Testing Wearables: The Human Experience – Testing Roundup

1. Testing Wearables: The Human Experience

When a networked device is physically attached to us and works with us and through us, the more personal, even emotional, the interaction is. With wearables, the user becomes a part of the Internet of Things. Gerie Owen realized that consequently, a human user must be an integral part of testing wearables. Here, she details this human experience testing.

In the 2011 Boston Marathon, everyone running had a wearable attached to their clothing. In the race bib with their name and registration number, there was also an RFID, or radio-frequency identification, chip, which recorded the runner’s exact race time by detecting when the runner crossed the start and finish lines.

The first time this system was tried, there was only one glitch: not all the RFID chips registered with the readers. As a tester I found this fascinating, but the Boston situation was personal—I was in the race. [Continue Reading…]

2. Where Are All the Great Software Testers?

Due to the critical nature of software in our lives, we’re all aware of the need for more software testing expertise. The good news is that the IT industry continues to need skilled software testing roles; the downside for hiring managers is that those with deep experience in software testing are becoming more difficult to find.

A few people have inquired about how to find great software testers—in particular, more senior software engineers who can effectively carry out roles such as test architect, senior test automator, or senior test designer. [Continue Reading…]

3. It’s Time We Get Our Dues!

When a software product is a success – the developers get the glory and when it fails – the testers get the blame! That’s the unfair story of a test professional’s life. It’s kind of weird that even when from an end user perspective quality of the product matters the most, software quality professionals are so many times referred to as the “poorer cousins” of developers. I have been at the brunt of this discrimination from some of my “coding genius” friends as well colleagues, even if it was in the form of humour. But on a serious note this really is the mentality that exists across the industry. [Continue Reading…]

4. Discussion: Things Testers Say or Hear a Lot?

Just a bit of fun…what do testers hear or say alot?

So far, I’ve had:

‘Hmmm, strange’

‘I hadn’t looked at it that way’

‘If the business is going to do that, I can’t provide assurance of the quality of your code’

‘whoa’ (Keanu Reeves finds a bug)

Have anything to contribute? [Respond here!]

Can Automation replace manual testers?

“Is Test Automation going to help my business?”

We received this question from our customers for the umpteenth time:

To answer that question, we take a methodical approach… we assess the maturity level of the customer’s quality assurance organization. Many of the organizations do not treat Test Automation as a core practice but a supporting practice within the practice. Changing this perception and adopting Test Automation as core practice requires great shift in thinking and visualizing the benefits.

Once we are convinced with their existing practice, process and team’s mindset we recommend the test automation to our client. At this point, we face the next question:

“What is the ROI from Test Automation?”

For most of the project managers this is just a quantifiable number in terms of running more tests faster with fewer people. This number is used to justify the adoption of Test Automation in their projects. How do we arrive at this figure? There are many simple calculations in software testing organization to calculate the ROI, one such calculation is:

ROI = (Cost of manual testing – Cost of test automation)/cost of test automation

This looks simple, straight-forward and easy… this entire exercise builds a business case “We will run more test cases faster, with fewer people.

Many of the thought leaders do not completely agree with the business case and have a plethora of questions like:

“Do running more tests, faster produce better software?”

“Does manual testing and manual testers can be replaced by test automation?”

“Can we compare the cost of multiple executions of automation tests against manual tests?”

“Can we devalue the tester’s role in software testing? “

We at Idexcel believe that, Test Automation (once proven ROI is established) must be used to optimize the testing efforts but at the same time balance the Automation and Manual elements. Test Managers should not get sucked by the ROI black-hole. They should utilize their human (manual testers) element to test changes to the application (new and incremental functionality), cases that requires human judgment, situations that involve complex and implicit business knowledge. And utilize the Automation element for tests that are explicit, repetitive and black & white.

Now, coming to the subject of the blog:

“Can Automation replace manual testers?”

Our answer is a resounding NO!, especially when we are talking about applications and systems that are incrementally maturing.

When we address the automation needs of our clients, we don’t only convince our client solely on ROI. But we provide the detailed analysis of how we combine right set of tool with right set of people and process which can improve

• Reduce time to market
• Increase test efficiency
• Increase test effectiveness
• Improve test repeatability
• Decrease test defects escaping to production
• Select right set of test suite for a particular cycle
• Optimizing the test cases as software evolves
• More importantly Quality