Just read a thread in the softwaretestingclub about explaining testing to your mother, and it got me thinking about the subject and 2 conversations I had this passed week.
The truth is that initially I was not able to explain to my mother what I do for a living, I will give that credit to my wife who did it during one of my mom’s visits to see her grand-kids.
In any way my mother now get’s it, and some days ago I was even able to explain to her the added value that testing brings to a development organization, not only on the way we find bugs in the system; but also in how we shed light into the quality/stability/usability/fitness-for-use of the product under development, and how we help the team to improve the development process over time. I think that even Michael Bolton would have been proud on how I was able to define it in simple therms.
Now comes the weird part, last week during my visit to Costa Rica I was talking to a Development Manager who assured me that they didn’t have a need for testing.
They are a company producing custom-built applications for the local market and he assured me that (1) his developers did a good enough job in writing quality software, and (2) he had a good relationship with his customers who reported the issues they found on the system. He even gave me some of the names to show they were working with serious companies.
I decided not to pursue the subject, after all it was only random chat over coffee in the office of a shared friend.
Then, by chance, I happened to meet one of this companies “happy customers”. I could not let the opportunity pass and I asked them about the software they were using from the Software Development firm.
Let’s just say that he was less than happy about the product:
(1) Apparently it took them about 50% more time to finish the application than they first anticipated.
(2) There were important parts missing, or that didn’t really do the things they were supposed to do. So even after the first delivery it took 2 more rounds to get a product that could do “close” to what it was supposed to do.
(3) Constantly they were finding bugs and reporting them, this actually made the end-users feel very insecure and unhappy with the application. It also made it necessary to get urgent patches and general upgrades each 2 to 3 months to handle the issues they found. Obviously they were not paying for these upgrades and they were not part of the initial product plan.
Overall he said that they had now a working system that was not perfect or what they had initially in mind, but that it got the work done and it was enough for them at least for now. He also said that he was not looking to replace the application, but they had decided to go to a different Software Development Company for a new project that was now under development.
For me the last comment was the key, after he had experienced the whole lifecycle with his initial vendor he had decided not to work with him further…
So apparently my mother now get’s what it is that can be achieved by a good testing team; but apparently there are still some Software Development Managers who don’t really get it, and are loosing business because of it.
Practitest is an end-to-end test management tool, that gives you control of the entire testing process - from manual testing to automated testing and CI.
Designed for testers by testers, PractiTest can be customized to your team's ever-changing needs.
With fast professional and methodological support, you can make the most of your time and release products quickly and successfully to meet your user’s needs.