Software testing is vital in the digital world for making sure that software runs bug-free and meets the requirements of your end-users.
Although software testing might not be as labor-intensive and code-based as actually developing the software from scratch, it is far from an easy job. Whether you view it as a process vs procedure, it’s important your software testing team is clued up on all aspects.
Unfortunately, the world of software testing abounds with myths that just aren’t true. These myths often influence businesses into taking the wrong action when it comes to their software testing strategy. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to debunking 10 software testing myths that you need to stop believing.
What exactly is software testing?
In a nutshell, software testing refers to the process of evaluating and confirming that a software product or app works how it’s supposed to. Some of the obvious benefits of software testing include preventing bugs, lowering overall development costs, and improving performance.
In a digital age where the SaaS meaning is understood by many, software testing is more vital than ever to provide continuously functional service. Failing to have a good software testing process could have huge consequences for the success of your business and the experience of your customers.
Software testing myths
Far too many fall into the same trap and believe the myths they read online and through word-of-mouth about software testing.
So, read on, as we get into debunking them now.
1. Software testing takes too long
There’s a common conception that software testing takes too long. But in reality, testing your software has the potential to save you countless hours of time further down the line.
A bug found at the early stages of software development is usually straightforward to fix as things are still in their infancy. Left to grow, these small bugs can become huge problems that will leave your testing team scratching their heads and having to work all hours to fix.
The lesson? Don’t believe those who recommend skipping software testing to save time, they’ll be the ones who lose more time further down the line.
2. Software testing costs too much
Of course, the affordability of software testing is dependent on your business size, budget, and available resources. But if you’re at the stage where you have begun developing software, you can’t really put a price on its importance.
We get it, you have complete confidence in your developers and testing is just another expense you could do without. You’d prefer to save that money to market your new software when it is released.
But in actual fact, you’re more likely to shell out more money correcting problems that would’ve been fixed by implementing software testing from the start. The data gathered from testing your software is going to be invaluable. It may also give you insights into what to do in the future when you’re working on new software products and services.
Remember, software that crashes or won’t load is going to lose you plenty of money in revenue. You’re also going to have to rehire developers to come in and fix the problems, or maybe even start from scratch.
So, bite the bullet and stop believing avoiding software testing will save you money, it won’t.
3. Testing can only be done when the product is complete
Wrong. While in some cases it may be true, it’s possible to software test without needing the fully developed code.
It’s easy to believe you’ll get the most value from your testing by waiting until a product is fully developed. This way you can get a good look at the overall picture and decide whether everything is working as intended. However, this just isn’t the case.
The software development process is an ongoing one with plenty of opportunities to nip problems in the bud before they grow bigger and impact other aspects. Testing in production before deployment ensures that your product works from top to bottom.
4. Software testing is easy and anyone can do it
There are plenty of resources available online to become a software tester. While this may make it appear easy to get into, it’s wrong to assume software testing is an easy task that anyone can do.
In reality, software testers are super creative people who deserve credit for the job they do. Go to any developer conference and you’ll learn just how important testing is. Software testers often see things that your developers and other IT staff cannot. Sometimes, their fresh perspective can be a welcome help for developers who have spent hours on end going over the same thing and may have lost sight of certain aspects.
The truth is, software testers are often the heroes of the project, so let’s give them some credit and abolish the myth that anyone can do software testing.
5. Software testing is boring, it’s just finding bugs
Too many people think testing’s a case of monotonously clicking buttons all day, finding bugs, and reporting them. If this was the case, software testing would be a very dull prospect indeed.
But thankfully it isn’t. In reality, finding bugs is just one aspect of software testing. To claim it’s this one-dimensional takes away from the real valuable work that testers do. Software testers can be tasked with, amongst other things:
Finding bugs and errors.
Analyzing the competition for insights and ideas.
Creating new solutions to important problems.
Making constant improvements.
Thinking outside the box to break the mold.
Some of the best testers go on to be leaders because of the all-around skills they develop from their time as software testers.
6. Software testing has no future career prospects
Many still believe that software testing is a job role that lacks a clear path of progression into more senior roles. They believe testers can never be a leader in the development community.
A common misconception is that you need to have been a software developer or held other IT roles in order to climb the career ladder. While it may be true that many project managers started as software developers, a lot of them had never touched coding before. Some even believe coding is now a blue-collar career.
In truth, project management skills are learned independently from development. Being a tester, you’re in a position to see how a good team operates and communicates. Testers who have natural leadership and observational skills will be able to soak up their experiences and use this. And with cloud computing and DevOps being important going forward, there will be ample opportunities for testers to take on various roles within the wider team.
7. I can just automate software testing
We now live in times where business tasks can be automated, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let computers do the work for you.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing automation will speed things up and save you money. After all, why should you hire a team of testers when a single machine can do it for you in a fraction of the time?
Without a doubt, automation has its benefits and can save money and resources on repetitive tasks that occur daily. But the greatest value is going to come from a mixture of automation and real, human testing.
Automation is no substitute for a human software tester finding bugs that affect the user experience. It’s also true that automation could one day go wrong without you realizing it, leading to bigger problems later on.
8. Software testing will delay the whole project
Okay, perhaps it could be true, but this isn’t because your testers decided to find a load of problems to make themselves look good. It’s because they did their job correctly and saved you a nightmare product launch full of problems.
Setting deadlines and putting testers under pressure is only going to worsen any delays. Instead, give them time and space to do their job, and if things get delayed, so be it, it happened for a reason.
9. Testers might miss bugs anyway
This might be true. A tester who misses a small bug, though, is better than having no testers and releasing a product that’s packed with bugs.
Blaming your software testers for any bugs present in the final product isn’t going to help you or them. You’ll rely on your testers even after launch to keep testing for bugs, and it’s inevitable that sometimes they’re still going to occur. We are all human, even software testers.
So whether or not a software tester fails to spot something this time around, their overall value is worth far more than a single mistake. It could also be the case that certain bugs occurred after launch, and are nothing to do with your testers missing them at all.
10. Testing is just for people who can’t code
Becoming a software tester is not the result of being a failed developer. To imply this devalues the job that software testers do, as well as their knowledge and skills.
The truth is, the best software testers will know how to code. The fundamentals of their job are based on code, so this idea that they’re failed developers is inaccurate. Testers work closely with developers and a good working relationship wouldn’t be possible if the tester had a lack of coding knowledge. In fact, software testers keep developers engaged by keeping them on their toes.
Good testers tend to have a broad understanding of software development. You won’t find them searching “what is cloud infrastructure?” online. These are tech-savvy people.
This article has debunked 10 software testing myths that you need to stop believing.
Of course, while there may be hints of truth in some of these myths, they’re far from the full picture and often dismiss software testing as something that is costly, a waste of time, and performed by people who are inferior to developers.
In reality, software testing is vital for ensuring you have a final product that is fit for purpose and problem-free. And in a digital world where we have anything as a service cloud solutions, testers are more valuable than ever.
About the author:
Severine Hierso is EMEA Senior Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications solutions, and is passionate about creating value, differentiation and messaging, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She has gained extensive international Product Marketing, Virtual PBX System, Market Research, Sales Enablement and Business development experience across SaaS, Telecommunications, Video Conferencing and Technology sectors within companies such as Sony, Cisco, Cogeco Peer 1 and Dimension Data/NTT.
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