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Less QA? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013 8:29 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Less QA?






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Post #1479258
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:57 AM


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I think the first step is to instill a sense of ownership / pride in the developer in the product they develop. If you own it, are you happy with the product you have created?



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Post #1479307
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:42 AM
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Has anyone noticed how vendor databases in general are getting worse and worse? It seems we're getting to an age where regardless of quality, it's just get the product out the door as quickly as possible.

The company I work for just purchased a product which landed with me to install the database, and what I find is a database with very few tables actually having primary keys, no indexes and after a big data load they wonder why the performance is shot to hell.....
Post #1479321
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:50 AM
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QA is necessary but the original problem is with the developers and how they are trained. Too often a developer's goal is to solve the problem; if rudimentary testing finds a path through the code that's job done. Developers, like testers, need to learn to think "how can what I write be broken" and cater for it. That's what makes the difference between an average developer and a good one. (I'm a developer)
Post #1479323
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:55 AM
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I think the ownership comment hits the nail on the head.

When we moved to agile roles and responsibilities got blurred and initially things got missed because no-one was sure who owned it, who was responsible for it and who was supposed to do what.

Then there was failure to recognise that certain specialisms are not just jobs to be assigned but vocations. Being a DBA requires a mindset, being a tester requires a mindset, being a project manager requires a mindset.
Yes we can step beyond our own boundaries and multi-skill but we have to respect that things like testing are very real skills and disciplines and deserve respect.

I do wonder if the idea of a multi-skilled cross functional team has somehow resulted in an implementation of amorphous grey goo rather than best of breed.

If you have ever been privileged to work with a professional tester you will appreciate that they operate on a whole new level. They will ask questions of your product that you would never think to ask. My God it can be embarrassing!

The trick is in establishing and maintaining a good relationship with someone whose role will involve identifying faults in your pride and joy; someone who is going to say "my word you have made an ugly baby" but have the diplomacy not to follow it with "it takes after you"!


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Post #1479325
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:55 AM
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My boss related a story about some software he was troubleshooting in a call center. I don't recall if he developed it, but every so often the entire system would lock up. Drove him batty until he narrowed it down to one particular employee.

When the guy got bored, he would click on a certain button rapidly to see how fast he could make it change colors! It effectively created an (unintentional) DoS attack.

I also personally experienced one of the classic desktop support issues. One girl called to say her computer was having problems. We discovered most of the files in the C: drive were missing (this is way back in the Win95 era). At first we suspected a virus of some kind, then she admitted she moved the files somewhere else because "it looked messy".

Which goes to show you never know the crazy things users will do. Taught me a valuable lesson in learning to identify people who were likely to do "the dumb things" and have them beta-test.


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Post #1479419
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:00 AM
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[quote] We still produce lots of software that takes too long to develope, costs too much, and often has too many bugs.[\quote]

What you're asking for Steve is impossible.

You can have it fast, cheap, and good. Pick two.

Post #1479457
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:08 AM
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Who could argue against testing, right? You would be crucified. But I think a mentality of "let QA do the testing" undermines good development. I am often confronted by code written by others - even on my own team - that is shoddy, to say the least. Too often, developers crank out whatever (sort of) works and move on. I work hard to test my code as I am writing it. I stop and think, "Does this make sense? Is this the best approach?" That means it tends to take me longer to put something out, but it's not filled with half-broken garbage. I am constantly shocked by the quality of code that many developers release for testing. 90% of the bugs are obvious and should have been found during development.

My code is by no means perfect and I do need good testers to help me out. But they are finding the edge cases, the obscure things that weren't apparently obvious. It's an insult to good QA people (and a waste of their time and skills) to hand them garbage code. Like a writer who splashes out a first draft in one pass and then hands it into an editor. What are they going to say? The first QA tester should always be the developer.
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Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:19 AM
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Let's all back up a minute and think about the true source of the problem .... poorly written specifications (if the developer even got one at all). When more emphasis is placed on requirements gathering and the development of a specification with use case scenarios and process flow charts, the end product is not only better, but there is less project/scope creep as well. A well written specification not only provides the business rules to the developer, it also guides the QA staff in the development of a testing plan. Wait, did I say testing plan? Yes, I certainly did. How many QA staff out there actually develop one for a major project so that they don't forget to test anything? This one certainly does!
Post #1479469
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:37 AM
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I concur with the idea that developers need continuing education and ownership. I also want to add the business principals. Too often, software development is treated as an expense meant to be kept as low as possible. Software developers? They get treated as if they are a little more than advanced accounting clerks. And the biggest mistake that management of any business can make is to be satisfied by the low-bar metric that "It works". I've raised attention to many senior management folks the lack of quality in the their code-base, their architecture and their testing. Only to be looked at as if I were making a mountain out of mole hill. Then they say something like "It works" so what is the problem?

In any case, there a many many factors contributing to low quality code and architectures. We definitely need to continue the pursuit of high quality in our code, regardless of those who only speak the words and implement no real quality control.
Post #1479483
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