by Ryan Yackel
What is software testing worth for your organization? It’s not always an easy question to answer. After all, while software quality assurance offers a lot of its value in the form of prevention – stopping buggy software from making it to market – when it’s handled well, you don’t see the damage that would have occurred otherwise.
So to better appreciate the value that effective software testing delivers, it’s useful to look at a few cases when that prevention didn’t happen, and how devastating the fallout turned out to be. This is not intended to criticize the companies where software glitches happened. All of those companies have excellent QA teams working hard to maintain and improve software quality. But even in the best organizations, mistakes will happen and bugs will get missed. As you will see below, the damage to the company caused by these bugs can be significant.
1. HSBC glitch withholds worker salaries
Arguably the most damaging aspect of a software bug is the potential to upset your affected customers. And if you really want to see your clients angry, you might want to try withholding workers’ hard-earned paychecks.
2. Starbucks bug causes register breakdown
Starbucks is easily the world’s biggest coffee chain. So when a software bug hit the company’s cash registers throughout North America, the impact was widely felt – and severe.
3. Nissan air bag sensor bug won’t be exterminated
This software glitch actually originated earlier, but it bears inclusion on this list for its persistence. In 2013, Nissan issued a recall to address a serious problem with the air bag seat sensors in many of its vehicles. In 2014, the recall extended even further, ultimately covering just shy of 1 million vehicles. The problem was that, due to a software failure, the sensor could not recognize that an adult was sitting in the passenger seat. This meant the airbag on that side would not deploy in the event of a crash. So why is this on a list of 2015’s worst software bugs? Because last year U.S. safety officials initiated an investigation driven by complaints that the previous recalls did not fully address the software problem.
4. F-35 targeting goes haywire
Speaking of the serious consequences of software bugs: Last year, military engineers discovered that F-35 fighter jets’ glitchy software caused the aircrafts to incorrectly detect targets when flying in formation. Obviously, that’s a major concern for one of the nation’s premier – and most costly – weapons programs.
This blog post originally appeared on the QASymphony (Atlanta) website. Author Ryan Yackel is senior sales engineer at QASymphony. To read the entire post, click here. And if you agree or disagree with Yackel’s choices, be sure to leave us a comment.