The One Thing I Actually Learned In College

My best friend Brian and I, (who also happens to be the one that coded Yalla) went to college together. We took all of the same classes together and spent almost every waking minute together for about 2 years. We majored in business administration with an emphasis in CIS. The thing is…we didn’t pay much attention to anything the teachers had to say. Brian sat there watching tutorial videos on how to code and I sat their writing business plans and working on client’s servers for an IT business we had started in college.

We weren’t slackers. We worked hard. But at the same time…we worked smart. One of our professors told us that everything we’d be learning in class that semester would be obsolete in 2 years anyway so I just figured the best thing for me to do would be to mentally check out and focus on core principles and skills that would help us in the long run.

But there was one thing I learned in college that has manifested itself to us again and again. I consider it the most important thing I ever learned in college because of how crucial it’s been to our current business. One of our professors would have this saying, and he’d say it three, four, maybe even five times in a row almost every class period. “TEST OR DIE, TEST OR DIE, TEST OR DIE.” He would just keep saying it over and over again as if he was reliving some kind of nightmare or something. Something in his distant past that caused him an immense amount of pain. When he’s say it, it almost felt like he was in pain! Test or die!

I never paid much attention to it but he was trying to beat those three words into us. Test or die! Now these few years later…I finally understand the importance. It doesn’t matter how well you think you’ve built something, there will always be bugs. You have got to test your application every which way you can. You have got to click everywhere, try everything, and have others do the same. What occurs to one person might not occur to another. The more diverse sets of eyes you can put on your application, the better off you’ll be.

So you’ve got a couple options for trying to squash those bugs and make your application sing. You can do it yourself. This is by far the cheapest way, but the most inefficient. In the past, our developers will do some coding and then I’d go and test it. I find bug after bug and I’m kind of wondering how and why they didn’t find those bugs before they told me to go ahead and test. But it makes perfect sense as to why they wouldn’t find those bugs in the first place. It’s because they think differently than I do. After I go through it and I think I’ve done a pretty thorough job at bug testing…I hand it off to another person that thinks completely different than I do. Guess what? They find a ton more bugs that I never found. And so on and so on. The more personalities that you can have test your application, the greater chance your application is going to work properly for the various personalities that sign up for your app. Every person approaches the the app from a different angle and the people you should trust the least to test the app are the ones who built it.

If you don’t have a big team and you’re just a one or two person shop, then there are a few services out there that will test your app for you. Bug Testers, Testbirds, and Pay4Bugs are a few of the companies out there that provide that kind of service. Normally they’ll charge per bug, so try and tighten that thing up as good as you can so that you don’t lose your shirt.

Regardless of how you do it, just try and picture my old college professor yelling in class: Test or die! If you don’t have your app thoroughly tested, you could lose out on some serious opportunities. Every single person that signs up for your app in it’s infancy is like gold to you…but if they never make it past the second screen because of a bug, you may sit there wondering why no one likes your app, when in reality they’re just never actually seeing the bulk of your app.