Can you imagine buying a brand-new car with a broken brake?
Putting your hard-earned money in a bank with an untested system?
Have you tried buying a product on an e-commerce site but right after you pay the website, it crashed? Then it was found that your order was not successful, but still, the total amount was deducted from your account. It sounds frustrating, right? These can happen easily when a product is untested.
What is software testing? In simple terms, it means the software application under test is undergoing a verification activity. It is an activity that will check and compare actual results based on the expected results. Testing a product before releasing it to the consumer is a vital step in a product’s lifecycle. To ensure that it will serve its purpose, one must verify that it is working as expected. The untested product can lead to an unhappy customer or, worse – a loss of life.
There are many reasons why software testing must be required aside from the fact that it is part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). First, only by testing the software we can verify that the software is built according to the requirements of the business. For example, the business needs calculator software that calculates correctly. Without testing that it outputs correctly as it supposed to be, for example, 1 + 1 = 2. The end-user might be frustrated when the result becomes 3. Different from what is expected and does not follow the requirements. A simple defect that could have been prevented to be seen by the customer if proper software testing took place. Having this defect can lead to losing your customer’s trust. The company might be flagged as an unreliable development company because of the results.
The second reason why software testing should be required in development is to prevent life-threatening and expensive defects. Humans are known to be great at making mistakes, and developing software are not exempted. One defect can have a low or high severity which can be very expensive or dangerous when released. Imagine developing a vital sign monitor. Because of a lack of budget, your company decided to release it untested. Physically, it looks like to be working great, but when used in the hospital, a bug is found by the end-user, which is, it gives flatline to a 50-50 patient. If proper testing has been performed in the development phase and that all its basic and critical functionality are tested to be working accurately, then the patient could have been saved.
Another reason why software testing must be required is it could save more money. The defect found in the later stage of development or production is very expensive. If proper software testing has been implemented from the very beginning, the bug that leaked in production could have been found early in the design phase. Moreover, a bug can scrape off the whole development effort if found in the later stage, which could have been prevented when the design is tested against the requirements.
Finally, proper testing ensures that defects are detected early in the life cycle of the product or application. Software testing can lead to a quality product. When a quality product is built, it means that it has fewer defects and critical high priority defects are fixed. A quality product may result in a lesser maintenance effort which could reduce the cost to both end-user and development companies. While poor quality software can lead to a dissatisfied customer, which in turn may result in losses which the business may not able to recover.