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Minimizing Risks: The Impact of Late Bug Detection

Let us start with some big numbers. You might be surprised to know that in the year 2021-22, the Total Cost of Poor Software Quality (CPSQ) in the US was around $2.41 trillion. Since it was about poor software quality, if there were proper checks in place not this much amount would have been lost. Additionally, it is not just money; it is also about brand image, customer satisfaction, and making a good impression.

In this article, we will discuss the risks and impact of finding bugs late during software development. Also, we will look into the possible solutions and best practices for avoiding these risks.

Risks Associated with Late Bug Detection

The costs and risks associated with a slipped defect in production are exponential compared to early bug detection. On the one hand, there are financial, quality, and delivery risks, and on the other hand, it hinders the customers’ trust. Let us look into each of these risks with examples.

High Final Cost

The simplest and most cost-effective way to avoid issues later is to catch the bugs early. Once they reach the production or maintenance stage, it demands more effort, time, and cost to fix them. This is simply because of the heightened complexity and vulnerability in the production environment.

You will want to avoid introducing new bugs or causing the already working functionalities to go for a toss in the production or maintenance phase. That is why it requires more vigilance and expertise to make changes when the customers already use the product. Know how to save budget on QA through this article.

Example: Consider a stock trading application; it is released in production, and the customers are using it happily. However, later, it was detected that there was a bug in the tax calculation module, and customers had been charged incorrect taxes throughout. What a miss!

Now, to make everything right, the defect needs to be fixed as soon as possible. This code fix requires thorough regression testing to make sure nothing else has been impacted. Also, the miscalculated tax needs to be paid back to the overcharged customers. You can intuitively imagine the reduction in customer satisfaction and base after this incident.

Read here about the Total Cost of Ownership of Test Automation in detail.

Poor Product Quality

If defects are detected post-delivery, first, it is really complex to fix them. Second, they may receive little attention because the development team might be working on the next sprint or release there. The product continues with the known defect, leading to a poor quality end product.

Example: Consider a gaming app that is released and gets quite popular due to the VR technology and good gaming levels, etc. However, there is one loophole: it crashes when more than six players are playing a single game.

Now, the developers are busy coding the new features to be released in the next sprint. They provide a workaround where the app’s crashing stops, but it causes slow game performance. This reduces the overall user experience and affects the market share, which could have been avoided if this defect had been caught in early performance testing.

Delayed Product Delivery

When a defect is detected in late testing phases, such as acceptance or system testing, the bug fix and regression all take more time compared to the case of early bug detection. Due to this late discovery and fix, the product delivery timelines get impacted in the Agile environment.

Not to mention, time is the most expensive commodity today. Time spent is money spent because it gives a competitive advantage to other companies. Read here the strategy to handle defects in an Agile environment.

Example: A new CRM system is developed and is planned to be released in Q2. In the end, it was detected that the ‘Data Synchronization’ module had a major glitch. Developers fix the defect, and this process takes another three weeks. Unfortunately, the CRM system is now released in Q4, giving its competitor an advantage that could have been avoided with proper testing and planning.

Read here how to automate CRM testing.

Losing Customers

When mobile apps are expected to generate over $613 billion in revenue across various segments in 2024, who will want to provide a bad user experience with a buggy product? Late defect detection is a nightmare for any software product. Users have a lot of options to explore today. Even a small glitch will make them shift to your competitor in no time. This also makes complete sense; defects in the production frustrate users and tarnish the brand image.

Example: A newly launched e-commerce website and app is launched with an undetected defect, i.e., if coupon codes are applied during the checkout process, the app freezes. The users are frustrated since they can not complete their purchases and they post this negative image of the product all over social media. They also abandon the website/app and use the competitor instead.

How AI and Test Automation Can Help?

Artificial Intelligence and test automation are proving essential in software development. They are helping with the testing activities that are repetitive, boring, require complex calculations, and are effort-extensive. They are taking many tasks off the tester’s shoulders to help them write more robust test cases with better test coverage and minimum effort, time, and maintenance. Let us know in detail.

Test Early, Test Often

Early and continuous testing is shaping software testing today efficiently. Employ automation testing within CI/CD pipelines to test continuously and as soon as the new code is pushed into the repository. This helps resolve more defects early, reducing the number of critical defects in production.

Shift-left and Test Right!

Shift-left testing focuses on testing early and within the development process by shifting the testing left (more towards the development activities). This contrasts with the earlier testing processes, which were executed towards the end of the development cycle.

Shift-left testing, DevTestOps, and TestOps are all helping in the successful adoption of DevOps and Agile methodologies for software development. Here, test automation is pivotal in the successful implementation through supporting powerful integrations with CI/CD tools.

Quick Unit and Regression Tests

When the smallest piece of software code is ready, automation of unit testing eases the burden on developers/testers to focus on areas where their expertise is required more. Similar is the case with regression tests. Whenever there is a bug fix or update to the code, regression tests are run through test automation without requiring any manual intervention. These automation testing tools and frameworks help in the early and easy detection of bugs so that the effort and cost are saved for everyone.

Increased Test Coverage

With test automation, tests can be run 24×7, in parallel, and automatically. This helps achieve greater test coverage, which would otherwise be impossible. Many calculations are complex for humans, such as loan or tax calculations. Another example is crucial space and rocketry-related software, with so much cost, time, and effort at stake. Test automation is a lifesaver in such cases since it allows greater test coverage quickly.

Magic of AI and ML in Testing

Today, every domain is being transformed through the power of AI and ML for the betterment of all. In the testing domain, it has resulted in the emergence of intelligent testing tools such as testRigor. It is a generative AI-based testing tool that allows you to write test cases in plain English. It uses NLP and self-healing to accommodate UI element attributes and application changes automatically in the existing test steps.

It supports web, mobile, API, and desktop testing quickly with its powerful integrations with most infrastructure providers, test management, and CI/CD tools.

Here are a few sample test steps:
click on "Search"
type "t-shirts"
enter enter
select second option from "MySelect"
check that page contains "Hello"
check that button "Add to Cart" is disabled

As you can see, the test scripts can be quickly created in plain English without requiring any prerequisite programming or coding knowledge. This feature enables everyone in your team to develop and execute test cases and achieve excellent test coverage quickly and efficiently. You can also choose to record your actions on the UI and let testRigor create test cases in plain English for you.

Best Practices to Avoid Late Bug Detection

Now, we will discuss the best practices to help you and your team catch the bugs early and save enormous costs and effort associated with late defect detection.

Have Clarity of Requirements

Try to understand the product requirements clearly, as it is the first step towards effective software testing. If the domain is new or complex, seek help from the SMEs, BAs, and other stakeholders. Get trained and have a clear understanding before you start with the testing activities.

Seek and Include User Feedback Early

During the early development, seek user feedback and incorporate that diligently into the application design and development. That will drastically reduce the number of bugs in the final product during production, late acceptance, or system testing.

Adopt a Good Quality Culture

When good quality runs through the whole team as a culture, every team member feels responsible for maintaining the product quality and provides its best towards its achievement. This leads to the activities and mindset to strive to achieve something of great quality every day and helps uncover bugs early and quickly.

Use Testing Metrics and KPIs

Testing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics are important in maintaining good product quality. They help to see the product quality in terms of measurable numbers and help to make informed business decisions based on these metrics.

Here are three good resources about testing metrics:

Conclusion

As we have seen, the late detection of defects may be catastrophic for the product’s success. With many options and rising competition, the focus on software quality is increasing daily. Customers do not want anything less than perfect; automation testing tools play a significant role in this race. The right choice can save you money, effort, and time. And with a great support system of relevant tools backing your product, you can make sure that the product reaches the epitome of success efficiently and quickly.

Join the next wave of functional testing now.
A testRigor specialist will walk you through our platform with a custom demo.
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