The world of software development has been changing at a rapid pace. Testing practices and processes, though, have struggled to keep up. That’s because the rigorous standards testers apply to software don’t work in a “We need it out the door NOW” environment. The battle of quality vs. time-to-market has never been as pitched as it is today.
Some think that because of Agile development practices, it’s acceptable to ship buggy software, because shorter feedback loops and development cycles mean that defects can be corrected in days or weeks, rather than the year or so they’d live in the wild under “waterfall” practices—if they weren’t deemed worthy of an immediate patch.
But that defect, even corrected quickly, might already have irreparably damaged your company’s reputation, as dissatisfied customers take to social media to vent about your slow or locked-up application, or about a web page that doesn’t load, or—dare we say it? —the dreaded 404. Was the problem in your code? Was it in an outside service your application calls? Was it due to the load the cloud infrastructure provider had to bear for your application and so many others?
Add to that the need to test software for delivery to all kinds of devices—smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, to name a few, along with the usual laptops and desktops—and the need for an excellent customer experience, and we see that testing is not less important—in fact, it is more important than ever before.
In today’s world, testing has to be a first-class citizen in the development cycle. Test-driven development is one technique for heading problems off before they occur. Testing, of course, requires tools. Some organizations have created their own tools and processes. Others turn to the vibrant marketplace for tools for testing mobile applications, or doing load testing, or static code analysis.
Which tool or methodology is best? The one that works best for your organization. Testing is too important to be left for last, or to be done by a QA team that’s been isolated from the development process. Today, it’s imperative to build testing into the process, from architecture and requirements to deployment and maintenance.
We hope you enjoy this special supplement to SD Times.
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