Software Development & Testing

Software testing: the limits of "family & friends" internal testing

Software testing procedures can turn into problems when internal testing is the only route chosen: here's how to come over it.

Software testing procedures can turn into hidden problems when internal testing is the only route chosen. Increasingly, companies are seeking to optimise their software testing process to ensure high quality for the end user, with the aim of minimising testing efforts for the development team.

It is precisely for this reason that it is important to analyse the limitations of internal testing during software testing and the problems arising from it.


Reduced resources and time

Internal testing as a tool to check for problems and bugs does not allow all cases to be covered due to the limited resources available to development teams. In fact, it is impossible for internal testing to be carried out on a wide range of devices, operating systems and configurations.

Not only that, time is also a factor that needs to be taken into account. Development teams face high pressure due to tight deadlines to be met, resulting in stress. Therefore, the software testing phase is sacrificed in favour of the development phase which, almost always, takes more time than planned.


The developer is not the end user

Developers who are also in charge of software testing must also take into account the end user's way of thinking. This process is complex since the former, knowing the architecture, the code and the product, are not able to adopt a " fresh eyes" approach and attempt to glean useful opinions for app improvement.

From this point of view, having access to user opinions is essential, as internal tests are unable to detect potential shortcomings in both the user interface and quality of use. Being able to be in tune with the base of end users is certainly a competitive advantage, but this result cannot be achieved by relying solely on internal testing.


White-box testing can't solve every problem

Most internal software testing takes place with white-box techniques. The aim of this test is to detect errors in one or more components by means of a line-by-line or section-by-section analysis in the code.

The entire development team finds itself having to spend a good deal of time on test cases which, if not properly detailed, can lead to unidentified errors. In fact, the white-box test does not allow you to verify partially implemented or absent functionalities or to search for any hidden functional bugs.


The development team is not familiar with software testing

Software testing requires a high level of expertise. Very often, development teams turn into testers who don't know where to start looking for bugs and problems. Furthermore, if the team is characterised by developers who are totally inexperienced in software testing, they will not be familiar with testing systems.

In this situation, each individual team member would have to receive special training over a long period of time, resulting in less time available for software development. Although there will be an improvement in knowledge, the limitations outlined above will continue to exist.


The developer confirmation bias

Another aspect to take into account is the developer confirmation bias. The latter is a mental process that has a major impact on testing, rendering people ''blind'' and preventing them from grasping different points of view.

Developer confirmation bias occurs frequently in the context of manual testing; that is, the team dedicated to this phase will be more likely to be biased in testing cases that they believe they know will work correctly. In this way, the testing phase is shortened, but this has the direct consequence of releasing poorly tested code.


Poor motivation

In fact, continuously testing a project is an activity that, in the long run, can be monotonous for the entire development team. Developers quickly get used to writing test cases to cover just a few common scenarios, without going any further and looking for any hidden problems.

When releasing new features or updates, developers also carry out a limited number of tests to check for incompatibilities, problems and bugs that might be found with previous versions.

This approach leads to poor motivation for the entire team and a gradual inability to think outside the box in both software development and testing.

In fact, the limitations of software testing with in-house tests are many and can significantly affect the quality of the software produced. The approach of relying solely on the internal testing of developers for the software testing phase is therefore not the ideal choice for obtaining applications with minimal problems and bugs.


Software testing with crowd testing

One solution to the problems illustrated is to tighten up the internal tests with crowdtesting.

Based on selected testers within a community according to the most appropriate requirements, crowdtesting guarantees a "fresh eyes" approach and the possibility of testing your software with experienced users, as well as a simulation with potential end users. Learn here about our Software Quality Assurance services. 

In addition, crowdtesting allows both the reliability and functionality of the application to be verified through greater test coverage on a wide variety of devices, networks and browser types. By doing so, it is possible to increase the effectiveness of each individual test, resolving most of the limitations that arise from internal testing.

White paper: Crowdtesting Method


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