the bug doesn’t need to be addressed since, as they see it, it represents an edge case so remote that no user will ever encounter it.

There is  always a chance that a user will encounter that edge case over the course of using your application. Exploratory testing and general testing outside the specs can uncover pretty crazy bugs; the tricky part is figuring out where fixing them falls in the priority.

2. There are lots of different devices, browsers, and operating systems out there.

We’re lucky to live in an age where we can choose from a technology buffet of phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops – not to mention the different browsers and operating systems in use on those devices.

All this variety is great, but it also makes testing for compatibility essential. You never know how a user will try to view and use your site, and things like responsive design become more critical to conversions and customer satisfaction all the time.

Testing on multiple devices, browsers, operating systems can help ensure your website works for as many of your users as possible.

1. We owe it to our users and ourselves to deliver the best application we can.

Ultimately, we need software testing because if we’re putting a website or app out there, it’s our responsibility to make sure it’s something we can be proud of and have confidence in.  A bug may make a simple task take a tiny bit more time or effort to complete. It may cause an image or button to break or render incorrectly. Or it may even compromise your users’ privacy. In any case, if that bug goes unseen, it can have a real impact on real people.