Who Should Be Responsible for Cleaning and Testing Your Application?

Picture this scenario for just a minute: Your new application went live a few days ago and you're suddenly getting complaints from users claiming that it's slow, clunky, buggy or *gulp* all of the above. Now you've got testers blaming developers, developers blaming testers, and pointed fingers are shooting across the room like lasers at a Tron-themed concert! 

But before everyone gangs up and unfairly assigns three weeks of kitchen duty to the newbie, take a second to think about a few things. Who really should be making sure your app fits a cetain criteria? Who is it that should be fixing the minimum requirements? Is there really a need for separate developers and testers? And should it even be a human that makes the final decision on any of these issues?

Luckily for the new guy, SmartBear's own Mike Punsky recently hosted a webinar during which he spoke with a 25-year veteran of the software industry and asked him to ellaborate on a variety of topics. In this installation of On the Mic with Mike Punsky, we're highlighting two questions dealing with the development and testing of apps. Enjoy!

 

For any application, who fixes the minimum system requirements? Is this done by testers, developers, or somebody else?

It's done by somebody else. And that somebody else is the data. Someone doesn't need to arbitrarily say, "this is the minimum system requirements." You can test it. I mean, by system requirements I assume you mean the browser client and maybe the mobile client.

The point is you need to test it against all those versions on different platforms. And then the testing will tell you, "this is not going to work on IE6," or, "we're not going to go to IE6."

Now, if there's some sort of business requirement that says it must work on there, and then testing says the current won't, well, then there's a business decision, because there's a cost associated with making it work.

But I love data because data can give us shortcuts to helping make some decisions exactly like that.

 

For a good test of an application, is it good to have different people doing development and testing. Or is it a good idea for the developer to do both?

Well, there's definitely a need to have separate testing, but sometimes developers use testers as debuggers. You're trying to meet the deadline and you can, at times, say, "yeah, that probably works, so I'll just throw it over the wall." Then the testers become debuggers. And then the developers don't get - it's just like a bug. But no one goes in there and says, that's a bug you could have avoided. Don't do it again.

So, I think there has to be some responsibility for the developers for their own testing. And there has to be some tracking mechanism that says who has more bugs. But even that's fraught with some problems. So I think more of the burden of testing can be on developers if they have the right tools. But I think you also need that QA safety net, as well. 

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