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I don't tend to write test cases; I write industrial automation code and to try to write tests for every possible interaction with the I/O would be a nightmare, so I do simulations with virtual and physical (dummy) hardware in my office. it's easier to simulate real time issues and faults with switches, knobs and various sensors. This finds 99% of all issues before they go out to the field, then on-site startups tend to find the remaining 1% of the edge cases.
As the sole programmer and tester (and installer, and trainer) for a decent sized company I have to manage my time very carefully. And yes I have to go to each facility for startups; way too much traveling.
Sounds like really interesting work. and, that sounds like a developer-test based framework which is founded upon you being the sole owner (of the work) which drives great results. Ownership is a big part of getting to good product quality, I think.
I've owned business, managed, sold those and written code. There is a fine line between releasing perfect code and missing a window of opportunity. So many developers forget that they are employed because their software solves a problem and when it fails to solve something they look back and ask "Why did I get laid off?" I've found the trick to fixing bugs (and you all have them, and if you don't wait 5 minutes and you will) is to be nimble and fixing them quickly. 6 Month releases are a joke and cause users to struggle through potential nightmares and are ONLY around to justify QA groups and terrible managers. Some applications require test procedures which are always evolving and NEVER will be perfect because applications and their solutions evolve rapidly. If a developer is always being pushed for features and has little time to drive the entire application through it's paces I could see how someone would respond, "have someone test the product". There is always two sides to a story and if both aren't heard and weighed well that's crappy management or a market that demands it faster than you can deliver. You think Facebook was perfect the first release or even the second?
Iterative Dev I had a few bugs in my initial release of winform app and I fixed them in iterations. Same thing with the SPA (single page app) version. There are probably still some bugs in there, but you can get the app on every platform and that is what is important.
There are many types of tests, but most fall into one of two categories: unit and system.
The intent of unit tests is to establish that the low level functionality works as expected. They are also essential when refactoring and/or extending code. (I personally also find them very helpful in a) understanding code and b) improving the API.)
The intent of System tests is to show that the software DOESN'T work. This distinction is critical and is why system, or final, testing should not be done by developers and should be separate from engineering. It's also why automated testing only goes so far.
Over my career, I've had several brilliant testers. They challenged my software in ways I hadn't thought of. Even better, when they submitted a bug report, it was reproducible. In general, they also understood customer requirements better than the developers. (Another largely untapped resource by many developers and designers is support. When customers consistently complain about something, maybe it's time to change it.)
Great post, thanks for adding to the conversation. When I was in QA I always: 1. Insured I could reproduce the bug 2. Provided the exact steps to reproduce the bug (along with pertinent system details - browser info etc) in the bug report.
Now that I'm a dev I cannot stand to receive a bug report that says something like:
"I clicked on the button and the thing didn't work." Argh!!! Which button? What thing? What does didn't work mean?
My first job (Programmer Trainee) was at an investment company. For any new project:
1) We first wrote "Input Edits".
2) But here a separate department of accountants started trying to break the edits, while..
3) We started writing master file loads
4) As the accountants get "valid" data through the new edits, the new file loads create "test" master files
5) In the meantime, we are now writing file compares.
6) As the test masters are being created, the master file maintenance programs are being written
7) Once the test masters are built, a target master is created and updated by the new input edits and master file maintenance.
8) At the same time, the file compares started running, feeding results back to the accountants that either
9) Add new cases to the test masters
10) Created new transactions for the parallel system
Now I just say to give me a copy of their database.
"(I) am amazed to see myself here rather than there ... now rather than then".
― Blaise Pascal
An old favorite. Heard it again when I put my music on shuffle. This song is from Pendulum's debut album, but only the sold-out first pressing. They've replaced it with an inferior song (by definition) on subsequent pressings. Luckily we still have internet. Probably the most relaxing drum n bass I've ever heard
I'm back in the UK now, after 5 months in Africa North. Mrs Wife and our children returned this morning to leave me here to do a few small jobs - get a job, find a house, enroll the girls in school for September.
Easy life I reckon.
ps. The 20°C temperature drop has really done my joints the world of good*.