As we begin another year and try to predict where quality assurance (QA) will go in the next few years, we need to reflect for a moment on where QA has been — especially with the dire predictions in recent years that QA in software engineering is dead. One thing that is dead is the traditional way of doing QA. The days of huge QA departments conducting testing mainly using manual methods, and usually as a phase after the development team is done, are gone. Market pressures and the fast-paced demand of software releases have made sure that relying on only manual testing as your QA strategy is no longer acceptable. Having said this, organizations Read more
Posts Tagged 'QA'
The software engineering field has changed a lot over the years. There have been many advances in the field in terms of tools used, how teams build and test software, the speed of delivery, and so on. For teams that have not yet become a true Agile team (every sprint is developed, tested, and production ready), one pattern continues to show itself even though this pattern is a carry over from the days of large waterfall projects. This pattern is the projection and allocation of budget based on the one-third rule. In the days of large waterfall projects, organizations made the assumption that a software budget was allocated one-third per major category: analysis and design, Read more
In many engagements, upper and middle management ask: “How do we fix our testing (QC) process? The team is just not catching the defects.” When managers ask this question I usually asked these managers a question in return: “Why focus on fixing your testing processes first; shouldn’t you first focus on fixing the development process, since they write the code?” This usually starts a vigorous discussion about where the problem really lies in the organization, which is exactly the kind of soul searching an organization needs to do when they ask to fix the testing. Fix the Root of the Problem and Not Just the Symptom The objective in asking the question is to get Read more
Is QA (aka QC) seen as an impediment in your organization? If you answered yes to this question, then chances are your organization is in one of two camps: 1) QA is really an impediment, or 2) QA is actually ensuring that your organization is releasing quality software. QA is Really an Impediment Some organizations still have formal QA departments that execute testing as a separate phase than the development team. While this may be a necessity in some industries due to laws and regulations, for most other organizations where this is not required, it is usually a sign of a QA team that is not ready to change. It is a sign that this Read more
[All posts in this series: 1, 2, 3, 4] As I read through Tom Grant’s article on Agile Frameworks, one word kept jumping out at me: structure! People like frameworks because they provide a structure that is repeatable. As I think back to all the Agile deployments I have dealt with, there were many misconceptions about Agile but the one that was consistent was that Agile did not have structure. Many managers who asked for Agile to be implemented had the idea that being Agile meant that you didn’t have to do many of the things that they were doing with the other software development process they were using. Managers focused on the literal meaning Read more
I have spent most of my professional time in telecommunications company projects. Although both telecommunications and IT are technology-intensive industries, they differ in a fundamental way. Telecommunications services are end products and customers pay for them. IT services represent a means for supporting the products delivered to customers, and customers pay for the product, not for the IT component included in the product. This is the reason why a service assurance practice is much better developed and established in the telecommunications business. But the world is changing, and IT-based services are increasingly becoming end products themselves. Practices for IT-based service assurance can gain a lot if we pattern them on telecommunications practices. The latest developments Read more
If you’re going to Agile2011, be sure to check out the Testing and Quality Assurance stage. Cutter’s Ken Collier is co-producer, with Lisa Shoop from Sabre, of this stage. They’ve pulled together a powerhouse lineup of thought leaders in the Agile testing and QA space. The sessions on this stage will be highly interactive; they’re designed for sharing and learning from others. A few of the questions that will be addressed on Ken and Lisa’s Testing and QA stage include: How do quality metrics improve testing practices? How do you effectively manage technical debt in test suites? (This one will be answered by our own Israel Gat!) How do you ensure that testing “keeps up” Read more