Imagine the following scenario: your customer has been browsing through your website and identified a number of products to purchase. Having placed these into the shopping cart your customer heads for the online checkout and then disaster strikes! The all-important payment page fails to load correctly, leaving your customer, credit card in hand, frustrated and unable to continue.
Whether you are selling products, services, applications or games, a frustrated customer is the last thing you want. The instant gratification provided by modern technology means that the human ability to wait is becoming eroded, and in commercial terms that means your customer will head straight to one of your competitors without so much as a backwards glance.
Do your technicians understand the importance of software testing?
Techies can and do get bogged down in numbers, algorithms and complicated code structures. By their nature they tend to be obsessive about the details, but this does not necessarily make for great business sense. Programmers are more concerned with the actual program and not so much with the results for the end user. Yet the end user is the one person that the company should be obsessed with – it is, after all, the end user who will make or break the company.
The ability to locate, identify and deal appropriately with bugs is something which most in-house teams simply cannot cope with. The sheer man hours involved in testing every operating system, device and browser across all possible permutations is simply outside the scope of most organisations.
A website aimed at program testing, aptly called the Software Testing Club made a request via the online blog for examples of poor bug reporting. Examples came pouring in, including “system is really slow” and the ever-popular “I just clicked and it crashed”. Error reporting on this scale is highly unlikely to result in website excellence!
Bug identification requires specialist treatment
There is plenty of evidence to disprove the myth that bug testing is of little consequence in the wider world. Specialised ‘bug hunters’ have actually helped with new developments in stem cell research according to a recent report in the New Scientist. But aside from aiding scientific projects, testing for unwanted errors in a program could literally make or break your company’s next balance sheet.
Companies such as bugfinders.com have access to hundreds of crowdsourced workers across all platforms and even in locations throughout the world. Highly motivated thanks to a commission-based structure these dedicated teams can go through every possible permutation of your site in order to identify problems. They can even identify cultural problems that could potentially cause offence to foreign users too – did you know, for example, that enclosing data in a red box in China means that person is deceased? A simple error, but an important one!
Moreover, using such huge numbers of testers, which is far beyond the ability of even the largest organisation’s in-house teams, means that websites can be thoroughly tested within astonishingly short time spans – often over a weekend, minimising potential disruptions for customers and workers alike.