Software Erosion

Today I did a major testing session in my app, You Doodle. I focused heavily on the frames tool. In doing this testing I found two major bugs that were really nasty. My filters were removing transparent areas out of the frames, and choosing custom frames from Dropbox or the device would crash the app frequently.

Looks like I’m suffering from software erosion.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t tested my frames feature in many months. I’m sure these features worked fine when they were first coded up and shipped off. But as I’ve refactored code, iterated and made new features, I’m sure there were changes made that caused these bugs to appear.

Any software must be regularly tested, whether it be unit tests, manual testing or integration testing. Without this testing, software will erode and become more buggy and more unstable.

As I’ve written earlier, I’m not the biggest fan of unit tests. They don’t often test user interaction, and they don’t test integration with other systems, which in my opinion, lessens their value. Manual and user testing I think are critical, especially for mobile apps, as well as integration testing with dependencies.

Go fix some bugs before doing that next big feature, your users will thank you.

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