Software testing. Why is testing so important?

In 2020, the value of the global software testing market exceeded 40 billion dollars, and even the outbreak of the pandemic did not reduce the demand for testers. Just the opposite! According to data from Devire, the last two years have seen up to 15% more job offers and salaries higher by as much as 30%. All thanks to the accelerated digital transformation — massively created systems and applications require testing. Especially as they are more and more complex, they have more functions and data that must be kept under strict control.

What are software tests?

Software testing is a process by which we check whether the expected results in relation to the developed software are reflected in reality. In other words, we are looking for bugs, gaps, deficiencies, non-working functions or other defects that may have a negative impact on the end result, as well as cause software security problems.

An additional advantage of testing is the ability to detect whether the implemented project meets the customer’s expectations — the process helps us to discover inaccuracies in relation to the intended specification. Moreover, the initially defined software requirements do not always prove correct. This also comes out during testing, so it is possible to make changes in the early stages of software development.

Why is it worth testing?

Businesses turning to a custom software development service for the first time sometimes don’t understand why testing is done so much and so often, and how important it is for an IT project. Testing means extra time and cost, but we can guarantee that without it, your project will end up much more expensive and less efficient. Mistakes always appear, and if we decline to undertake software testing, we shall see them “live”. Application users (employees, contractors, clients) will be the testers, and we will pay double for all shortcomings and their repair in ready-made software. Not least to mention the losses from customer dissatisfaction, the resulting security incidents and loss of trust.

When cooperating with a Software House, you cannot avoid the tests. Anyone with experience in software development is aware that tests are:

  • Detection of errors, mistakes and shortcomings of the created software, even before it’s reach the target audience;
  • Lowering the application’s maintenance costs (fewer repairs and changes in the future);
  • Reducing the risk of failure, and thus potential financial losses, as a result of software downtime or a security incident;
  • Cleaner application code, and thus simpler and more effective development in further stages;
  • High-quality end result in the form of an efficient and safe digital product, software or application.

Remember: From a business point of view, software testing translates directly into the satisfaction and trust of its future users.

Types of software tests

In the most basic terms, tests can be divided into manual tests and automatic tests.

Manual tests

A specially trained employee, i.e. the tester, is responsible for testing the software. He uses his knowledge, practice, experience and tools to effectively check the quality and performance of the tested software. It runs one test scenario at a time.

Automatic tests

Automated testing is performed by the machine, although it executes commands according to a previously developed script. Test scenarios are prepared by the automation tester in the selected programming language and then run using tools such as Katalon, Selenium or Protractor.

Automated testing is faster and often more accurate than manual testing, but is not entirely without human input. It has many advantages over manual testing:

  • It saves time and speeds up the entire process. A machine, unlike a human, can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • It detects bugs that elude people. Testing is a largely repeatable process. Even the best specialist may feel tired by continually doing the same test scenario. Fatigue, coupled with repeatability, is a simple way to miss many bugs. 
  • Sometimes test automation is the only option. Large applications, intended for multi-user use (e.g. software for banks) are practically impossible to test manually. The workload would burden the project too much, and the risk of errors would be too big. 

Test automation can also save you money, as long as we’re talking about a larger project. All processes that can be automated are starting to pay off in the long run. However, the automation itself also costs money, so it will not necessarily work in small and fast projects.

Automation is not the answer to all problems. Despite the increasing intelligence of machines, automated testing still has to be designed by humans first. The human factor also appears wherever new functionalities, appearance, user-friendliness or intuitiveness of solutions should be assessed.

Cloud testing

We have already written that in the coming years, cloud computing will continue to be one of the strongest technological trends. All the latest solutions and applications go to the cloud first, and owners of older systems are looking for ways to successfully migrate. It is similar with testing — – more and more often standard test stands are transferred to the virtual world.

The enormous possibilities of cloud computing bring many benefits to testers and their companies. It’s not only the convenient access to test environments via a browser but, above all, easier replication of the client’s environment, more efficient stress tests, server-level automation, lower infrastructure price (no need to maintain a licence), simpler environment configuration and resource scalability.

To test or not to test? 

As you can see, software testing is a must. Without it, the solutions created are prone to numerous errors and irregularities. Even the most experienced programmers can overlook something, and a typical custom software development project is a very complex process, where a dozen or so people work as standard. It is practically impossible to predict all user scenarios and actions in advance, which is why tests (both manual and automatic) are an indispensable part of every IT project.