In an ideal world, your software product should work as intended, but the reality proves otherwise. All software products have bugs. To have minimal or zero defects in your product, it is essential to do software testing. Software testing should be integrated throughout the whole software development life cycle because bug fixing costs are lower in the earlier stage of development.  

What causes software defects?

A human being can make an error that produces a defect in the program code. If that defect is executed, the system may fail to do what it should do. Defects occur because human beings are fallible. There is time pressure, complex code, the complexity of infrastructure, and many system interactions.

Failures can be caused by environmental conditions as well. Radiation, magnetism, electronic fields, and pollution can cause faults in firmware or influence software execution by changing the hardware conditions.

What is SDLC?

SDLC and Software Development Life Cycle is a process that produces software with the highest quality and the lowest cost.

Software Development Life Cycle Phases 

Phase 1 – Planning 

This is the starting point of the software development life cycle. It includes estimates about the cost, size, and resources available for the product. 

Phase 2 – Analysis & Requirement Gathering

In the second phase, requirements are gathered and analyzed for their validity and the possibility of integrating them into the product. 

Phase 3 – Design

The design phase includes analyses of whether the product can be prepared to fulfill all the end-users requirements. Next on, the best design approach is chosen as well as the programming language that is best suited for the software product. 

Phase 4 – Development 

This is the longest phase of the software development life cycle as this is the phase where the actual code is written. 

Phase 5 – Testing

The testing phase is the last before the software product is delivered to the customer. The objective of this phase is to test the system against the requirements. It includes unit testing, integration testing, and system testing. 

Phase 6 – Deployment

After the product is extensively tested, confirmed, and ready to deploy, it is released to customers. 

Phase 7 – Maintenance

After the product is used by customers, issues come up and need to be resolved promptly. In the maintenance phase, the product is taken care of by updating the code according to changes in the user-end environment or technology. 

Now you might wonder at which stage of the SDLC bug fixing becomes more complex and expensive.

Bug Fixing Costs: “Prevention is better than cure.”

This popular saying applies perfectly to software development since fixing an issue later in the development life cycle becomes more demanding and complex. 

A study by the Institute for System Science at IBM found that fixing a bug uncovered during the implementation phase is six times more expensive than fixing a bug detected during the design phase. IBM estimates that the cost of fixing bugs discovered during the testing phase can be up to fifteen times more than the cost of fixing bugs found during the design phase.

The total cost of the bug fixing can be challenging to estimate because every bug and product is different, and we need a better understanding of the bug, environment, and what other details made it happen. 

Having a high cost when fixing bugs in the late stages is one of many issues. Sometimes fixing a bug when a product is released to the public can cause a domino effect. Fix one line of code and break another. Moreover, the CPSQ report from 2020 shows that poor software quality in the US is responsible for a total cost of 2.08 trillion dollars.

Ultimately, testing during the whole SDLC is the most cost-effective way. As the IBM study reported, testing during the testing phase can be 15 times more expensive than testing during the development/implementation or the design phase.  A product’s bug fixing costs increase as it nears deployment day. Besides the high prices, the bugs’ complexity increases exponentially, making fixing them more challenging. 

While discussing several projects with our colleagues, once we implemented our procedures, we noticed smoother releases with fewer bugs in production, thus increasing the quality of the products and making them more competitive.

If you want to discuss more regarding bug fixing costs, please book a call with out professionals. 

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