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The importance of testing

September 26th, 2006 by André Nogueira

Testing software products is a stage of development which generally doesn’t receive much attention. To try and change this (and because I want to learn more about testing myself), I’ll be writing a series of posts on testing – not necessarily software, but rather testing in general.

But why is testing perceived as a minor, unimportant process? Several reasons can be attributed to the lack of attention given this vital part of product development:

1) High costs
2) The need to hire dedicated personnel
3) The belief that programmers can test their own code
4) A large number of other things I can’t think of right now

While 2) is true, 1) and 3) are not necessarily true. Much of the time and money spent on software development is usually spent finding and squashing bugs near the project’s due date – had these bugs been found earlier in the process, the time and money spent would have been greatly reduced.

Another usual practice is beta testing only the code. “What else can you beta test?”, you might ask. While at first sight it might that beta testing ideas and specifications is rather absurd, practice shows it is not.
Sometimes whole projects fail to achieve their goals because the initial specification wasn’t good or clear enough, or maybe because the idea wasn’t correctly captured. More often than not, only during the coding phase do developers find that functionality has to be added, removed, or changed.

Plenty of information on testing exists, but most of it is scattered or isn’t easy to find. With these posts I hope to give everyone pointers and ideas on how to better set up a test environment, so we’ll all build better software. Testing isn’t a burden or a minor task – it’s a task as important as planning or development, and which requires participation by all involved in creating the product.

I do hope you’ll enjoy reading this series of posts as much as I’ll enjoy writing it! And, of course, if you disagree with something I say… please comment! 😀

Posted in Testing | 1 Comment »


This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 at 10:21 am and is filed under Testing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


One Response

  1. Darren Straight Says:

    This will be interesting to read considering I have to start a buiness plan at uni and I think I’m going to choose software testing or something similar, that is unless anyone can come up with a better buiness plan start up I can do! 🙂