Why Do We Need a Software Tester?

Launching an app without proper testing is a huge gamble. If undetected, bugs can derail a digital product’s launch. Even if you are lucky and it does launch, any bugs left may require expensive fixes and improvements. So why do we need a software tester? To avoid having these issues. Thorough software quality assurance is essential for that. Incorporating security testing is crucial to prevent unauthorized access, hacking, and data breaches.

Software bugs are more than a minor inconvenience you can brush aside. According to a 2020 CISQ report, the U. S. economy lost $2.08 trillion in 2020 due to poor software. In 2012, a single bug nearly bankrupted Knight Capital Group, causing a 75% stock drop and $440 million in losses, forcing a merger.

It’s not difficult to see the picture I’m trying to paint. The numbers speak for themselves. This is why it’s paramount to get your app thoroughly tested before launching it and have a process set up where there’s ongoing testing even after the launch. This will save you a fortune.

In this article, you’ll discover who a software tester is, his role in the software development process, and what makes him different from a QA specialist. We’ll walk you through the stages of software development and explain in detail where testers fit in the picture.

Finally, and most importantly, you’ll have a deep dive into all the benefits of having a software tester or a quality assurance (QA) team, of which there are many.

Let’s find out who a software tester is!

The Role of a Software Tester

The main goal of testers is the search for any and all errors made during the coding process. As we just mentioned, the sooner it happens, the better it will be for your budget. This process also involves catching any potential errors that may snowball into potentially critical issues further down the road.

Testers bring a completely different perspective to the whole software development process. Most developers need to be trained to follow the journeys and make the steps that come naturally to ordinary users. They think technically and have an eye trained on and for the features and lines of code.

Testers, in contrast, check how the app behaves in a variety of scenarios. They know how to look through the lenses of a user. They check it on different operating systems and devices in various screen resolutions and try to peek into all the nooks and crannies. Testers also conduct performance testing to evaluate the system’s speed, responsiveness, and stability under different loads.

Okay, that’s clear now. But who are the QAs? Now is the time to clarify what Quality Assurance is.

Tester vs QA Engineer: What’s the Difference

Different Responsibilities

Testers and Quality Assurance (QA) specialists are not the same.

The key difference is in their responsibilities and approach:

  • QA specialists focus on ensuring a product meets requirements and preventing issues before they occur.
  • Testers are responsible for executing tests to identify defects. Testers also perform functional testing to ensure the application works as per the requirements and user expectations.

A QA tester ensures software runs properly and prevents faulty apps from reaching customers. They conduct various tests and collaborate with developers to maintain software quality.

So while testing is part of QA, the roles have distinct responsibilities and methods. QA takes a broader, proactive approach, while testing is a more reactive practice within the overall QA process.

difference between tester and qa
The difference between testers and QAs.

QAs activities includes process documentation, process development, and process improvement. Testers activities include executing the software with the intent to find and report bugs.

QAs use more than just testing tools, with many more techniques than manual testing. QA is test analyst, capable of test planning, test automation and test execution in a multitude of test environments.

Additionally, load testing is another crucial aspect of comprehensive software testing, especially in real-world settings, to isolate and fix bugs effectively.

Approach and methods of work

We can also differentiate them by their approach to the process of testing and what methods they use in their work.

Testers have a reactive approach, focusing on identifying existing bugs that need fixing. QAs take a more proactive approach, aiming to prevent bugs by improving the development process.

Testers excel at manual and automated testing to verify functionality and performance. QAs are experts in auditing and reviewing, ensuring processes and code comply with quality standards.

We have extensive experience when it comes to testing. Do you need a QA specialist? Do you want our expertise to make your software development project a success? Fill in the form below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP. For starters, we can have a coffee call or just a chat. It’s up to you to decide what works best.

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The Importance of Software Testing: Why Do We Need A Software Tester

Why is software testing important?

Depending on the kind of app or any other digital product you’re developing, the tester’s responsibilities may vary significantly.

Irrespective of it, the actions and tasks that QA specialists perform are pretty uniform in the case of web and mobile app development. These simple actions are the cornerstone of the success of your business.

Let us show you how.

  • Deadline adherence & budget trimming: Early QA testing by a dedicated team can reduce the risk of postponing deadlines. With close cooperation between testers and developers, a smaller budget is needed to implement changes or hire external testers.
  • Smoother implementation: Continuous testing performed during the implementation of features makes it possible to detect any potential bug immediately. This, in turn, allows for their quick correction.
  • Timely and impactful update releases: With fewer bugs in the app thanks to a proper job done by testers, users are more satisfied with the product, are more willing to stay with it in the future, or even leave good reviews. This results in a better brand image.
  • Accessibility & inclusivity support: With a dedicated QA team or in-house tester, you can ensure your app is usable by anyone with disabilities. These specialists can test diverse user scenarios and provide developers with suggestions to make your software ethical and equitable.
  • Expectations match: Users have pre-set expectations when using software. QA testers are trained to walk in those users’ shoes and know how to replicate the user journey, providing invaluable insights to the software development team.

Why do we need a software tester: some other thoughts

Testing does cost money, true. Yet your company is bound to save a lot if you opt for a knowledgeable tester and set up proper QA processes. Good software testing uncovers and prevents catastrophic problems before a digital. Moreover, the timing of your programmers receiving feedback is vital, too.

Apart from the things we mentioned above, some deeper issues can also prevented with the help of engaging QA testers early. Think architectural flaws to see which you have to take a few steps back.

It’s a luxury unavailable to developers pressed for time. Or security and scalability issues will be hidden until after the launch.

Depending on the kind of app or any other digital product you’re developing, the tester’s responsibilities may vary significantly.

A QA tester ensures that software runs properly and meets quality standards by conducting various tests and collaborating with developers.

Testing is important to release a good app. If you want to know how to release an app safely, we have an article about it, too.

Next time you ask yourself, ‘Why do we need a software tester in 2024?’, think again.

Why can’t developers do this job?

Some pundits claim that a really good developer should be able to test their code. Analyze all the possible ways it could go wrong. Develop proper tests. And then ask their colleague for verification. Well, easier said than done.

A QA tester, however, possesses specific skills and responsibilities that developers may lack, such as conducting various tests and collaborating with other specialists, beyond the software development team, to ensure software runs properly and prevents faulty apps from reaching customers.

In theory all of it should go well. We have plenty of testers who know how to code. Just as we have plenty of software engineers who can easily automate tests. Sadly, it all ends in failure in real life. Here’s why:

  1. ‘Lenses’: Developers create code, trying to achieve the functionality requested by the requirements. They have a positive approach. Testers have a more critical one, looking for holes, gaps, and bumps that a user can trip over.
  2. Goals: Testers evaluate the overall quality of the app. Developers want a functioning code here and now.
  3. Steps in the SDLC process: Developers shine during the coding, implementation, and development stages. On the other hand, testers are engaged during all the phases of the software development process, from the requirements analysis to regressive testing. User acceptance testing is a crucial stage before release, where the product is validated against end-user requirements and for accuracy.
  4. Objectivity: Testers aren’t emotionally invested in the code. Hence, they have a truly critical eye. Developers often overlook the errors they make or tend to downplay their severity.

More on why developers shouldn’t do the testers job here.

When Should We Engage a Tester in The Software Testing Process

A QA engineer evaluates the final app or functionality, but also contributes earlier in the process during the planning and documentation stages. They can use their system knowledge to consider edge cases. Testers often have broad understanding of the software, how it should work, who uses it, and the overall context.

Even without familiarity with the specific software, they can draw on experience to provide a holistic perspective, which is invaluable, especially without a Product Owner. Analyzing preliminary documentation, testers can envision many test scenarios, and required accounts.

This analysis leads to questions that can illuminate the project for the whole team. Creative, courageous testers are not afraid to ask challenging questions.

Involving the tester in the software development life cycle is key to ensuring its quality and performance. The earlier the tester is involved, the greater the benefit to the project.

If you will like you need to have your web application properly tested, there’s a wonderful guide on how to do it best.

The Critical Stages When It Makes Sense to Involve a Tester

  1. Planning and requirements analysis. Here, we need testers to ensure requirements are clear, complete, and testable. Testers have a trained eye, can identify ambiguities or deficiencies, and help define acceptance criteria early on.
  2. Design phase. Testers help ensure that the design is testable in the first place and compliant with requirements.
  3. Implementation (coding) phase. Testers can run automated tests in parallel with coding, which aids in early bug detection and repair, reducing later costs.
  4. Testing phase. It would be strange not to have a tester during this stage. Here, they detect bugs and issues overlooked during coding.
  5. Implementation phase. This is when testers are conducting acceptance testing (UAT) and providing implementation support. QAs ensure the software meets end-user expectations and is ready for deployment.
  6. Maintenance and support phase. Here, testers conduct regression testing after patches and upgrades. This ensures new features and fixes do not introduce new issues.
benefits of qa
And these are just the top benefits!

The Business Benefits of Software Testing

Improved Software Quality and User Experience

A QA tester plays a crucial role in ensuring software quality and user satisfaction by conducting various tests to prevent faulty apps from reaching customers. Let’s explore the key benefits of having QA testers in the SDLC.

Cost Reduction

First of all, QA testers can significantly reduce development costs by identifying and rectifying issues early in the software development life cycle. Bug fixing in the planning stage can cost as little as $100. If left unnoticed, the costs can balloon into a $10000 unmitigated disaster. All bugs have a potential to escalate quickly into a much bigger problem, resulting in additional costs and delays.

QAs prevent this. The research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) illustrates that bug-fixing during the design/architecture stage costs three times as much as during the planning stage. During the coding stage it gets to as high as seven times more. Bug-fixing during the deployment/maintenance will cost you a whopping thirty to a hundred times more. A steep increase, to put it mildly.

Time-Saving with Automated Tests

QA testers accelerate development by identifying and resolving issues early, preventing costly rework. Their role ensures software runs properly and catches faults before release. This leads to quicker project completion, freeing time for more valuable work. Developers can focus on their jobs, delivering the product to market faster, a clear competitive advantage.

Early Recognition of Systemic Deficiencies

QA testers can easily spot inadequacies in the system built, as they have an opportunity to scan the project with a fresh eye. A QA tester plays a crucial role in identifying these inadequacies and providing valuable feedback to developers. Therefore, developers won’t be forced to completely rewrite the whole system.

Reduced Risk of Failure

One of the most significant risks in software development is launching a subpar product full of errors. A QA tester ensures that software runs properly, helping companies maintain a positive image and trust among their user base. Reputation is a thing that is hard to build and easy to destroy.

Improved Customer Experience & Satisfaction & High User Retention Rate

A QA tester plays a crucial role in ensuring the software offers a friendly user experience and functions as expected. This attention to detail results in higher customer satisfaction, positive reviews, and increased user retention.

Intact Reputation and Improved Brand Image

If you want your app to come out on top, having a solid reputation is vital. QA and software testing professionals contribute to this by making the software reliable and free from issues that might tarnish the company’s image.

A different look at the benefits brought by testers you can find here.

Conclusion: Testers Are Here to Stay

The world of software development is in turmoil right now. Against such a background, we find fierce debates about the role of a tester in a rapidly changing world of IT. Should we always have a tester on the team? Are they no longer relevant?

Some argue that developers can handle testing themselves, while others believe that having a dedicated tester is crucial for maintaining high-quality standards. In our opinion, given the immense value that testers bring to the table, their job isn’t in danger.

What testers do not only helps in delivering a robust product but also saves time and resources in the long run.

AI is getting better and some testers feel the pressure. They shouldn’t worry. After all, someone will need to test AI.

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Top 10 Challenges in Mobile App Development - marcel-100px Hi, I’m Marcin, COO of Applandeo

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