Software Testing is a domain that definitely needs more attention! However, some companies consider it only at the end of a product development life cycle, when it may be too late to make major changes in the software.
It is important to note that while conducting software testing, the results must be promising before the software can be launched or a release deployed. Therefore, it is also imperative to accurately formulate the testing requirements before going ahead with the testing process.
But how do you know if you are using the correct testing strategy?
You need to follow some basic testing concepts to do so, and one of the most fundamental concepts is the Early Testing of Software.
However, if testing is a process that takes place after each stage of creating software, how will early testing help?
Before understanding the concept and learning its benefits, we must know what software testing is and how it works.
What Is Software Testing?
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Software testing can be defined as evaluating and validating software to determine whether it is bug-free. It ensures its technological design requirements are met, and users are offered complete efficiency and reliability. Furthermore, it frequently assesses the software's specifications, functionality, and user performance.
Software testing is a critical phase that cannot be neglected if you want to provide reliable software. Before launching your product in the marketplace, you can use this method to discover inefficiencies and guarantee that it is in excellent shape. The choice of testing technique (manual versus automated) is influenced by various factors, including money, timing, and project needs.
Mentioned below are all the Stages of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC):
- The first phase in the SDLC is the 'Planning Stage,' which involves capturing all needs, discussing ambiguities, and getting clarification from the client. As soon as the requirements are finalized, the entire planning process gets completed.
- After the requirements are finalized, the requirement analysis begins, and the system is designed according to the schedule.
- All steps in this planning are reliant on the preceding phase. If the preceding step has not been completed, do not proceed to the following step. This is where the actual implementation (programming) begins.
- Finally, after all the coding is completed, testing begins.
This is a conventional SDLC process to follow. It may, however, differ from application to application.
Now that you might have got the hang of how Software Testing works and the entire process, we should jump right back into why we need early testing.
What is Early Testing?
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A software bug is an inaccuracy in programming or reasoning that causes an app to malfunction or produce inconsistent results. At various stages of the development life cycle, a variety of methods can be employed to discover or detect problems. However, it is common knowledge that the longer it takes a defect to be found, the costlier it is to correct or address it.
As a result, companies try to spot any flaws as early as possible during the software development process. Early defect discovery by code analysis also saves money in the long run by preventing problems from increasing during the production and implementation phases. Even more extensive modifications made earlier in the project will not incur a significant budget.
On completion of the project, the testing engineer shall report the defect detection efficiency. In addition, the efficiency of the Software Development Life Cycle's processes is assessed. It helps identify and monitor the stages of SDLC that are causing more issues and negatively impacting product quality.
According to estimations, modifications made before the source code completion cost 100 times less than those made after the coding phase. In addition, changes made early in the process are ten times more efficient. As a result, involving the software engineers in the project as early as appropriate, probably during the project planning stage, can prove quite beneficial.
Why do we need to start testing at an early stage of software development?
There are multiple advantages of starting the testing process earlier:
- Early identification of common mistakes by programmers
- Reduction in costs
- Growth of business with consistent quality assurance
- Maintained documentation and client relations
- Reduction in bug outburst
- First-hand feedback
Early Identification Of Common Mistakes By Programmers
A QA Automation Engineer sees the application from a different perspective than a programmer. In order to stay up with the timetable, software developers do not devote enough time to reviewing the specifications and frequently overlook important documents or misinterpret some requirements. This uncertainty leads to more faults being discovered at the end of the project.
Professional testers have much expertise in assessing code in various methods. As a result, they are well informed of the spots where programmers typically make errors or introduce bugs.
A programmer writes code following design guidelines, but testing is done in accordance with business and user needs. Consequently, if the QA professional's judgment is trusted during the software development phases, multiple issues can be corrected at the right time. Test-driven programming also aids in the improvement of software quality while lowering project expenses.
Reduction In Costs
When testing operations are not addressed, projects get prone to cost overruns. On the other hand, early testing allows for significant cost reductions in several areas. Furthermore, early testing has a good return on investment since it reduces the following costs:
- Expenses of producing and distributing patches that were not budgeted
- Costs of higher support expenditures
- Higher service charges
- Damages caused by software breakdowns that become the subject of lawsuits
- Penalties and insurance costs incurred for malfunctioning software systems
Additionally, companies that design programs with incorrect information are subject to criminal penalties according to numerous regulations.
Growth Of Business With Consistent Quality Assurance
Early detection of errors helps meet certification bodies' quality requirements and standards. On top of that, most software providers demand high-quality certificates to add more clients to their clientele. Integrating testing into each level of the SDLC guarantees that quality is continually enhanced.
Bug discovery that occurs earlier results in faster delivery and a shorter promotion time. When project teams achieve deadlines, they build trust quickly. These tactics contribute to gaining a competitive advantage and establishing a brand. As a result, companies can create a 'low-cost, high-quality strategy for fighting off competitors.
Maintained Documentation and Client Relations
Test cases and project documentation are updated several times throughout the development and maintenance cycles. In agile projects, all changes in the client's requirements and business demands are constantly considered.
However, if the testing team begins after the development process is over, some actions might get neglected. For example, working with outdated documentation, a software QA tester becomes perplexed, their work becomes ineffective, and updated functions are logged as errors.
Therefore, engaging QA testers from the onset makes it easier to keep track of changes made to the test cases. This is the best method to keep track of all the changes made to the program in terms of client expectations, business demands, client requirements, and developers' inputs, among many others.
Reduction In Bugs
If bugs aren't found early in the development process, there's a good chance the software will be riddled with them just before it gets released. In such a situation, development teams are frequently pressed into action to resolve faults as quickly and efficiently as possible so the release timeline is not risked.
However, it is not easy to guarantee that the result will be high-quality in such situations. As a result, minor problems are frequently permitted to be taken for granted at the cost of the user experience. This harms the product owner's reputation and leads to project budget overruns as additional work is necessary to eliminate errors.
Early bug detection helps with all these problems and ensures a high brand reputation.
Typically, developers wait for the User Acceptance Testing stage, during which consumers evaluate the software and approve its launch. However, this might be risky, as end consumers may demand significant technical changes if an application fails to satisfy their expectations. Furthermore, consumers would have a poor perception of the faulty software.
These unfavorable circumstances can be avoided with early testing. Developers can work with the testing team to keep improving the performance of software applications while in development and meet user expectations.
Early testing makes immense sense
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Usually, software development teams keep on denying the potential of testing early. As a result, QA testing specialists get indulged in the process toward the end of a project, leading to rushed debugging and faulty product performance after its release.
Fixing the defects earlier in the project life cycle is easier, quicker, and costs you comparatively lower. Nonetheless, doing so in the later stages will require tons of resources, consequently causing overruns and missed deadlines.
Additionally, newer methods and evolving expectations push developing teams to include testing earlier in the life cycle to ensure that quality standards are met throughout the process.