Why Your Startup Needs a Software Testing Strategy?

Why should you test your web applications? How should you test your web applications? How to work out a clear startup software testing strategy? These are not single answer questions. Some companies don’t bother about testing at all, although the primary objective of any piece of software is to provide smooth running.

That said, how much do software bugs cost? IBM states that the cost of errors increases dramatically as your software solution progresses through the development cycle. If you catch errors after release, their cost can be 30 times higher than if you discover them during the early stages. Thus it is crucial to catch bugs as early as possible.

Cost of software bugs according to IBM

[Image source: IBM]

Back in 2002, the reported study commissioned by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) discovered the remarkable figures: software defects cost the U.S. economy about $59.5 billion annually. Though, heavy costs aren’t the sole concern. Buggy software solutions put your startup in a bad light, breed mistrust among your users, and thus result in loss of revenue. This article talks about types of testing, reasons for checking your products, and ways on how to craft testing strategies in software engineering.

What testing methods can you use?

We believe that to produce a quality product, testing is of utmost importance. Whereas how software projects can differ markedly from each other, we can hardly come up with a single answer to fit all the cases.

  • Online game is much different from an e-commerce app, while marketplace software is not the same as a PM tool.
  • Every business is different: a newly-created startup differs markedly from a well-established organization in terms of resources, requirements, work processes and so on.
  • Web applications get through various phases of software development lifecycle, thus a solution used by dozens or thousands of consumers is in a completely different position than a solution with no users at all.

What you do need is to find the answers that fit your requirements and workflow stage. As the starting point, let’s review available software testing methodologies.

Both automated and manual testing approaches are essential for developing a functioning application on time and in a budget. You can opt for one of the ways or go with both simultaneously. However, if we talk about software testing for startups, then manual testing will be a better option. Manual tests offer quick results, while automatic tests require more time for planning and set-up.

To make a long story short, let’s single out the benefits and drawbacks of both methodologies and define the best use scenarios for each of the approaches. 

 

Manual Testing

Automated Testing

Pros

  • The easiest way to ensure product quality
  • Flexibility
  • Cost efficiency
  • Include UI tests
  • Available on-the-fly
  • Fast test cycles
  • Eliminates human mistake factor
  • More thorough tests
  • Better insight into software performance

Cons

  • Less accurate (allow a margin for human error)
  • Testing fatigue caused by repetitive tasks
  • More time for planning and set-up
  • Can get pricey
  • Little to no UI feedback  

Best used for

  • Short-term projects
  • User interfaces (UI aspects)
  • Inceptive development phase
  • Non-automatable situations 
  • Time-consuming tasks
  • Repetitive tasks or regular updates
  • Advanced GUI tests
  • Testing load and software performance

Why should you test your apps?

Software bugs can be rather costly, while the dimensions of some failures still look impressive:

  • Nissan Motor Company had to recall over a million cars due to the software defect in the airbag sensor detectors. 
  • In 2015 Bloomberg terminal in the central London crashed due to “combination of hardware and software failures”, affecting over 300.000 traders on the financial markets.
  • Starbucks had to close nearly 60 percent of stores in the United States and Canada due to a software error in the POS system.
  • In 2012 Knight Capital Group sent out over 4 million stock orders within less than an hour by mistake. This software defect resulted in $440 million losses.

The history is full of similar examples. So why testing is so important in software development? End-to-end strategy in software testing allows you to:

  • Reduce future risks – applications are carefully checked after every sprint or iteration, thus reducing the probability of failures in the future.
  • Enhance confidence – testing can give a boost to investor confidence in the proper functioning or smooth running of web app before the initial launch.
  • Cut the timeline and cost – application testing helps to avoid error recurrence, thus eliminating the need for repeated tests. This approach reduces the testing time and costs, providing means for better productivity in other aspects.

Software testing strategies: the best practices

In the competitive digital environment, more and more people appreciate quality products, so it is essential for startups to leverage best testing methodologies and launch the best software products possible. No matter whether your product is meant for public or internal use, it should be up and running with no bugs. Any updates and fixes should be smoothly implemented to maintain customer loyalty and good public relations. Crafting a software testing strategy for your startup don’t forget to:

software_testing_strategy_for_web_applications

  • Take the advantages of MVP

The minimum viable product allows you to make the most of your testing opportunities. MVP provides your team with the insight into the product goals, core architecture and major workflows. It makes the testing and fixing stages easier and less costly.

On the top of that, MVP allows businesses to validate their ideas and invest in those efforts that will produce results. Products with only basic functionality take less time and thus less money, reducing the risks in case of failure.

  • Involve everyone in the testing process

If your startup has a dedicated tester, then you are well ahead of the competitors. However, this is more an exception rather than common practice. To ensure that your application meets the main standards, you can engage everyone, starting from developer to sales manager. Let them be the early users and listen to their suggestions and remarks.

Besides, look at your product and define the weak areas. Test the functions accordingly. We do believe that the very last thing you want to do is to launch a software product that doesn’t perform as expected.

  • Invest in useful resources

Saying “helpful resources” we mean both people and tools. Your team members can take on software testing responsibilities, but they should be provided with the best assets and tools to help them succeed. Consider various approaches, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, like scalability, communication, collaboration environments and make sure that you don’t need to pay for additional support.

Automated testing is something that requires thorough consideration. It can come in handy with some repetitive or time-consuming tasks, but it requires more time for planning or set-up. Once again, if we talk about startups (innovative ideas, quick launch, limited budget, tight deadlines), then manual testing will be a better choice. Allowing time for accurate strategy development and time for its adjustment as you progress will help your startup to seamlessly embed testing into the software development lifecycle and perform it in the way that makes sense to you. 

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