Importance of Software Testing in the IT Industry

Introduction and Importance

Software development companies dedicate a substantial amount of resources and workforce to develop applications according to requirements specified by enterprises or individuals. However, after creating such applications/software, companies must ensure that the client’s needs perform such software/applications. The importance of this is directly related to the ability of software to measure up to its potential. Suppose the new software cannot perform the task it was designed for. In that case, the client might face severe losses due to the stoppage of work, which would adversely affect the software development company’s business. To ensure that any bugs in the software are identified before deployment, the IT industry implements various testing procedures. The scope of these procedures is to facilitate the identification of a problem in the software; fixing such issues is not within the range of software testing. Some of the leading methodologies implemented by companies in the IT industry include General, Load, Functional, and Regression Testing.


General Testing

This refers to the general tests carried out on software/applications to ensure the functionality of the newly developed software. Some of the common tests included in standard Quality Assurance procedures are web performance and usability testing. The web performance testing procedure mostly evaluates the online version of a web-based software application or website. Usability testing is a subjective approach, ensuring that the software can be utilized effectively in a given set of circumstances. The purpose is to identify the general operating capability of the software/application being tested and help developers determine some of the areas of improvement for the software. A software development company usually performs general testing of software/applications and other more advanced methods to ensure that the software conforms to the pre-defined operational capabilities specified by the client/user group.

Load Testing

The load testing procedure simulates the operating conditions of the software/application during periods of higher/normal load to gauge the effect of such changes on the functioning of the software/application. This is not the same as stress testing because load testing checks the operational capabilities in normal and high-load conditions. In contrast, stress testing attempts to induce errors in normal operations by using increased system load. This is considered a type of non-functional testing, which software development companies undertake to gauge the application’s multi-user support capabilities.


As a commonly employed practice in the software industry, its specific goals are widely disputed. The term is often used with volume, reliability, software performance, and concurrency testing. Using load testing, developers can attempt to determine the reason for the slow version of the software. The reasons for such slow response commonly include load balancing between multiple servers, client-side processing, network congestion/latency, available database service, and application server(s) or software bugs. Load testing is recommended for software/applications subject to SLA (service level agreement) to ensure the software can support multiple users. As the procedure simulates an increase in system load using numerous virtual users, various software is currently available for load testing. Some of the leading load-testing tools developers use globally are IBM Rational Performance Tester, Apache JMeter, LoadRunner, etc. A load testing tool commonly favored by software testing companies in India is also available as part of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Ultimate Edition.

Functional Testing

This type of testing is black-box testing based on the software components’ specifications. The functions of specific software parts are feeding inputs and checking the output thus obtained. In functional testing, the internal structure of the program is seldom considered. Hence, it is classified as a type of black-box testing. The key steps involved in functional testing include the identification of functions that the software is expected to perform, the creation of input data according to specifications of the identified processes, the determination of the output based on the specifications of those functions, execution of the test scenario followed by a comparison of the obtained production vs. the expected result. Functional testing is not the same as system testing, as system testing involves the validation of a program in comparison to the published system or user requirements. In contrast, functional testing checks a program concerning established specifications and available design documents for the software/applications.

Regression Testing

Regression testing refers to any software testing that attempts to identify bugs present in a system’s functional or non-functional areas after making modifications such as configuration and patch changes. The key function of regression testing is to ensure that a patch or upgrade does not lead to introducing a new bug into the existing system. Additionally, regression testing helps ensure that the changes in one section of the software do not induce changes in another part of the code. Some commonly applied regression testing methods include using earlier tests to check for alterations in program operation and searching for any previously fixed bugs that re-emerged after introducing the new code. Fixed bugs in software often re-emerge, and regression testing is one of the leading methods to ensure that such re-emergence is identified and easily controlled before any lasting damage occurs. Software development companies repeatedly perform regression testing of software/applications after any change in coding, such as the use of patches, etc., to ensure that the application’s functionality is unimpaired. Such repetitive testing is usually automated using an external tool such as Bamboo, TeamCity, Jenkins, Hudson, Tinderbox, or BuildBot. The QA team generally performs this type of testing for leading software development companies. However, smaller companies often outsource such services to companies specializing in software QA and testing.

What’s Next?

As new technologies emerge, organizations are developing and implementing more testing procedures worldwide to ensure that new software performs according to their requirements and specifications, even when stress or when additional functionality is introduced into the software. The emerging testing solutions, powered by new technology, are designed to reduce the time and resources required for testing to streamline the quality control/quality assurance services associated with software development. Additional types of testing currently used in the software industry are white box, system, non-functional, acceptance, and integration testing. Each test was developed to identify and resolve application/software limitations in a specific set of conditions; hence, they are used for software testing carried out in cases of particular quality assurance and testing procedures.

Abhishek is currently working with extend code Software Systems India, an offshore software development company based in Gurgaon in India, which provides software solutions such as Web Enabled Solutions, Quality Assurance Services [], business intelligence solutions and Mobile Solutions, etc. He has worked in the field for over two years and authored many IT and software industry articles.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.