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Comprehensive Testing Ensures Healthier Software


Last updated: 06.08.19
Software quality and overall health depend on the thoroughness of software testing for better customer experience. © photodune, by GinaSanders

Comprehensive end-to-end testing ensures healthier software and enhanced customer experience. Without it, the product has the chance to contain health issues and it becomes costlier overall.

 

We all know the importance of testing in any software product. In my opinion, comprehensive testing ensures healthier software. Nevertheless, there are few organizations who think thorough testing is not required before production or that testing is just a kind of checklist that needs to be checked before the production release, thereby reducing the overall project cost. Those organizations create software, but not healthy software, and they need to go through multiple rounds of medication, operation or surgery. Overall, that results in more costs and bad customer experiences, which is not at all good for business. On the other hand, healthier software has fewer chances of giving rise to risks in production, resulting in less or no medication or surgery. That can be possible only when complete end-to-end testing is done before the production release, irrespective of the software model used—from traditional waterfall methodologies to the latest agile/DevOps methodologies. 

 

Quality attributes for functional testing

Testing not only guarantees healthier software products but also provides huge confidence before the product release. If you don’t do end-to-end comprehensive testing, your software product risks the chance of having one or many health issues in terms of different quality attributes, which is undesirable for enhanced customer experiences and enduring in the market for long.

 

Testing confirms great health in any software in terms of different quality attributes and overall software product quality. Let’s talk about different quality attributes first. We’ll start with unit testing, which is done by developers and constitutes the first step to ensure healthier software in terms of functionality. Later, the testing team conducts integration testing, system testing, smoke testing, sanity testing or component testing. Overall end-to-end functional testing guarantees that there will not be any functional issues in production as almost all of them have been verified thoroughly, different types of scenarios have been created and tested as context perspective and, if any issue exists or arises, then it is resolved prior to release, conducting re-testing and regression testing as much as required. Consequently, the total health of the software in terms of functional quality attributes will be good for sure. That’s the confidence in healthier software. Otherwise, the product will be released with plenty of bugs and issues, resulting in a bad reputation and awful user experiences. This is, in fact, an unhealthier product. 

 

Then, we have user acceptance testing, which also comes under the umbrella of functional testing. This testing ensures that the product turns out to be healthier for end users. There are a few more types of user acceptance testing like alpha or beta testing and all these testing types eventually ensure that the product is healthier and efficient for the business.

 

Treating software health like physical health

Medical testing resembles software testing in the rigor and variety of its procedures.

A healthier life has lots of dimensions, and it ensures not only good physical health but also good mental, emotional and social health, life satisfaction, etc. across all stages. Just like a healthy body ensures the quality of life resulting in individual happiness, testing ensures healthier quality software resulting in customer happiness.

 

Even for a healthy body, we need to do a full body checkup just like comprehensive testing, which comprises different types of physical examination, such as blood testing, body scanning, X-ray, ultrasound, echo, ECG, MRI scan or urine testing. There will be many more tests from the perspective of standalone body parts, as combining elements and as a whole. After doing those different verifications, you need to listen to your doctor’s advice to potentially resolve any existing problem, maybe by going through medication, small lifestyle changes, quitting bad habits, doing more exercise, losing some more pounds, etc. And even then, re-testing is also required to confirm that medication is assisting or regression testing in order not to have any adverse effect from the medication. Overall, I am trying to say that these medical testing procedures and their results assist in achieving a healthier body. The same applies also to software products. Software testing confirms healthier software in terms of different quality attributes before the release. Software testing does this by conducting different types of testing well in advance and identifying any potential issues/defects, resolving them and conducting iterative rounds of testing to confirm that there will not be any surprises in production. Even like with health, monitoring in pre-production assists to find any potential abnormalities in the near future and resolve those anomalies before the launch (simulated proactive synthetic monitoring).

 

Just like there are multiple and different types of medical level testing/scanning to ensure good health, there are various types of software testing that need to be conducted to ensure healthier software. It is not only functional testing but non-functional testing is also required to confirm healthier software. When I say non-functional testing, I am talking about different types of performance testing like load, stress, endurance, spike, volume and security testing like penetration testing, vulnerability testing and other types of testing like failover testing. These types of testing are required to ensure the non-functional quality attributes like performance, security, scalability, stability, availability, usability, reliability, etc. in order to guarantee healthier software overall.

 

In addition to functional and non-functional, you need to conduct installation testing, interface testing, compatibility testing or regulatory compliance testing, verification with software quality standards, protocol testing (network, IP testing), legal compliance testing or checklists like GDPR to guarantee healthier software.

When designing the architecture of a software product, it is expected to identify the different types of quality attributes for end users and testing confirms those quality attributes are well maintained and properly taken care of in order to make the software healthier. Continuous testing guarantees healthier software every time by continuously verifying the software product and having iterative rounds of testing.

 

Extensive comprehensive testing ensures healthier software by pinpointing the issues/bugs and resolving them earlier before it goes to production, by reducing the overall risk to avoid any potential surprises, by double-checking software completeness regarding functional and non-functional requirements, by increased precision of the product. Healthier software creates customer satisfaction, brings profit, creates a strong market reputation and brand image—these are essentials for long-term business.

 

Testing early in the SDLC

E2E testing from the early stages of the software delivery life cycle makes products cheaper overall. © Wikimedia Commons, by Cliffydcw. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Software testing guarantees lower maintenance cost by making healthier software products, as finding any issue/bugs at later stages of the SDLC (software development life cycle) will be expensive and it will be hugely costlier if you found the issue in production. Just like finding a health issue at a later stage is fatal and costlier when we talked about health. Nowadays, shift left testing is happening to identify the issue(s) at the early stages of the SDLC, resulting in less cost and healthier software. Just like healthier workers are more productive, healthier software is more productive. In my opinion, from the start of the requirement gathering stage. We should think about healthier software and to always consider the need to conduct comprehensive testing since the early stages of the SDLC.

 

In a nutshell, we can certainly say that comprehensive testing ensures healthier software and enhanced customer experience to endure in the market.


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