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Best Practices for Development Testing

Rajeev Mathur
Rajeev Mathur
Country Manager, Coverity India
Rajeev Mathur heads the Sales Operations for Coverity India. He is a technology executive with mo... more>>
Time-to-market pressures are spawning new business requirements, as companies are driven to produce products in tighter timeframes and with lower budgets, yet with flawless functionality. Many are turning to development testing to complement traditional software testing methods, testing software code as it is written, to reduce development risks, time and costs. The following are some best practices for integrating development testing into the software development lifecycle:

Test early in the development cycle

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the annual cost of poor software quality in the U.S. is $60 billion. As a result, 80 percent of software development budgets are dedicated to fixing defects found late in the development cycle. A defect found in QA is traditionally 10X the cost to fix than if it had been found earlier in the cycle. What’s more, defects found post-release are 30X the cost of finding and fixing them while the code is being written.

Automate testing

As the complexity of software increases, and as development teams grow and code ownership changes, a solid test automation-based development process becomes critical. By automating testing processes, new issues and regressions are detected sooner, thereby minimizing time required to triage and fix them. This serves to accelerate development velocity and free up QA cycles.

Gain visibility and control over the risk in your software

The business impact of software defects has never been greater and it includes everything from market delays and unhappy customers to product recalls. Avoiding these impacts requires a new level of transparency into the quality, security and complexity of code, regardless of who creates it. By having better transparency, organizations can pinpoint the exact location of risks in a project. Also, having better visibility and control over the risk in the software enables development teams to consistently deliver high-quality products, respond to changes faster and make more informed decisions to help drive business growth.

Use static analysis to verify the correctness of the software code

Static code analysis, which analyzes software without actually executing the code, is used by developers worldwide to improve the quality and security of their software. A foundational part of a development testing solution, it can not only locate defects in the code but also provide crucial guidance to help developers understand the proper remediation required.

Have a formalized application security policy for development teams

Often, there is a disconnect between an organization’s security and development teams, which can lead to serious software vulnerabilities down the road. Developers aren’t security experts, and most security professionals aren’t developers. Organizations that introduce a formalized application security policy build a bridge between the two teams, integrating security earlier in the development process and introducing a common ‘language’ that helps build understanding between development and security teams.  

Ensure that third party software is of the highest levels of quality and security

As more companies integrate externally developed software components into their custom developed code, the potential for failures and risks increases. As the use of open source software becomes more prevalent and the dependence on outsourced teams increases, verifying the consistency, completeness and correctness of software created outside your organization will help to assure the quality and security of your end products.

If you’d like to learn how other companies are using development testing to improve the quality and security of their software code, please click here

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