The software world has always been fast moving, in recent years though there’s been a greater rate of change thanks to demand for mobile applications on a variety of different platforms. Since it’s a rare business today that doesn’t rely on software to some degree the pace of change puts increased pressure on development teams – whether in-house or independent – to deliver new apps to tight deadlines. But it’s important that any new applications are properly and thoroughly tested before they’re released in order to ensure they’re free of bugs and that they deliver to their specification.
The Need For Testing
The problem for developers is that testing is a time consuming and potentially costly process. It also requires particular skills that may not be the same as those needed to develop the software in the first place. According to the Association for Software Testing effective testing of software needs a scientific approach and a self-aware, self-critical attitude.
Testing needs to verify not just that the software does what it’s designed to do, but also that it meets the business needs of the customer and satisfies the end user. Automated testing tools can be used to some extent but there’s no substitute for hands-on user tests. The testing process may involve making sure that an application runs in different environments – on a range of hardware and operating system platforms for example – and that it performs well. This is a particular issue for mobile apps where there’s a wide choice of platforms and system versions that the end user may be running. Software needs to be tested for usability too, does the interface make it straightforward to access the key functions and is it easy on the eye?
All of this takes time and expertise, the British Computer Society offers certification for testers but acquiring the necessary knowledge takes time. For many companies this can be a problem as they may not be able to justify employing the necessary testing skills on a full-time basis. There are ways around the problem, however, one of which is to outsource the testing to someone else. Companies like http://www.bugfinders.com/ for example offer a crowdsourced testing option. This delivers the benefits of a large team of testers with access to a wider range of hardware and OS versions than may be possible in house.
Outsourcing testing in this way is more measurable allowing costs and time to be tightly controlled. It can deliver faster results too thanks to a larger team. Bugs can be reported as they’re found, allowing developers to start work on fixes straight away. Working with a company that offers crowdsourced software testing can therefore help get products to market faster whilst ensuring that they’re reliable and deliver a good customer experience.
For larger companies developing their own software in house, outsourcing the test process can deliver the expertise needed whilst allowing tight control over costs. There are benefits for specialist developers too, by delivering applications that perform reliably and offer a good customer experience, rigorous testing of software can contribute to a developer’s reputation and its bottom line.