Many would say that testing is the same as playing with each feature and seeing if it works. Is that a problem? Perhaps… Imagine the rest of the project team, including managers all the way up the chain; none of them will fully support your work unless they understand what you're trying to do.
Editor's Note: this article was originally published in [July, 2019] and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
So what are we testers really doing after all?
Picture the amount of applications we use and how often we get pissed off with errors, being unable to proceed or, the most usual, the terrible interfaces where we frequently get lost. That’s why testing is important.
Testers have to ensure that the product works accordingly with both valid and invalid inputs while also checking the performance parameters as well as functionality. “Always keeping the user perspective in mind” means actively considering how the end user is using the product and checking whether the error messages are displayed properly or not. As a tester, I think this is a golden rule.
All software is likely to have faults. Testing is needed to identify them as soon and as well as possible. Fixing failures during production is usually very expensive. We need to correctly understand the fault errors in software during the development phases; making it possible to increase the reliability and quality of the software. This is how testing can ensure the customers satisfaction and the reliability of the application; while providing various benefits like the delivery of high quality software, lower maintenance costs and also more accurate and reliable results.
Can we ever stop testing?
I think you can never say with 100% confidence that a piece of software is completely defect-free and functional unless you’ve been testing products with really low complexity. Nevertheless, in all projects you’ll eventually reach a point where you need to step away and stop testing. We, testers, as others involved in a system development process have deadlines and a budget. In testing science, we always have to think about the testing process and its phases. Signals that the testing is enough can be achieved through test coverage and bug rate. That’s when you stop testing.
Testing isn’t just product
You might think a tester’s performance is confined to the product. But actually, testing can go beyond product: a tester can have immense influence on the organization level. Software testing has the potential to increase the quality of the whole company.
To increase the quality of the project, the software tester is essential to discover as many bugs as possible before these defects reach the client, which will definitely save lots of time and money and provide a higher sense of satisfaction regarding the end product experience. On a higher level, a tester and his performance can be crucial to the diagnosis of the product and also for suggesting improvements to the overall capacity and accuracy of the system.
Since nowadays organizations work in a highly competitive atmosphere and usually reach the top with extraordinary performance, testing is essential to consolidate their position in the market. That’s why companies have to be sure of the good quality and durability of their products. And in my opinion, this kind of certainty can only be achieved with proper testing.
As a wrap up:
Testing should start early on before the production phase, always with the end user in mind. When done on a larger scale, testers have the ability to reinforce a company’s street cred and market value, while saving money and time.
Does testing sound like something you would like to do professionally? Then let's keep learning! Here's an article about how to start an international career as a tester!