To test is to doubt. So why do we doubt?
We might be perfect in coding, specs, typos and in other types of code complexities but what we cannot control is the outside variable. The biggest myth is good programmers write code without bugs. Whereas, history says that even well-written programs have 1-3 bugs per hundred statements.
Testing is a process of evaluating a systems component(s) in order to find out whether it fulfils the requirements or not. But why test software? Testing is done to evaluate any errors, gaps or missing element that is proving to be a hindrance on the final product. In short, testing is done to find the BUGS!
A bug is one of the major reasons of a software error that is caused due to human mistakes or conflict with the outside variable resulting in the software undesired or incorrect results. Some of the major reasons for software bugs are;
- Miscommunication or no communication
- Complexity of the software
- Programming errors
- The change of requirements like redesigning, rescheduling of engineers and more
- Deadline pressure
- Poorly documented code and use of obsolete automation scripts
- No proper planning and process execution etc.
Thus, software testing help find the defects that can be solved before the final product is launched. An early start to software testing can greatly reduce the cost of the product and time required to rework on the code that helps in producing error free software that is delivered to the client. During the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the process of testing can begin from the requirement gathering phase and continue till the deployment of the software depending on the development model used.
The importance of software testing is far beyond the testing of the code. Testing is highly important in finding the functional behaviour of the application. Behaviour not just in terms of bad code, the inaccurate or incomplete collection and communication of components, thus resulting in the inaccurate functioning of the application.
Software Testing has 3 Main Purposes:
- Verification confirms whether the software is meeting its technical specifications i.e. whether the values entered under specific preconditions is meeting its measurable output.
- Validation confirms whether the software is meeting its business requirements i.e. the end users need.
- Defect finding is a process through which the faults actual source is traced down to specification, design, or development (coding) phases.
Software Testing Answers Questions that Development Testing and Code Reviews Can’t
- Does the software work as expected?
- Does the software meet the end user requirements
- Is this what the end users expected?
- Will the end user like it?
- Is the software compatible with other systems?
- How is the software performing?
- How the software work when more users are added?
- What areas need improvement and more work?
- Is the software ready for release?
What can we do with the answers to these questions?
- Early identification of defect will save time and money
- Reduction in development downtime
- Build a better application and end product
- Fulfil the end users need and requirements
- Identify the modifications and enhancement for the next version
By 2017, software testing market size is estimated to grow to $34 Billion. This rapid growth in the market size is due to the increased use of newer technologies, mobiles, and Internet of Things (IoT). This digital transformation has moved testing away from product-centric to becoming more customer-centric. Thus, software testing involves some or all of the following factors (the more the better);
- Business requirements
- Functional design requirements
- Technical design requirements
- Regulatory requirements
- Programmer code
- Systems administration standards and restrictions
- Corporate standards
- Professional or trade association best practices
- Hardware configuration
- Cultural issues and language differences
“Why Software Testing”… Let’s Look At Some Valid Points
Software testing is huge. It has different goals and objectives. We have mentioned above some of the important questions only software testing can answer accurately. While finding a bug in the application is not the sole purpose of software testing, let’s dig more to know the importance and reason to software testing.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing them information on the product and application usability, associated risks, and specific requirements thus helping them build a better product for the end user.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on functional, performance, reliability, security, and usability and so on so that they can build a right application.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on the products usability to the end user that helps them build the right product and application.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on the products compatibility with the various operating system, hardware, and different browser.
- Software testing enables the decision makers by providing information on improving the quality of the product and application. This helps in reducing the post-release cost of support and service thus translating into higher revenue opportunities.
- An early adoption of software testing helps in prevent
ing bugs at early stage because a prevented bug is better than a detected and corrected bug
- Various types of software testing like load testing and performance testing helps in making the application reliable thus determining that the application can be installed and run easily on various platforms
- Software testing also ensures the compliance of the product and application with regulatory requirements thus safeguarding the decision makers and the organization from any future legality.
Software testing is an integral part of product development lifecycle and can show the excellent result when done properly and effectively. For effective and efficient testing results, ensure that everyone involved in the testing process is familiar with the basics of software testing goals, principles, limitations, and concepts. Have a defined set of practices, methodologies, principals, and standards for optimal software testing results. Remember testing is more than debugging. Software testing is quality assurance, verification, validation, and reliability. It is an art that is changing with every passing decade. Software testing today is more technical and process oriented.
In today’s corporate world “change” is the only constant element that is helping organizations innovate and evolve every day. Businesses are constantly creating products and services that can fulfil their client’s needs and demands.
In this competitive world, creating products ‘ONLY’ will not help your organizations sustain for longer period of time. The time to market and the quality of the product can actually make the difference between success and failure.
Remember, quality never just happens, it demands a combination of right people, right system and the right commitment. To excel in quality of your product, remember to have both – a systematic and a disciplined approach as a product owner.
Error free production process has various advantages attached to it. It definitely holds down cost, saves valuable time, effort and material required on rework. Thus, paying attention to quality assurance in every step of the production should be established for all the IT projects. The need of a QA and software testing service arises from the day you decide to start working on your project.
There are many ways to have the projects QA process streamlined. Either you have in-house team or plan to outsource QA & Testing Service to a managed centre that has the expertise, experience and resource to handle such type of projects.
Outsourcing your projects QA and testing process has its own pros and cons, which an organization should consider in detail before deciding on outsourcing the services. Here are some to consider;
- Better and efficient team
- Huge saving on the expensive infrastructure
- Reduced HR Costs
- Increased focus on the development process
- The need to find the right testing service provider
- Security issues and confidentiality of private information
So if you have decided to outsource your QA and Software Testing Services, here starts the mammoth task of choosing the right vendor who can do justice to your project. When hundreds of things can go wrong – data loss, unwanted mishap, security breach etc., it’s of great importance that you do a good research before finalizing the vendor. So, if you are planning to outsource the testing services, you first need to figure out the critical factors that will help you in choosing the vendor, right and easy.
After you have decided to outsource QA services to a third party vendor, it is of high importance that you set the tone right from the day one. To have a full control on the testing process and be comfortable with the overall engagement, you and the vendor should be on the same page. This can be done through a pre-defined QA Checklist. The checklist will contain basic questions that are specific to the project’s needs. This will help you understand the capabilities and expertise of the vendor and whether you should proceed with the contract or look for some other vendor. Below are some of basic questions to start your journey with;
- Names of the QA projects worked before and their success case studies.
- Adequate resources and tools are available for performing QA activities and what are those resources.
- Proof of QA representatives are trained to perform the testing activities.
- What methodologies are used to determine the quality of the QA activities?
- Is progress reviewed by the company senior management on daily or weekly or monthly basis.
- What security measures are implemented to safeguard the project from external threats?
- What communication method you follow for better understanding and visibility between both the parties?
- What will the company do if any uncertainty happens during the project testing?
- What is the reporting method adopted by the vendor?
Above are some of the basic questions applicable to all type of projects. The more comprehensive list of questions you have, the better it will help you understand the vendor’s capabilities. This will at the end help you take your final decision on choosing the right vendor for your project.
QA can be traced back to World War II where ammunitions were tested to check their level of performance. Today Quality Assurance is done for every possible field of activity, from banking to education to software and consulting. Though, each business has a different testing model, the end purpose of testing is to make faults visible and correct the errors before the product is released to the market.
QA is a complex process and with so many types of software testing process available, it is extremely important to adopt the detailed process and methods under controlled conditions. Hence, the need arises of a vendor who can offer the specialization in various types of quality assurance services.
A well-known e-commerce portal decided to run a 3 days holiday sale on their website in the year 2014. They successfully performed traditional testing on their website and went live with the sale. They heavily marketed the sale on TV, radio, newspaper and on digital media. The technical team of the company thought they were well prepared to handle the traffic. But within few hours of the start of the sale, the website crashed due to much heavier traffic than anticipated. This resulted in a huge loss for the company and much greater embarrassment.
Next year in 2015, the company again announced the 3 days holiday sale and this time it was a huge success with 20% increase in the traffic as compared to last year. But how did the website managed to hold such huge traffic? This time, the technical team did what they didn’t the previous year i.e., performance testing of their website. They tested their site for more than the estimated traffic and it worked wonders for the company as it announced a profit of $1billion during the 3 days sale.
This live example helps us understand that a product can demand various testing process when going live and after it’s live. Hence, to avoid such situation, you must choose a vendor who has the knowledge and expertise of performing the api testing processes as and when demanded by the business.
Choose a vendor who understands your requirement and offer a planned and well-balanced budget
According to the World Quality Report 2015 released by one of the largest IT Company, budget on IT Quality Assurance and Testing Services has risen to an average 35% of the total project spending and is estimated to rise by 40% till 2018.
This clearly shows that companies have started realizing the importance of testing knowing that a defect in the application has the potential to go viral within minutes and can go against the corporate image of the organization. This has thus made QA and testing an integral part of product development.
The fact is; QA and testing services are not cheap. But, the budget can be greatly reduced when you choose a right vendor for QA and testing services. An experienced vendor knows the exact requirements. Their past experience in similar industry or project have very well trained them on the exact testing methodologies thus reducing the overhead cost resulting in much lower and well-balanced costing for your projects QA and testing services. But do remember, cost shouldn’t be the lone factor and instead you should consider the total cost of the project ownership that includes;
1. Customer Service
2. Delivery Commitment
3. Resource Saving (hard and soft)
4. Reliability and Responsiveness
Thus, finalize a vendor who provides cost-effective testing budget and better.
The 4 CSFs to judge a vendor’s IT QA and Software Testing Services are Focus, Size, Pedigree and Scalability. Merely having experienced software testers and contractors is not sufficient. A vendor should have a team of experienced testers who knows the nitty-gritty and possess the skill to successfully execute a QA and testing project.
There is a myth that larger the firm better is the testing quality. But the fact is larger firms handle a number of projects at the same time that can result in your project not getting its 100% attention. Look for a firm who can provide you a dedicated team of specialists working only on your project thus delivering excellent service.
Vendors brand image, trust, relevance and credibility plays an important role as a strong pedigree that helps attract the right kind of staff and partnership. Research on the vendor’s experience in business, thought leadership etc. before you finalize them for your projects IT QA and testing services.
Maybe the company has a set number of good testers with them, but do they have the resource and credibility to scale their staffing if your project demands it? This is really important that a vendor can on-demand increase their headcount to successfully execute the project.
Certificates and other related documents demonstrate the capability of the vendor that you are choosing for QA and testing services.
Apart from certification, a customer’s feedback is very crucial. A company’s true abilities can be checked through their previous customers’ testimonials, feedback and case studies. Cross check for company’s previous customer reviews on different platforms like Glassdoor, Facebook, and Testimonials on Website etc. Whereas, previous project case studies will help you understand the company’s ability to deliver projects on time, their success and failure rate and how upgraded they are using the latest technologies for providing the best testing results. This will give you a clear picture of what you should expect if you choose the company for your projects testing services.
Each of the above critical pointers is important to consider, if neglected these can result into poor project outcome, increased cost, and reduction in the product’s performance. Price and delivery are not the only factors to consider and a project owner should go beyond to make the project a success. A regular assessment of the vendor and ensuring you receive adequate value and benefit from the testing models will help your project and business growth.
Mamsys testing services have time and again faced various client challenges through which we have been successful in building a robust testing strategy and QA unit in today’s demanding business environment. Our IT QA and Testing framework is a result of diverse knowledge, critical indicators that we gained over the years. We have improved our predictability in costs and risk evaluation ensuring much faster time to market.