Software Testing Importance From Beginning to End: An Informed Overview

Evgeniy Brik

Evgeniy Brik

Head of QA at Andersen

Quality Assurance
Nov 9, 2022
Lesedauer: 9 Min.
  1. Software testing importance. Some basics
  2. Some observations explaining why software testing is important
  3. Reflections on the importance of testing in software development projects of all kinds: why is it a must?
  4. Important aspects of software testing in practice
  5. Some basics of a typical testing flow:
  6. Sorts of software testing
  7. Software check challenges that Andersen helps overcome

Questions concerning why software testing is necessary seem to have an obvious answer. After all, if you want something of importance to function properly, it would be reasonable to check how it works. However, too many teams still neglect the QA dimension of their efforts. For instance, in the context of software testing importance, figures from HackerRank’s survey are of particular interest. When analyzing their major bugs in production, most tech professionals, as many as 60%, name deploying untested or broken code as the main reason why problems occur.

In the capacity of a dependable vendor of software testing services, Andersen fully understands the true importance of testing in software engineering. This is why we decided to dedicate a special piece to this problem. Let’s start with the basics.

Software testing importance. Some basics

The professionals at ISTQB, a reputable hub of expertise, explain that “software testing” stands for actions taken to evaluate code quality and reduce the probability of software failures during operation. Such actions, both static and dynamic ones, span the entire life cycle of an individual product or a multi-divisional system. In this capacity, QA is not a distinctive separate phase, rather a continuous priority, matching the foundations of the dominant Agile technique. Thus, ignoring QA or simply not dedicating ample resources to this process is a path to lose the race in the competitive quality-obsessed landscape of today.

Some observations explaining why software testing is important

The demand for QA rounds is growing all over the globe. Around 2022, this niche was worth around $45 billion. In 2023, the segment was destined to hit $70 billion. Why is this increase happening? There must be significant driving forces behind this growth, proving our assumptions regarding the importance of QA.

The reason is straightforward. Modern users are quite demanding when it comes to their experiences with solutions of all kinds. Here are just a couple of figures, based on empirical research, proving this point:

  • A significant majority of customers, amounting to 67%, cite negative experiences from sessions as a contributing factor to churn;
  • A staggering 88% of end-users would certainly discontinue using applications due to the presence of glitches and bugs. For 51%, a single minor bug would suffice to leave the app entirely;
  • While assessing apps for download, 46% of respondents indicated that they deem four stars to be the minimum acceptable average star rating. In contrast, a mere 12% of individuals would contemplate downloading an app with a two-star ranking.

These figures of importance clearly communicate that in the competitive landscape of today, quality (understood as a comprehensive combo of usability, stability, high speed, and security) is everything. That is why this area has to be treated carefully.

Did you know that, according to recent surveys, software testing was the third most common class of professional duties developers engage in, with 43% participating. QA issues are behind only coding (92%) and code reviews (53%). That is why one should always keep an eye on QA flows.

Reflections on the importance of testing in software development projects of all kinds: why is it a must?

Having said enough about the general software testing importance issues, let’s now touch on narrower facets. Namely, what are the practical implications that we could cite as driving forces behind investing heavily in QA (or in outsourcing software testing operations to reputable vendors)?

  1. Resource saving. Tests assist with detecting and tackling issues of importance earlier in engineering endeavors. Fixing problems at initial phases is understandably more effective in comparison with doing so later — during or even after the deployment moment. Also, no one is a fan of hefty ongoing maintenance price tags and continuously emerging failures that are normally so hard to address.
  2. Data safety. Any software product should not only function as a high-performing and swift-to-operate one, but should also keep info entrusted to it in a protected format. Such incidents as intrusions, hacks, leaks, or simply unauthorized access channels mean more than a hefty price tag in tech terms. Legal implications of great importance and cost, as well as inevitable harm done to your corporate reputation, can also result. That is why all safeguards must be in place.
  3. Full compliance as a feature. In heavily regulated niches we are familiar with, e.g. finance or healthcare, rigorous standards are mandated. To be admitted to the market, any digital product has to match certain criteria of importance in terms of data management, clarity, accessibility, etc. Software checks definitely play a part in guaranteeing this. That is why one should keep them in mind.
  4. High-quality code and higher-than-average satisfaction rates are why any IT initiative survives or doesn’t. Above, we have mentioned a sufficient number of indicators proving this point.
  5. Extensibility and expandability. The simplicity of incorporating fresh features is heightened via proper practices. As code gets more interconnected over time, the introduction of alterations becomes increasingly challenging. Tests effectively act as a countermeasure to this code “calcification,” empowering engineers to confidently add fresh code lines.

For engineers, the prospect of modifying older sections of the codebase can be daunting, indeed. But with tests, they can ascertain whether any critical functionality of importance is compromised. This not only contributes to the competitiveness of any given software offering but also positions any team as a frontrunner against industry rivals.

Did you know that, given this growing need of software testing, companies allocate generous resources to this IT facet? As early as in 2016-2017, the World Quality Report put forward its advice to allocate no less than a quarter of your entire IT project costs to QA. In practice, however, the median percentage is lower with the most recent figures being around 23%. But still, that is a substantial proportion, which fully confirms the importance of testing in software development. This is why QAs managers are in such great demand in the labor market.

Important aspects of software testing in practice

Now our idea is to zoom in on a range of important aspects of software testing, from a practical point of view. We are fully aware that these are commonly recognized in the tech industry. Yet, they are always worth repeating. After all, these technicalities which we will revisit demonstrate why software testing is important. It is time to kick off by looking at a regular flow.

Some basics of a typical testing flow:

  1. Requirement assessment. Start by thoroughly grasping the software requirements you are facing. Clear and well-documented demands are of importance and serve as the foundation for effective QA rounds.
  2. Test planning. Envision an E2E test plan outlining the approach, scope, aims, resources, schedule, and deliverables. Make sure it aligns well with project objectives.
  3. Test design. Envision detailed test cases based on actual requirements previously pinned down. They should cover various scenarios, including positive and negative conditions.
  4. Test environment setup. Establish a solid and characteristic test environment that adequately mirrors its production counterpart. This encompasses adequately configured hardware, software, settings, and any other factors of importance.
  5. Test execution. Perform test cases systematically, ensuring thorough coverage. Log and prioritize defects as they are identified, in accordance with their importance. Subject repetitive and critical test cases to automation for ever-greater efficiency.
  6. Defect tracking and resolution. Apply a defect tracking system to log, prioritize, and handle defects. Include detailed profiles about each defect, such as the likelihood of it being reproduced, the severity level, and the status assigned according to importance.
  7. Documentation. Maintain detailed documentation of test plans, cases, outcomes, and any issues encountered. Documentation aids in transparency, knowledge sharing, and future efforts.
  8. Non-stop improvements. Implement a continuous improvement process by scrutinizing results and feedback. Identify fields for improvement in your processes, tools, as well as methodologies. Proactiveness is frequently why companies succeed.

Speaking of processes, one cannot bypass the importance of striking a balance between automated and manual efforts. Indeed, productive software development relies on well-thought-out and effective tools and strategies. And, despite the importance of automation testing, which significantly speeds up the progress, manual work still plays a part in software undertakings.

As of now, according to The State of Testing report, in 46% of instances scrutinized, test automation has taken over at least 50% of the manual testing workload. As you can see, the scale of lengthy and labor-intensive manual efforts is diminishing, yet stays with us. Maybe, in the near future, this will change thanks to AI in software testing.

Sorts of software testing

To further understand why software testing is important, let’s now discuss some dimensions any test initiative of sufficient proportions should cover:

  1. Unit-focused efforts are of importance, seeking to verify the individual components, even the smallest ones, of the software for correctness.
  2. Integration-focused efforts, aimed at validating the interactions between integrated components or systems. In this respect, we would also like to point out the importance of compatibility. As such, the general “harmony” of the product (i.e. the “harmony” between varying devices, browsers, and operating systems) should be verified.
  3. Functional and non-functional efforts, i.e. working with the anticipated functionality to ensure that it matches the specified requirements, and assessing non-functional aspects of importance, such as performance, security, usability, and reliability:
  • Performance encompasses responsiveness, scalability, and efficiency under varying conditions.
  • Security deals with identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities and security risks. For instance, we believe that in the heavily regulated industries we serve (such as HealthTech and Finance), penetration testing, i.e. simulating real-world attacks and scenarios, comes to the forefront;
  • Usability-centered operations evaluate UI/UX and user journeys. Again, one could accentuate the importance of a particular direction here: the so-called UAT method (which stands for user-acceptance QA). This is intended to verify compliance with users’ expectations and business requirements.
  1. Regression framework applied to confirm that new code alterations do not negatively impact existing functionality.
  2. Smoke testing is preliminary checks to identify major issues before more in-depth testing. Another term of importance here is exploratory testing, which, as the name implies, must “explore” a system without predefined test cases to discover defects.

Did you know that, given the wide scope described above, testing is viewed not as a separate phenomenon, but as an integral part of engineering routines. A significant 77% of respondents affirm that checks constitute an essential component of the development processes within their respective companies or teams.

Software check challenges that Andersen helps overcome

Why would a customer looking for QA offerings reach out to Andersen? This is why:

As a trusted vendor with 85+ relevant cases in our portfolio, 200+ QA initiatives thoroughly automated, and 30+ long-term strategic projects of importance being run right now, Andersen’s team knows that, to get things done, one must consider all potential hindrances and limitations. We have everything in place to tackle all the likely issues, including:

  • Shorter release cycles caused by the trend towards Agile and DevOps. Such a tempo might make it challenging for testing teams to thoroughly test the importance of all facets of the software within tight timelines.

  • Ever-more sophisticated systems caused by the fact that modern solutions incorporate various technologies, integrations, constituents, and dependencies. Testing such intricate systems requires comprehensive strategies and tools.

  • Limited resources can hinder the thorough E2E checking of software, especially in complex projects with tight deadlines.

  • Communication gaps caused by the current nature of almost all IT projects. They almost universally involve multiple stakeholders, dispersed teams, and heterogeneous concurrent activities. That is why incomplete communication between those “poles,” accompanied by inevitable misinterpretations and misalignments (especially during the conveyance of requirements) can impede the creation of precise test cases.

  • Test environment management presents issues of importance, too. Setting up and maintaining test environments mirroring production conditions is indeed problematic in the modern complex tech landscape. As an outcome, discrepancies between testing and live environments emerge.

  • Flawed documentation. Why does this stumbling block arise? In certain instances, this happens from a failure to document the comprehensive scope, encompassing both functional and nonfunctional elements, as well as specific project requirements. This oversight could lead to engineers and QA specialists overlooking crucial aspects of the existing expectations. Andersen always provides in-depth and crystal-clear documentation, that is why many customers choose us.

  • Ensuring the privacy and compliance of test data, especially in scenarios where sensitive or personal details of importance are involved, poses challenges pertaining to mandatory data protection guidelines.

By approaching Andersen, due to our expertise, hands-on skills, and comprehensive services, you will avoid those traps and fully capitalize on all the mentioned benefits across all domains.

Andersen ist ständig bereit, Sie bei den Projekten aller Komplexität zu unterstützen.

Evgeniy Brik, Head of QA at Andersen
Evgeniy Brik

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