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Industry Insights: Testing Matters

You ask vendors how to fix their broken software. Now ask them how they limit the number of programming errors.

Confidence Isn't Enough

The importance of checking on testing procedures came to light during my recent talk with a vendor regarding Network Computing's testing methodologies for a review. As I often do, I turned the tables and asked the representative about his company's own testing methodologies, mainly because this information can sometimes help us determine what to test in the Network Computing labs. This time I was in for a surprise. The representative revealed that his company doesn't have any formal testing methodologies in place; the developers do a few ad-hoc tests and then send the software over the fence.

Red lights immediately started flashing. Wait a minute, people pay good money for this software yet the vendor doesn't invest the resources to make sure it works properly? And this particular vendor's software is quite complex and enterprise-oriented. The company has great confidence in its developers, but is that enough?

I wouldn't be writing this column if I thought so. If you invest heavily in any software or hardware, it pays to investigate your supplier's testing processes and methodologies. In the long term, you could avoid problems with security, stability and management.

Beyond the Bugs

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