Software Testing in the Mariner 1 mission.

Why You Must Never Neglect Software Testing

After nearly 20 million dollars, the rocket was ready to fire. Thousands of the best and brightest American minds had poured their hearts and souls into the creation of the star-bound vehicle.

Mariner 1 was prepping for launch, and flight conditions were optimal. The probe attached to the modified SM-65 Atlas missile sat firmly, anchored on and ready to hitch a ride to its final destination of Venus. Its job was to collect data on the temperature and atmosphere of the planet.

Except Mariner 1 never made it there.

The launch went off without a hitch. The boosters engaged promptly, and the rocket began lumbering towards the sky. According to NASA, everything was going exactly as planned. The issue occurred with the calibration, which was controlled by a computer at Cape Canaveral.

As launch data flooded the computer, the calibration software ran all of the information through a formula that automatically adjusted the trajectory of the rockets for flight stability.

Things didn’t go as planned.

During the creation of the formula, a programmer had forgotten a single hyphen in a line of code. Slight calculation errors began to pop up in the software, throwing the rocket’s trajectory off slowly. First, it was a few inches off… and then it was hundreds of feet off course. The rocket began to veer towards land, forcing an officer to make the tough choice of sabotaging it. With a heavy heart, he executed the destruct command.

The blazing fireball of rocket wreckage descended safely (albeit sadly) into the Atlantic ocean.

The Importance of Software Testing

When developing new software or applications, a lot of things can go wrong. While it may not be as dramatic as the loss of a multi-million dollar rocket, it can still put a damper on your day.

Having untested software go live can lead to severe operational issues that can impact its usability. With buggy applications, your user experience takes a hit and lowers the chances of effective software utilization.

Even worse, the buggy software can create security gaps that could potentially lead to the exploitation of sensitive data. Global spending on cybersecurity products and services are predicted to exceed $1 trillion over the next five years, from 2017 to 2021.


It’s because a direct cyberattack can cost businesses as much as $40,000 per hour. Leaving vulnerabilities in untested code is the equivalent of inviting in these cyberattacks and letting them decimate your business.

A survey from Small Business Trends showed that 62% of the businesses asked already had apps or were in the process of building one. In other words, that equals 62% of small businesses that need to implement software testing, or risk facing the consequences.

Software Testing with GB Tech

With software development becoming critical for businesses around the world, leaving software untested is becoming a risk that companies can’t afford to make.

Our software testing has saved our clients millions of dollars through stringent evaluations and secure application development. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help make your software more secure and bug-free than ever, feel free to reach out to us.