Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Focus and Positivity is the key!

There are certain things I have observed quite a few times in various different situations while testing. These things seem more like a pattern than exceptions, and many a times demotivate me to do the right thing, for myself, and the organization.

What are these things?

  • Testing is considered as a step child - at times not given enough "listening ear" as required.
  • Testing usually seems lower in priority (compared to other issues faced).
  • Clients / organization seem OK with bugs / defects going live or, in other words, they are OK with pushing code in Production without testing it properly.
  • QA team is not involved in all stages of the life cycle - leading to disconnect between team members, invalid / incorrect assumptions, etc.
  • QA capacity is not adequate for the amount of work actually needed to be done.
  • Team members say - "This [issue] is not my responsibility. Talk to someone else."
  • Team members say - "This [issue] is not your [QA] responsibility. You don't need to provide suggestions / solutions for it. Let the appropriate owners think / talk about it."

Tips to remain focused on the right thing
  • Don't be hesitant to raise issues (time and again).
  • Identify and keep highlighting risks - in current situation, their implications and the potential mitigation points.
  • Keep doing what is right for the project / client.
  • Identify and engage with the "correct" people to ensure issues are understood, highlighted and prioritized.
  • Know what is in your control, and what is not. Strive to effect a change in what is in your control. For things out of your control, raise it with the relevant people, and then feel satisfied that you have done your part.
  • Be positive.
I strongly believe that the last 2 items in the above list are the most crucial to remaining focused and being successful in whatever one does ... in personal life and in professional life.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Generic Test Automation Frameworks - Good or Bad?

Many a times I have been part of discussions that we should build a generic test automation framework which all other project teams can leverage. Also, another thought on this has been that building test automation framework is not really a QA job, but a developer job.

I have different thoughts on this.
  1. From a capability building perspective, if we build a generic framework, how is the QA team going to learn to do things from ground-up, and also make it better?
  2. From a business perspective, if I as an organization have a generic framework, then am I going to give it for free to the client? If no, then it is as good as saying I have built the automation framework as a standalone product - which is fine. But, if I am giving it free to the client, then what value has it brought to me as an organization by designing and building this framework, and then I just give it off free?
  3. Developers can build a great framework - it is another product for them. However, the users of this framework are QA. More often than not, this framework that is built by the developers will be difficult to use by the QAs.
  • I have seen an example of a client-project, where our developers and QAs built the framework together. However, only the developers were able to make any core framework changes because of its complexity. Also, when the time came to hand-over the framework to the client, it was the developer(s) who had to provide training for this - the QAs were not even involved in this, because ...
So to cut the answer short, I don't like the idea of generic test automation frameworks!