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All posts tagged Tester

The World of Testers Has Something to Learn from James Bond…

CAUTION: SPOILERS ahoy. If you haven’t seen SPECTRE yet, you may not want to read this post.

It’s that time of year when we roll out the same tired, old arguments:

  • The Agile purists try to drive a stake thru the role of QA Manager.
  • Outsource companies say having in-house QA is redundant.
  • The Crowdsourcers agree but say crowdsource beats outsource hands down.
  • The Automated Testing purists take potshots at the Manual Testing crowd for the huge investment to provide test coverage that their scripts grant faster.
  • The Manual Testing purists snipe back at Automated Testing for ramp-up time and a several other alleged flaws.

Testers Arguing - James Bond

Don’t get me wrong, there is validity to multiple points of view and the testing industry like any requires challenging to grow and evolve but regurgitation is just that, the absence of new points of view on the same, weary subjects.

So, Where Does James Bond and SPECTRE come into it?

Here come those SPOILERS… turn back while you still can.

In the new James Bond film, SPECTRE we find Bond and MI6 assailed by the threat of obsolescence. HUMINT (Human acquired intelligence) has been declared redundant and a senior Whitehall official “C” is pushing for a unified ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) effort between 9 major nations, all under the umbrella of a shiny, hi-tech National Intelligence Center. Obviously, “C” will be the one running this multinational NSA like organization and the 00 Section is to be shut down because “C” sees no need for men like 00 agents in the field when tech can do all the work.

Testers James Bond SPECTRE

Meanwhile, Bond seems to have gone rogue, hunting a shadowy, criminal enterprise connected to his past. Faster than you can say “Goodbye Mister Bond” we discover this is SPECTRE and they and their leader, Franz Oberhauser (Bond’s pseudo foster brother) are the ones poised to take control of this unified ELINT center once it goes live.

Oberhauser or (redacted, I’m not going to spoil everything) Blofeld, is a staunch believer that pure ELINT will grant him control over the world.

Nutshell: SPECTRE, Oberhauser and “C” are the purists of automation that advocate replacement, obsolescence of eyes / hands-on testing. Real testers are not needed in their world. ELINT akin to automated testing can do it all (which is ironic considering the sheer number of armed henchmen SPECTRE employs, not even considering their assassin du jour, Mr. Hix).

Bond, M et al rely on Q to provide their automated solutions but acknowledge the world for what it is. Neither approach alone can get the job done. Only a holistic mix of an agent licensed to kill with tech backup will work just as only a holistic mix of both testing types will work. However, this is not the crucial lesson testers need to learn from James Bond.

The Warptest POV

Several years ago, I heard a kickass Marketing Professional talk about blogging to early stage Start Ups. The point he made was to blog about your niche, NOT you or your product.

Reading a post on a QA Outsourcing company’s site deriding in-house QA with the conclusion that you are better off taking their services is ridiculous and counter-productive. (You know who you are..)

Sometimes testers are our own worst enemy. These regurgitated arguments don’t benefit us. If there is nothing new to add to these issues, then let them lie.

Instead of the ability to evangelize a holistic approach, best practices and provide tailored testing solutions to suit each product, this reflects an immaturity in parts of our industry.

We need to do better because at the end of the day it’s all about ROI and demonstrating that testing is a mission critical investment. My hat is off to those testers who share, engage, encourage others and build a sense of community. This is clearly the way forward.

Being A Tester Is A Profession…

Those of us in the profession who embrace it with passion sometimes see it as a calling and when we read certain stories we feel their pain but are often unsurprised.

Never Was A Tale Of More Woe

Techcrunch and other blogs have recently reported on two high profile Startups, Clinkle (over the last few days) and Snapchat (the end of December) suffering hacks / data breaches of differing scales.

A Venture Capitalist I follow on Twitter postulated that these events call into question the skill level of the Startup Devs, allowing user or payment data to be compromised.

The Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects - Tester

In both of these cases I found it hard to point the finger (exclusively) at the Devs and suspected that either: –

  1. The Startups had no testers and didn’t test.
  2. The Startups employed non-testers to do the testing: all hands on deck.
  3. The Startups had testers who reported the bugs but their reports went unheeded.

Testing? We’re Not There Just Yet.

Many startups are known for considering testing an activity that is best left until late in the day. Something the company just doesn’t have the money for but will get to, one of these days.

Money tester dudes

After looking at the LinkedIn profiles of Clinkle and Snapchat I couldn’t find any employees listed in either company as testers. The Techcrunch article on Clinkle refers to “employee testers” clearly they went for option 2 above; calling a bunch of random dudes in their employ testers without knowing what testing actually is.

The Warptest POV

I asked the question “How do you respond when a company says they aren’t ready for testing yet?” to my peers in the Israel QA / Software Testing Forum Facebook Group. The discussion is mainly in Hebrew but some people felt this was a reality to be accepted, others felt this was unacceptable and it was a fascinating insight.

My opinion is that if your product relies on the trust of the people exposed to it to build your user base then it is never too soon for testing but I’ll return to this premise.

The idea that Startup Devs are lacking if they allow these breaches fails to address one important fact: Devs are not Testers. They aren’t trained to be and in fact, they are trained to work with testers who provide backup / cover. In a nutshell, the testers are there to find bugs, report them and ensure the bug is dealt with.

The moment the founders remove these checks and balances then the whole product lifecycle is out of kilter and it is only reasonable to expect a major bug to slip through.

Remember, if you treat testing as a second class activity then don’t be surprised if you create a second class product.

Returning to my premise that it’s never too soon to test, does this mean Startups need to magically find the money to employ a full-time tester or testing team? If you are iterating a web / mobile application then contracting either an early stage, one shot testing cycle or testing on demand until you raise further funding is an affordable option. The testing will either be done for you or your non-testers can be guided and managed to provide better testing coverage.

If you need testing for your app then contact me and I can help you ensure your product doesn’t launch untested or reach critical bug mass.

A Testing Survey…

… is a chance to have your voice heard, to share your thoughts and opinions and play an active part in the testing community.

Thanks to the awesome folks at Tea Time with Testers and Joel Montvelisky, co-founder of PractiTest (and one of my favorite Testing bloggers) we get the chance to participate and engage via their State of Testing Survey for 2013.

testing survey_logos

You can find the Testing Survey after the link -> here <-

What’s It All About?

On a daily basis we are confronted with challenges, debates and opportunities in our work. The survey will provide us with some very interesting and enlightening metrics… and as testers we love metrics and what they display.

The Warptest POV

Testers need to exercise their voice and be heard both in and outside our community. This is our chance to see who else works like us, faces similar challenges and shares our opinions.

So testers get out there and rock the vote!