Companies wishing to develop software to help them run their business, may recruit a software developer to do it. This could be a database to manage your data, either collected from customers or an internal database of information needed to perform tasks. It is unlikely that a company no matter how large has in house software developers, so they will look to outsource this work. Once the software has been designed, it is advisable that they seek a third company to test the software for bugs.
During this process it is like that the development company will offer their client a process called user acceptance testing. A user acceptance test is part of the process of handing over the software to the client and involves the client using the software and giving feedback on its usability.
Despite any reassurances of your developer, it is also wise to get a software testing company to test the software independently. This can mean recruiting a company to test your software, with a range of types of test. The best and most cost effective method, is to use a crowd sourced pay-per-bug service. This kind of service provides a range of technicians with a range of experience and expertise. It also means that you only pay when they find a bug, rather than paying a lump sum for the whole service, which may not find any bugs, but you’d still have to pay it.
The types of testing involved would range from agile testing, which looks at the way in which users/customers use the software, performance testing, which stress tests the software under a certain workload, or destructive testing which tries to make the software fail to reveal the vulnerabilities of the code and other methods.
Crowd sourced testing would also add an extra layer of insurance to the usability of your product. It means that a number of testers are employed, across different disciplines and experience, to test the software thoroughly and to ensure that your software is fit for use within your business.
Customer facing software such as a booking system for a hotel, or a game or an app, is obviously different to a piece of software used only by your employees. The stresses will be different and the feedback from the users, more easily obtained. Customers are harder to engage in feedback than employees. However, they are just as important, because if employees cannot use the software there are major cost implications – that employees won’t be able to continue their work until it is fixed.
The economic benefits of outsourcing software testing also cannot be under estimated. Fixing bugs early is cheaper. Leaving bugs unfixed may make the problem worse and will be harder to sort out later, and therefore more expensive. And employing a software testing company separately from the developer will have benefits, whether the developer accepts this or not. It is an added cost to what is an expensive process already, but in the longer term, would make your software easier to use and happy staff are more productive and happy customers spend more.