It seems to me that there are two threads of discussion here that are not at all merging. One issue is whether testing can and should be made cheaper. Maybe it can, but testing is the last line of defense in software quality, and is highly problematic, relying essentially on chance to hit upon the right combination of conditions to cause a defect in the software to manifest itself. It may be that extensive testing (in the form of clinical trials) is the state of the art in medicine, too. But in software we can and should do better. Every computer science student learns in his or her first semester that the halting problem is insoluble, and so we all throw up our hands and say: Software is just too complicated. We can't understand it. At best, we can test what we have and see if it behaves as we expect. Whatever its merit, that's a defeatist attittude. There is a LOT we can do to improve the reliability and safety of software systems. To me, the key to making reliability cost effective is to come up with better solutions, not just put more money into testing.
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