Friday, 8 March 2013

Why testing isn't always the answer when changing complex software

Our clients are understandably annoyed when changes we make to their systems don't work first time or have unforeseen knock-on effects.

The assumption is often that the work was done without appropriate levels of testing.  Testing is expensive and so clients are often reluctant to authorise us to spend lots of time in the testing phase - which is one of the reasons that when we quote for software modifications we are now explaining very carefully what testing options are available and the impact they have on the cost of the change.

There is another side to this story which is puts "testing" into perspective when dealing with complex systems like Tracker, and this blog post from the BBC explains it very well: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21280943.

With yet more banking system problems in the news this week (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21694704) and systems becoming ever more complex, perhaps new methods of software modification are becoming essential.

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