Every software development project at Company-X goes through testing times.
The Hamilton software specialist recommends its output undergoes rigorous testing before it can be released.
Company-X’s team of more than 50 includes professional software testers whose job it is to test the software before it is deployed.
“Our software testers are involved in the quality assurance stage of software development and deployment,” says Company-X director David Hallett.
“They conduct tests to ensure the software created by developers is fit for purpose. Software testing involves the analysis of software, and systems, to avert risk and prevent software issues.”
Ultimately Company-X’s software testers are employed to find bugs, and any other issues, before the software is deployed to everyday users.
A software bug is an error, flaw, failure or fault that causes the software to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.
Company-X software testers aim to find any and every bug in the software before it is deployed. Their approach is to understand the user requirements, write a test case and carry out the necessary testing.
Bugs are documented by the software tester, who alerts the software developer and asks for the issues to be fixed.
“Testing plays an important role in the software development life-cycle. Testing helps improve the quality, reliability and performance of the system. It’s about checking the software does what it is supposed to and is not doing what it’s not supposed to do,” David says.
“The best software testers will do their hardest to break the software before it is deployed into the wild,” adds Company-X professional services manager Michael Hamid.
Company-X also recommends a second round of testing by a select group of users suggested by the client for who the software is being developed. The users test it for functionality and make suggestion on how it can be enhanced and improved.
“These testers are usually subject matter experts,” Michael says. “They would know, far better than us, when something is not right. They know their data far better than we do.”
Company-X asks for feedback throughout the testing period. Bugs are immediately fixed. Other feedback is collated and, depending on the client’s wishes, addressed before the software is deployed for general use or held back for deployment at some other time. Software deployment is carefully managed.
“We usually deploy software we’ve developed after standard working hours for our clients,” Michael says. “Usually that’s after 5pm in the week, or at weekends, but not always. It’s really important for our team to understand our clients’ businesses well so that we cause the least disruption upon deployment.”
A further, brief, test is necessary immediately after deployment to ensure that the software is behaving as expected with the client’s hardware. Company-X offers support for any software it develops. Users needing help with Company-X developed software, and users with a question about it can phone or email the Company-X customer help desk. “This means help is always a phone call or email away,” David says. Company-X support analysts work alongside business analysts and software developers, giving them access to the brains behind the software. Software development at Company-X begins with a conversation between the client and the directors. The conversation continues with Michael and a project manager, systems architect, business analyst and developers. When development work starts, Company-X releases the software in iterations which allow the client to get their hands on working software as early as possible in the process.