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If your application is bug free, do you need a tester?

In a recent poll on LinkedIn, a thought-provoking question was posed: What goes through your mind when you see an automated test dashboard showing all green? The responses, mainly falling into the ‘other’ category, revealed a telling sentiment: suspicion. Many believe that a fully green dashboard signals hidden defects lurking beneath the surface. This perspective, while understandable, highlights a fundamental issue in the test profession’s approach and its perceived value in software projects.

The underlying assumption here is that the value of testing is directly linked to the number of defects uncovered. This mindset leads to an almost paradoxical belief that there must always be more bugs to find. If not, what worth does the testing bring to the project? However, this belief overlooks a critical aspect: the primary aim of software development isn’t to achieve flawlessness but to deliver value to the customer.

It’s an undeniable truth that software, like all creations of human endeavor, will always harbor some level of imperfection. Yet, the primary focus should not be on achieving an elusive state of perfection but rather on ensuring the software functions well enough to address the customer’s needs effectively.

The real value of testing, therefore, should not be measured by the number of defects found, but by how well it ensures the software serves its intended purpose. Does it solve the problem it’s meant to? Does it enhance the user’s experience or productivity? These are the questions we should be asking.

So, let’s shift our perspective. Let’s see a green dashboard not as a signal of hidden defects but as an indication of a job well done, a step closer to delivering software that meets, or even exceeds, customer expectations. Let’s redefine the value of testing in terms of its contribution to the overall goal of creating software that works effectively for its users.

And remember, perfection in software is not the absence of defects, but the presence of value. As professionals in the field, our focus should always be on enhancing that value, ensuring that what we create truly solves problems and improves lives.

Share your thoughts on how we can further shift the focus of testing towards enhancing customer value. Let’s discuss and redefine the role of testing in software development together!