Software Executive Magazine

February/March 2018

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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It floors me when companies purchase testers based on price and not capabilities. I once had a client move from one testing company to another company to save $1 an hour, even though the first company was better. Hiring cheap testers is like putting cheap tires on your car. The difference between poor tires and good tires could be the difference between having an accident and avoiding one. SAYING "CHEAP" AND "TESTING" IN THE SAME SENTENCE. 4 Recording the keystrokes of your testers, while benefi- cial, can be time-consuming and expensive, but it's the best way to ensure a test case has passed. After an audit or test failure, it's great to be able to pull up a record- ing of the tester running the test script and check to see if the tester did the right steps. One caveat: You can end up with hundreds or even thousands of recordings. Create a naming convention everyone understands so you can quickly locate needed recordings. The alternative is to skip recordings, put your trust solely in your testers, and assume everyone is honest and good. The middle-of-the-road solution is to categorize the test scripts as "to be recorded" versus "not." That saves time and money while giving you the comfort of know- ing your testing was done correctly and was successful. THE BALANCE BETWEEN RECORDING TEST CASES AND TRUSTING TESTERS IS OFF. 5 When you're doing a large-scale upgrade or installa- tion, parallel testing uncovers flaws and provides sys- tem verification against production. Done properly, parallel testing can be easy and produce results against all your production systems. Your approach needs to be well-thought-out, setup is critical, and the right tools make an enormous differ- ence. The value of parallel testing led 1Rivet to create 1DataServices, a product that automates parallel testing SKIPPING PARALLEL TESTING. 6 The more users you plan to have, the more likely it is one of them will break your application. The goal of testing is to find problems with your software based on the expected path of your users, as well as any negative paths they might stumble down (otherwise known as negative testing). After you test for what a normal user would do, test for what a normal user should not do. Can you enter numbers in a field where you should be entering letters? Can you send negative invoices to customers? Can you click "approved" in a workflow before it should be approved? Ensure your compa- ny has the right level of negative test cases. That full inventory of test scripts ensures the testing is 100 percent covered. S ONLY TAKING THE HAPPY PATH RATHER THAN TRYING TO BREAK THE PRODUCT. 7 Hiring testers based on price may save money in the short term, but you run the risk of the software going to production and failing. Repairing the damage to your product's and your company's reputation can cost far more than you saved with the cheap testers. E R I C M I D D L E T O N is CEO of 1Rivet, a strategic IT consulting firm specializing in application design and implementation, data visualization and analytics, delivery management and customer experience, IT mergers, acquisitions and integrations, and cloud- based innovations including machine learning, AI, and IOT. Testing is the last stop before heading into produc- tion. Hiring testers based on price may save money in the short term, but you run the risk of the software going to production and failing. Repairing the damage to your product's and your company's reputation can cost far more than you saved with the cheap testers. across newly changed systems and production systems to eliminate the need for validation across both systems. SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 9

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