Testing software is a way to provide stakeholders in the development process with brief information about the product under test. It’s a process that’s often carried out in the field of software engineering and development, to make sure that a piece of software does what it’s supposed to do.
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However, many software developers don’t realise quite how important it is that they carefully document any testing that’s carried out. In this article we’ll be discussing the five main reasons why keeping records is so important.
1. Firstly, it can save your organization time and effort. In the long term, it can also save you money, which can then be diverted for other purposes. Careful documentation of software testing can provide valuable information regarding compatibility issues, performance issues, bug fixes and other factors. These can help when later technical issues arise, which might otherwise consume a lot of resources.
2. Documentation also serves as a mark of a product’s maturity. Careful and professional documentation leads to greater quality assurance. If you maintain comprehensive documentation for your software, you’ll find it easier to gain certification for it. So not only can well-documented testing improve quality – it makes sure others can recognize that quality too.
3. Documentation helps users to understand the technical features of software. Technical problems with software may have disastrous consequences for end users – so it’s vital that troubleshooting tools are readily available to them. Often, these tools are derived directly from the process of documenting your software testing. This is because problems that are encountered during testing are fixed, and the means of fixing them is recorded in the test documentation – and subsequently, in user manuals. The more reliable your software, the better the feedback you’ll get from end users.
4. Documentation provided by the software testers will come in handy when software is submitted to Software Quality Assurance (SQA) panels within your organisation. These panels verify the quality and reliability of software. If any problems are encountered at this stage, fixing them could be difficult if the proper documentation is not available.
5. If you release the source code of your software along with detailed documentation, this can help third-party developers to create useful add-ons or enable other products to work well with your software. The more sophisticated and reliable these additional products, the more useful your software will be to users – and that success will rub off on your reputation.