Developers have been testing software since they first started building software following World War II. And quality assurance as a whole has a history that stretches back much further than that, of course.
But have you ever wondered how we got from the early days of programming – when developers relied on ad hoc methods for finding bugs in their code – to the modern world of Selenium and cloud-based testing?
Keep reading for a (brief and totally non-exhaustive) history of quality assurance and software testing.
The Origins of Quality Assurance
I could start by describing quality assurance processes in preindustrial societies, long before anyone had ever heard of software. But that would actually require writing a book.
So I’ll just quickly note some things that are probably obvious if you think about them, but that you might take for granted. Before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of modern capitalism, the calculus of quality assurance was a bit different than it is today. Markets were usually monopolized by guilds. Without free market competition, assuring quality wasn’t necessarily important for keeping customers happy. And in the absence of strong governments, attempts by the state to prevent defects in products tended to be rare or ineffectual. (more…)