What the Iowa caucuses can teach us about software testing

What the Iowa caucuses can teach us about software testing

It has never been more important to deliver new solutions to market quickly, but you cannot take shortcuts on quality. Explore some DO’s and DON’Ts from the recent Iowa caucuses



13 Feb 2020

What the Iowa caucuses can teach us about software testing

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The US election season is officially underway.

Traditionally, Iowa is the first state to hold its caucuses, with the winner taking the momentum with them as each subsequent state takes its turn. This means that it’s that state’s results that have become a predictor of a candidate’s future performance.

Until this year.

This time, the Iowa results produced chaos. The culprit was a new app used by voters that failed to work properly, since it was never fully tested. As the Wall Street Journal points out, this included the back-end connections, while a full statewide rollout was never given a proper dry run. The result? For several days, no candidate could claim victory and no one had any real sense of how they performed.

When it comes to software testing, the Iowa fiasco can teach us a few lessons:

  • The importance of doing it fast

    With the caucus organizers under pressure to have the application ready on time, they cut corners to meet their deadline – with disastrous results. In business too, companies are always in a race against competitors to get their solutions to market. But while the temptation for corner cutting is always there, the rewards rarely outweigh the risk.

  • The need to get it right

    Due to undetected defects, the winning candidates lost their chance to leverage the momentum of their win. In a business environment, enterprises too risk losing customers. One mistake, and customers will readily switch to a competitor.

  • The need to test in a “production-like environment”

    This never happened with the Iowa app. It didn’t experience the stress of a full statewide rollout, while any issues with back-end integration never had the chance to come to light. In a business environment too, it’s not enough to just test your app. You also need to verify how well it operates in production, with the all the integrated systems, while simulating expected levels of usage.

A solid end-to-end solution can solve these problems. Amdocs Quality Engineering fulfils this role by leveraging AI-driven automation to provide fast, comprehensive test coverage, while its ability to simulate production environments ensures that testing replicates the app’s behavior in the real world. That way, service providers can get their solutions to market fast, without cutting corners.

To learn more about Amdocs Quality Engineering, visit us online


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