While software testing is a crucial part of the software development life cycle (SDLC), it can still take clients some convincing to truly understand the impact and benefits of quality software testing. Another challenge software testing professionals face is in reaching an understanding with developers who self-test the solutions they build. While the developers will have an intimate knowledge of the system and self-testing is always beneficial, a software tester can apply a more critical and objective layer of testing to the system.
One of the key aspects of software testing, is the mind-set of software testers. There is a clear difference between the mind-set of developers, and the mind-test of software testers. While the mind of a software tester is fine tuned to detect and find defects, developers are more focused on solving problems and creating a solution or system. This often makes it difficult for developers to be critical of their own creations, and therefore the collaborative effort between developers and software testers is crucial to the success of projects.
Importance of software testing
As human beings we aren’t perfect and mistakes are inevitable. These mistakes can however cost companies dearly, whether it be in wasted time, a loss of money or even damage to the reputation of a company
As an experienced software tester, I’ve worked on numerous projects
where testing was seen as a semi-important part of the SDLC and put on the back
burner. Ultimately this created costly problems and resulted in loss of
For clients to realise the true value of software testing, it’s useful to have an accurate understanding of the benefits and of how testing can positively impact the cost efficiency and success of projects.
Benefits of software testing
- minimizes the risks associated with a product or system,
- traps defects early and prevents these from making it into production,
- ensures the commitment made to client\stakeholder is met,
- ensures the delivery of a robust and well-tested product.
Crafting a successful product through testing
In order to deliver a successful product, it’s imperative that the appropriate testing is applied to all development activity levels. The SDLC is composed of a number of clearly defined and distinct work phases, all of which are used by testers and developers to plan, design, build, test and deliver robust software products. With this in mind, it’s hugely beneficial for testers to be involved throughout the SDLC, from as early as the requirement gathering phase.
The role of software testing in the SDLC
Requirement gathering phase
- Requirement review will lead to the detection of defects in these working documents, and in turn will reduce the risk of incorrect or untestable functionality being developed.
- Reviewing the design will increase each individuals understanding of the product, and will reduce the risk of fundamental design defects.
- Reviewing of code will increase each individuals understanding of the code, and will reduce the risk of defects within the code.
- Verifying and validating the software to detect defects that might have been missed, correcting all defects that is causing any failures in order to deliver a product that meets the clients/stakeholders needs.
Software testing is essentially a set of activities that checks if the actual results match the expected results of a product, and ensures a quality software system is successfully delivered. As an integral part of the SDLC, software testing ensures high quality products which ultimately leads to satisfied clients.
Written by Verna Baatjies, Senior Consultant at Saratoga