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Software Testing

February 9, 2007

Software testing is a crucial part of the software development environment. Amongst the software life cycle processes, it plays a key role in the development process and in the verification process.

The development process goes like this: requirements analysis, architectural design, detailed design, coding, unit testing, installation and finally acceptance support. This last activity is usually executed by a developper with the acquirer because most teams can’t afford to have a separate testing staff to do the verification process properly.

After reading Ben Craigo’s article, I have good arguments to make the management invest more resources in the software testing effort.

  • 80% of our software development cost is spent correcting bugs
  • the later a bug is discovered, the more expensive it is to correct
  • you can’t trust the developper to detect each of the bugs he causes
  • there are no ways to code without bugs
  • software testing requires skills and methods

And they have their own reasons not to follow my advice. 😦

  • this isn’t our corporate culture
  • some guys would be hard to convince
  • moreover, the testing team will know that the development team makes some errors, that would make them feel bad

I can’t think of other good reasons, well maybe they don’t want to write down what they want so there is no way to specify the tests without a software prototype which is wanted as soon as possible to be thoroughly criticized. 😉

    Categories: Software Testing
    1. Tom
      February 9, 2007 at 3:32 PM

      Hi Riseagain,

      I don’t envy you your problem, I’d be really worried by the first two counter-arguments. If the setup is “not our culture to test” and “some people wouldn’t like that” I’d have to ask the powers-that-be who they’re answerable to. A bunch of developers moaning about having their code tested or your customers moaning (and then fleeing) because your code’s full of bugs!

      As for the final point, just like code reviews, testing isn’t personal. What kind of craziness is abound that means that developers have their fragile sensibilities affected by bug reports coming in.

      I wonder if (you probably have) seen this article from Joel Spolsky aptly titled “Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don’t Have Testers”. It might give you some more ideas on how to make changes.



    2. February 9, 2007 at 4:59 PM

      Thx Tom for your comment and the link, I now have most good arguments to make the management afford a testing team.

      > No matter how hard it is to find testers, they are still cheaper than programmers.
      > A lot cheaper. And if you don’t hire testers,
      > you’re going to have programmers doing testing
      > …
      > You could hire three testers for a year just to cover the recruiter’s fee
      > on the replacement programmer.

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