A (very) Brief History of Software Testing

by | Nov 11, 2016 | Terms from the world of IT explained, Software & IT | 1 comment

Testing has been around longer than you would think and by extension software testing isn’t a relatively new concept either. Before markets became more intricately connected and their customers more diverse, businesses didn’t bother ensuring their products were of a high standard or fully fulfilled their purposes. Governments didn’t enforce standards in quality which meant that many businesses cut corners.

The early days of software and computer development

However, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the two World Wars, software and computer development was focused more on usage in major industries, in the war effort and in development in artificial intelligence, rather than commercially. Possibly, the most famous examples were the tests implemented by Alan Turing, such as his Turing Test, a method devised in order to examine a computer’s intelligence; if a human is unable to make a distinction between another human and a computer. Turing also created tests used to check the validity of a large routine and ensuring it was correct. Along with literature such as Quality Control Handbook by Joseph Juran, testing and quality assurance was becoming an irreplaceable step in the development process.

Commercially, during this period, governments realised the potential immeasurable gains from opening up markets and trading globally, which therefore meant businesses needed to start putting out higher quality products to better compete with their foreign competitors. The story is similar with software testing. In the early days of computing, as computers and the knowledge of how to create software was not readily available for the average man, there were only relatively few programming languages. Additionally, the lack of languages that could run on multiple platforms formed an issue. You can see the problem.

Demand for compatible software grows

After IBM revolutionised the technology industry with personal computers, demand for software that was compatible with other computers was steadily growing. Interest in and understanding of computers was on the rise as well, as competitors were simultaneously releasing their own products. Accordingly, consumers also wanted programmes that effectively ran on multiple platforms. Focus shifted to producing programmes that could run on various mediums and this meant that programmers had to thoroughly test numerous conditions and combinations before they put a product out into the market. Even today, programmers and companies are continually looking at creating programmes that can run well across platforms and devices. How well, we test via Crowdtesting or the Device Cloud at Testbirds.

Where will the search for quality lead us to next?

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About the author

Bree Tahapary

Bree Tahapary

PR & Marketing Manager

Bree loves a good story and often gets inspired by the ways they are told. For Testbirds, he tells the story of crowdtesting in the Benelux region.

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Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.

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