I almost titled this write-up ‘Write your tests for a 3rd grader’ but the established pattern is to use the actual talk name, so didn’t. This talk was the only one I had a really strong negative reaction to.
This was essentially an experience report by Holly Barsamian of Steelcase on outsourcing their testing; and by testing she means QTP script creation and execution. This in itself wouldn’t have been a bad thing as there were some useful lessons learned such as
- It takes about six months into this sort of relationship to really become efficient
- Interview the staff the agency assigns to your project and don’t rely on your account manager to get clueful people
What really got me worked up was when we started talking about the test cases they employed. If you think of classical, dumbed down, pesticide paradox prone scripts then you have the idea. To be doubly sure I heard correct I asked whether she meant “In the firstname field put Adam and the lastname field put Goucher. Then press ok” to which point she said yes. Okay, so she does very restrictive and not very powerful test cases. So do lots of people. But what really amazed me was when she followed up with “As a rule of thumb they write them for a 3rd grader”. <BOGGLE> I know people treat outsourced resources as virtual slaves, but seriously. At least pretend to respect the people ‘testing’ your application. I have no doubt that there are dumb people in India just as there are in Canada or Spain or any other place, but if you are interviewing the people working on the application then you shouldn’t be the equivalent of a 3rd grader. Doesn’t seem like they were efficiently using their outsource resources at all for testing. (Maybe for creation of QTP scripts, but even then I would want my outsource resources creating data driven or model driven tests to truly get what I would call efficient, well written scripts).
Oh to have had LAWST facilitation…