The Top 8 Questions from Ask Me Anything: Why Testing Matters
  April 19, 2018

This week, we hosted our first live Ask Me Anything session on YouTube, “Why Testing Matters.” Our hosts, Jeff Martin, Director of Product Management and Operations, and Temil Sanchez, Sales Engineer, had a blast answering questions about test automation, BDD, SmartBear products, and much more!

In fact, we got so many questions that we didn’t have time to answer them all. So we decided to take some of our favorites to the blog. Check out the top eight questions from this week’s AMA!

1. What is your favorite software fail from the past year and why?

Our favorite recent software fail was the IRS website failure on Tax Day. Anyone that has a lot of users should test how their applications scale, especially if you’re likely to see a lot of traffic all at once. Since most people wait until the very last day to do their taxes, we recommend load testing and performance monitoring!

2. What are the pros and cons of shifting left?

To shift left means to test sooner in your software development lifecycle. Rather than waiting to test your software until the very end of the process, have developers test their own code to ensure that it does what is supposed to do— before the development process progresses.

The major benefit of shifting left is that you find bugs early. This is helpful because bugs are often easier to fix if you find them sooner. Plus, shifting left is more efficient and cost effective.

3. What skills or programs should a recent graduate focus on if they want to become a QA Engineer?

To start with, in today’s day and age knowledge of programming is key. In addition, try to keep up with the industry’s latest developments and trends. Finally, as a QA, understanding development and delivery is helpful.

4. What is the role of QA in BDD framework? Can developers themselves write the automation code quickly?

Every organization has their own framework. These processes vary from organization to organization, but generally QA should have some input in writing automation code. QA spends more time in the customer mindset, which is a valuable point of view to include. However, every application is different, so every testing process should be different as well.

5. What new, innovative technologies are being implemented into testing?

Jeff is excited about the rudimentary beginnings of automatic test creation, which is the ability to go through an application and define tests using machine logic. While humans can never be totally replaced in the testing process, certain programs could someday be automated.

Temil is interested in the rise of the design first approach. Although it has been around for a while, adoption is only just now ramping up, and can have huge benefits for your team.

6. It is easy to automate a new product as it’s being built, but what would be the best approach to automate a legacy product that was never developed with automation in mind?

We recommend starting with the testing process your organization already has in place. Go ask the testers which of their tasks are boring or tedious and automate those pieces first. Usually these things are easy to automate. Plus, if you start by relieving the pain of your testers you are more likely to gain their support for future projects.

7. When should you use test automation?

Not everything needs to be automated. However, some automation is helpful if you want to deliver your software quickly. You can decide easier if you start planning early. When you write your requirement, think about how that could be automated even in design and development phases.

8. Why does testing matter?

We think that testing is important for lots of reasons. Before releasing any product, you want to make sure that it does what it is supposed to do.

Testing is making sure you know how your organization is presenting itself to the rest of the world. The level of care you have built into your application is the primary way others will form opinions of your company. In short, your software is the face of your company.

Curious to see what else we talked about? Check out the recording of our Ask Me Anything session below.