When you are just starting as a new company, due to inherent constraints involved you could be tempted to cut corners and take the minimum viable product approach to the limit. However, skipping quality assurance is not only the fastest way out of the market, but it is one that will surely prevent you from successfully launching other initiatives once you have learned your lesson. To put it short, it is not a matter of affording to test your products. The reality is that as a startup you can’t afford not to test.
Cost of Bugs
Startups can learn from the mistakes of large organizations who did not test their products sufficiently before launching. For example, when healthcare.gov crashed it raised its final cost threefold to $292 million, and this is just a tiny fraction of the overall costs of software failure.
Quality Control is not Optional
Developers as Testers
- Time: Under constant pressure to release a minimal viable product fast to start earning some revenue, it would seem like a good idea to let the market identify the bugs and fix them later. Also, you don’t have enough time to conduct in-depth interviews and assemble a team of testers alongside your programmers. However, you also don’t have time to rework the same piece of code a couple of times or going through the whole software every time you make changes.
- Resources: Working in a startup comes with the excitement and the burden of wearing multiple hats. You won’t have a dedicated testing department, but you could have a tester/social media manager or similar. It is a matter of having two heads that are better than one. Also, you might learn that you don’t have all the tools you need or can only afford limited free versions. Testing specialists from A1QA advise entrepreneurs to find those packages that allow the pay-per-use scheme instead of going with other products developed by startups just like yours that could have numerous bugs of their own.
- Money: This is the primary pain point of most startups, and the first reason named when testing is under questioning. Of course, additional headcount means extra money, but there is always the option to delegate just the testing part to a dedicated company, using a pricing model that suits your scale and budget.
Automation vs. Manual Testing
Testing means that the product you present to your clients not only satisfies functionality demands, but it is also robust, reliable and easy to use. Creating a testing strategy should be part of your core values. A company just stating out, can only stand out from its competitors by its quality and reliability.
The best way to get ahead is to integrate manual testing in each phase of the process. As this process matures, it is a good practice to automate the most common parts. Working in small sprints and ensuring the reliability of each component before moving on is a way to ensure there will be no significant reworks once the product is released on the market.