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COVID-19 affects us all and - assessing with a true QA attitude - the worst thing may be that we still know too little about it.
Software testing is the oddball in information system development. It is generally easy to estimate how long it will take and how much it will cost. Testing is also widely acknowledged to be the most important bottleneck in the software release process.
It is practically impossible to operate a rapid software release cycle without automated testing. Manual testing is too slow to keep up with the brisk pace of agile development teams. Later on, during system testing and validating integrations with other systems, both the time spent and the overall workload become intolerable.
A software process tends to be more difficult to manage and optimize than an industrial manufacturing process. This has little to do with the “intellectual challenge” or “inherent complexity” of software. The history of industrial manufacturing just happens to be longer, its underlying practices, processes, and tools are much more standardized, and there is less variation to manage than with software.