The true cost of software bugs: limited CX and user distrust

The mobile app customer experience is more than simple UX design. It encompasses the experience that users get across all of the brand’s channels and includes all the interactions as a user identifies, evaluates, purchases, uses, re-engages, and leaves the product.

The costly price of software bugs

Test early and test often — that’s key advice to avoid the high cost of deploying a software laden with bugs. But a bug might not seem devastating without understanding the full scope of financial loss it can bring.

  • 83% of survey respondents say they cannot keep their test suites green.
  • Software engineers spend an average of 13 hours to find and fix a single failure in their backlog.
  • 6% of developer time is spent reproducing and fixing failing tests – which equals 620 million developer hours a year.
  • The total value of salary spent on those hours adds up to $61 billion annually and equates to $1.2 trillion in enterprise value lost for shareholders a year.

The value of QA testing

Fixing software bugs is incredibly costly – in both the direct cost of mitigating the defects and the indirect cost of decreased consumer trust and lost development time. Simply put, the cost of repairing most bugs is higher than the cost of preventing it.

  • ​​It’s much easier to detect issues in code when developers are still writing said code. Suppose an automated system, such as a continuous quality integration, highlights problems in code when the developers are still writing it. In that case, teams are more able and ready to address the error and implement a fix.
  • Once the software is in the testing phase, reproducing the defects in a developer’s local environment is time-consuming.
  • After the software is released, unresolved bugs will present themselves once end-users start using the broken software. Once bugs reach users, churn, negative reviews, and reduced revenue. 

5 ways to decrease the impact of software bugs

Test early, test often isn’t just a mantra of successful software teams. It’s cost-effective for businesses who want to ship builds quickly. Developing a solid testing and debugging process also helps your team constantly push out high-quality code. 

 Additionally, QA teams should also consider implementing the following processes: 

1. Continuous integration

Over the last few years, companies have adopted the CI/CD pipeline to streamline software development. This method focuses on automated unit tests via Test-Driven Development (TDD) to ensure the application doesn’t break when new commits are pushed. Code must be tested and passed before being released. 

2. A “shift-left” approach

In a “shift-left” approach, teams prevent instead of react. Doing smaller tests more frequently throughout the development stages, and creating a continuous feedback flow allows for immediate validation and improvement.

3. Pre-production testing

There are several steps that occur between writing code and putting it into production –  pre-production testing being an incredibly important part of the QA process. 

By diving into pre-production testing – payment gateways, functional tests, usability and CX concerns – you can monitor testing environments, test cases, and possible user paths that can provide insight into what could go wrong when code is finalized and goes into production.

4. Quick and easy bug replication

Sometimes, it’s easy to replicate an error… sometimes it’s not. In either case, you must collect all necessary information regarding the bug when it occurred.

5. Collective testing

Collective testing is a blended team approach that aligns processes and tools into a seamless workflow. It enables multiple forms of collaboration by organizing different test teams to cover more testing surfaces in less time, under a unified test management platform. 

The business cost of software bugs is a combination of money, time, and reputational damage. Putting software quality first will protect not only your revenue, but also your relationship with current and future customers. 

While we can’t expect to deploy a product that’s 100% error-free, we can make strides to safeguard software prior to release with a thorough testing strategy. 

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