Any developer, project manager, or tech leader can become terrified at the mere mention of a serious software error. The fault in the system can be extremely expensive, challenging to fix, and embarrassingly obvious. These days, catastrophic software faults are relatively rare, but there is still a chance for reputational losses and big expenses caused by software bugs. We’ve put together the most significant QA testing insights, outlining the importance of thorough testing procedures.
How can a simple software error cost so much?
The financial impact of software failures is determined by several factors. The first is the direct cost of paying developers and software engineers to solve the problem. There’s also downtime, lost data, and reputational risks. Any company that experiences a serious software malfunction will lose credibility with consumers and the larger market and may even breach its service agreements resulting in long-term financial losses. Aside from monetary consequences, there may be detrimental implications for people’s privacy, valuable data, and even their safety.
The Morris Worm.
One of the costliest software bugs ever was created by a Cornell University student who developed a worm as part of an experiment. This experiment ended up spreading like wildfire and crashing tens of thousands of computers due to a coding error. The computers were all connected through a very early version of the internet, making the Morris Worm the first infectious computer virus. Robert Tappan Morris was convicted of criminal hacking and fined $10,000, although the cost of the mess he created was estimated to reach $10 million. The incident pointed out a vulnerability and resulted in improving digital security. While the worm’s source code has been kept as a museum piece at the University of Boston, Morris is currently a professor at MIT.
Knight Capital Group’s New Trading Software Bug: An Example of Critical Malfunction.
A $440 million loss in 30 minutes was due to a software malfunction, a massive setback. The new trading software used by Knight Capital Group resulted in
significant losses, wiping out 75% of their value. This blunder, triggered by technical flaws, prompted a $7 billion shopping spree. The episode cost the company, necessitating Goldman Sachs’ intervention. Knight’s recovery was elusive, with the company being acquired by a competitor within a year.
Still have doubts that Quality Assurance (QA) testing is the safety net that ensures software products are reliable and user-friendly? Let’s look through more examples of software bugs that were caught due to rigorous testing processes.
- Enhancing User Experience: User experience (UX) is paramount for the success of any software. QA testing ensures that applications are intuitive and function seamlessly across various devices and platforms. In 2016, Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic, faced a bug that caused the game to freeze and crash frequently, frustrating players. Rigorous testing would have identified this issue, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable user experience.
- Securing Sensitive Data: Software often handles sensitive user information. A security breach can have severe consequences. Rigorous QA testing identifies vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. Equifax, a credit reporting agency, suffered a massive data breach in 2017 due to a known software vulnerability that wasn’t patched in time. This breach exposed the personal information of 143 million individuals. Precise testing and timely security measures could have prevented this breach.
- Compatibility Across Ecosystems: In today’s diverse tech landscape, software must function seamlessly on various operating systems and browsers. Thorough testing guarantees compatibility across ecosystems. In 2019, the Google Chrome browser update caused numerous websites to display incorrectly or malfunction. This compatibility issue affected users and businesses alike. Accurate testing across browsers and platforms would have caught this issue before the update went live.
- Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD): Agile development practices require frequent updates. QA testing in a CI/CD pipeline ensures that updates don’t introduce new bugs. In 2018, Facebook’s Android app update led to excessive battery drain for many users. Rigorous testing within the CI/CD process could have identified this issue before the update was rolled out, preventing user dissatisfaction.
Quality assurance is the foundation of successful software development. These real-world examples demonstrate the critical role that QA testing plays in minimizing financial losses, improving user experience, safeguarding sensitive data, maintaining compatibility, and enabling smooth updates. Reach out to Klik Soft to learn more about our QA testing services to ensure your applications are top-tier!