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All posts tagged Cross Browser Compatibility


Zombie testing applies…

To a state of mindlessness in the tester where certain scenarios or observations are missed.

Sadly, it can be incredibly infectious in the workplace.

When does this happen?

This can happen for a variety of reasons but let’s examine a special case where names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty:

Elizabeth Bennet was a testing manager and was discussing web application testing with Darcy and Catherine, established members of her team.

She asked about cross browser compatibility testing and was greeted with a variety of the usual trollish comments about Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer - zombie testing

One of the many examples of this kind of IE trolling

Elizabeth felt Darcy was especially annoying on the subject but suppressed her irritation and scheduled a test session for the team to test the web app cross browser.

Her suspicions were confirmed when they discovered a variety of hereto undiscovered defects in IE.

Elizabeth sat with her testing team and asked each tester what web apps they work with and on which browsers. No one on the team actually used IE and once again Darcy piped up confidently stating that the “lame” browser had such little market share it wasn’t relevant to test.

George the Product Manager was passing by and heard Darcy. He was quick to jump in and correct this misconception and stated that he was glad Elizabeth had decided to correct this oversight as many of the company’s end-users were IE users.

Bingley the web app Developer was building a new version based on all the new defects found.

Darcy came over to Elizabeth privately to apologize for his mistake and asked for responsibility for testing this in future.

Elizabeth was pleased and agreed but only if they pairwise tested the next version.

The Warptest POV

Testing requires a variety of skills, some of which I’ve addressed in the past but a tester cannot afford to compromise their objectivity by bringing their prejudices into the workplace.

Doing so may leave them open to being infected with the kind of zombie testing mindlessness mentioned in the story above.

pride prejudice and zombie testing

Image with thanks to

In a nutshell, good testing is not zombie testing and it’s worth asking yourself if there is a product or technology you have a blindspot or bias against.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you don’t use it for your own work, will you even think of including it in your testing efforts?

So check the pride, check the prejudice and stow the zombie testing.


Testing Is Not Just For Amateurs…

… When is the last time you heard someone say,

“I know we’ll do the basic coding but get in someone with no experience to finish our disruptive app for us”?

Right. NEVER.

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Since you asked, here’s a short list to read, digest and nail with a riveting gun to your hiring manager’s table-top: –

Testing - 5 wrong things

So what do you do?

The Warptest POV

The value of Beta Testing is in taking the observations you receive and turning it into actionable intelligence for your Developers. Having a tester who adds these observations as bugs in your bug tracking and ensures they aren’t duplicates will make your life a lot easier.

Having a tester to plan and execute your testing in a professional manner will ensure a logical, efficient effort is made to provide optimal test coverage.

As for Cross Browser compatibility testing, I singled it out after reading yet another blog post about Best Cross Browser Testing Tools. Once again it’s Mashable writing an article that implies testing can be performed by any random bunch of dudes.

To their credit they incorporate two of my favorites BrowserStack and Browsera. Both are elegant in their simplicity if all you want to do is perform basic visual validation or in BrowserStack’s case add a layer of automation thanks to integration with Selenium Web Driver (an automation API to drive the browser natively).

BrowserStack supports 300 or so desktop and mobile browsers. Browsera makes it easy to test sites with logins, compare layouts and find scripting errors.

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The big problem with all these blog posts on best tools … for Cross Browser compatibility is that they fail to explain the psychological impact of layout bugs on your users.

Content is king but if it’s displayed in a messy, visually irritating manner then you just lost the user who you forced to endure those bugs.

All because you didn’t understand the ramifications of not having these tests performed, or knowing which platforms / browsers / browser versions are your priority.

Isn’t this a laborious process? If planned and executed efficiently even by a manual tester then subject to the complexity of your site or app this shouldn’t be too time consuming.

So what have we learnt?

  • Don’t expect the same results from using amateurs as using professionals.
  • Use the right tools for the job.
  • Plan the work and work the plan.
  • Gareth Mallory says it best in the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall when addressing 007:

So what are you going to do to ensure your product’s success?